GREEN Party Leader Andrew Weaver on Tuesday introduced a Private Member’s bill to lower the voting age to 16 in B.C. This is the third time Weaver has introduced the bill.
“Young British Columbians have the greatest stake in the future of our province; they should have a say in the decisions our politicians make,” said Weaver.
“Yesterday, Elections B.C. announced that only 56.24% of 18-24 year olds and 46.35% of 25-35 year olds voted in our last provincial election. Voting rights have been extended to 16-year-olds in Scotland, Argentina, Austria and Brazil. Evidence from those jurisdictions shows that enfranchising these young voters has led to substantially higher levels of political participation.
“Moreover, research shows that the cognitive skills required to make calm, logically informed decisions are firmly in place by age 16. Young citizens of British Columbia are old enough to drive, pay taxes and sign up for the military. They are also the leaders of tomorrow. They should have a say in the direction we are heading, as they will inherit what we leave behind. B.C. should take this chance to strengthen our democracy and lower the voting age to 16.”