Provincial elections could undergo a dramatic change if a referendum on proportional representation passes next fall.(Black Press files)

Andrew Weaver re-introduces bill to lower B.C. voting age to 16

Leader of Green Party says research shows by 16, teens have cognitive skills to make decisions

  • Mar. 13, 2018 12:00 a.m.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has introduced a private members bill to lower the voting age to 16.

This is the third time Weaver has introduced such a bill – a voting age minimum already in effect in Scotland, Argentina, Austria and Brazil.

“Evidence from these jurisdictions shows that enfranchising these young voters has led to substantially higher levels of political participation,” Weaver said in a statement Tuesday.

He cited the newest data from Elections B.C. that shows the province’s Millennials having the biggest voter turnout increase in the 2017 provincial election.

READ MORE: B.C. election results would be very different if students had their say

According to an Elections BC report released Monday, nearly seven per cent more of 25-34 year olds voted in 2017 compared to 2013.

Weaver also said that if by 16, British Columbians are old enough to drive, pay taxes and sign up for the military, they should have a say in the direction the province is heading.

“Research shows that the cognitive skills required to make calm, logically informed decisions are firmly in place by age 16,” he said.

“B.C. should take this chance to strengthen our democracy and lower the voting age to 16.”


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