Weaver looks to lower voting age

Green Party leader calls for voting age in B.C. to be reduced to 16

  • May. 12, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver is calling for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in British Columbia.

“There is a lot of evidence that shows that if we engage our youth earlier in the political process they are more likely to develop voting as a habit for the rest of their life,” said Weaver, the leader of the B.C. Green Party. “The decisions we make today as legislators will have a profound impact on the lives of our youth, I can’t think of a good reason why they shouldn’t have a stake in those decisions.”

The voting age was not always 18 in British Columbia. B.C. dropped the voting age from 21 to 19 in 1952, but it wasn’t until 1992 that the province made the subsequent change to lower the age to 18.

Weaver, who tabled legislation this week to lower the provincial voting age, points to Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and parts of the UK as just a few jurisdictions to have extended voting rights to 16-year-olds.

“There is a general misconception that 16 and 17-year-olds are too young to make informed decisions or that they will just vote the way their parents tell them to. Research indicates that this is not the case,” said Weaver, who argues 16-year-olds are allowed to drive, pay taxes, drop out of school, get married and sign up for the military.

“It appears there is actually a trickle-up effect in civic participation. When youth engage in civics, conversations around the dinner table tend to focus on politics and local issues, which results in a positive impact on voter turnout for the whole family.”


Just Posted

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Opposition to gravel quarry in Highlands gains traction

Impact on drinking water a major concern

Victoria post-secondary schools reveal most popular programs

Camosun College, the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University share students’ top picks

Watchdog group says Saanich council needs a ‘reality check’ about taxes

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria warns of eroding housing affordability in Saanich

3 dead, 2 missing in northern B.C: Here’s what we know so far

Lucas Fowler, 23, and his girlfriend, Chynna Deese, were shot and killed on July 14 or 15

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

The Beaverton’s sharp satire thrives in polarized political climate

Canadian TV series’ third season to air Tuesday on CTV after “The Amazing Race Canada”

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Most Read