LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

This is a copy of a letter sent to Premier John Horgan.

Upon the announcement of proposing a bill to lower the voting age in British Columbia, I believe it is a perfect opportunity for youth to become engaged with the political system for a say in our future. Based on my experience of debating politics, age does not affect one’s ability to reason with understanding current events and economic development. As part of the generation who will become future leaders, it is my belief that kids my age should have the privilege of getting a say by exercising the right to vote.

It is no doubt that 16-year-olds learn of politics through school and education. What better way to engage the youth in this process of political ideologies, as Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has said? I disagree with those who say 16 is too young to be voting because those with this opportunity still may not fully grasp the significance of voting. This is not an age challenge, rather than a focus challenge. I would also like to argue with those who believe the vast majority of teenagers are not old enough to be involved with government related issues, and invite them to any philosophy, social justice or social studies class to witness kids fully capable of voting for leaders. I, as well as many my age, are eager for this chance to innovate British Columbia further by acknowledging change in this province for the near future.

Thank you, Mr. Horgan, for considering this option for students such as myself. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to read this as it is an important topic to kids my age and it is my hope that this helps you, as well as the legislature, to make an informed decision.

Myrika McDonald, Grade 12

Claremont Secondary

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