For the third time in his career, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has introduced a bill to try and reduce the provincial voting age to 16.
In a statement, the Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA argued that young British Columbians should be able to have a say in political decisions that impact them.
He referenced countries like Scotland, Argentina, Austria and Brazil that already allow 16 year olds to vote, and how this lower voting age has encouraged more political participation overall.
“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,” says Weaver.
“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.”
Click here to sign the petition to support lowering the legal voting age in BC to 16.
— BC Green Party (@BCGreens) March 13, 2018
Mixed reviews on Twitter
While some people agree with Weaver’s initiative, others have reservations about letting children participate in the voting system, especially those who are not fully informed about politics.
I don’t know if I agree. Most 16 year olds I know don’t have a plan after graduation let alone the foresight to have a say in the future direction of the province or country. #theresareason the legal age to drink alcohol isn’t until 19. We don’t make the best decisions before it
— Clint Endacott (@ClintEndacott) March 13, 2018
Right on Andrew! These kids are going to live for a much longer period than you or I with the consequences of contemporary environmental decision making. Give them a say on what that works is like!
— Norman Dale (@ngdale) March 13, 2018
I could only support this decision if a course on government and politics was made part of school curriculum. Protecting democracy is a heavy responsibly that can go horribly wrong in the hands of the uninformed.
— Paul Albhouse (@phouse123) March 13, 2018
That's a terrible idea. Most kids have no idea what they are doing at that age. Politicians like lowering age limits as kids can be brainwashed easily. If anything the voting age should be raised to an age where kids have worked for a few yrs & are more aware of realities #bcpoli
— Save R Homes 🇨🇦 (@SaveRHomes) March 13, 2018
Teenagers across the world continue to demonstrate their commitment and enthusiasm for democracy, safety, and justice. We owe them a chance to shape their future by voting. #bcpoli
— Mike Soron 🚈🌇🌎 (@MikeSoron) March 13, 2018
While I appreciate getting youth involved in politics, 16 is way too young. Vast majority make zero contribution through taxes so should no say on policies impacting spending.
— Mike Wellar (@mikeinthevalley) March 13, 2018