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Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

Last Updated May 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – They can drive, join the army and get married, but 16-year-olds in BC can’t vote. BC’s lone Green MLA Andrews Weaver thinks that needs to change so he’s introduced a private member’s bill to lower the voting age.

Some might say 16-year-olds aren’t ready to participate because of their lack of experience.

Weaver believes they know more about civics than their grandparents.

“They have access to information like never before. Each and every student in the province of British Columbia must take Socials 11, First Nations 12 or Civics 12 and it is in these courses that the whole concept of Canadian Parliamentary democracy, our voting structure, is discussed.”

He says there’s an inherent unfairness in asking working 16-year-olds to pay taxes when they have no say in how the money is spent.

Weaver isn’t confident he’ll have BC Liberal support as younger voters tend to be more progressive.

“I’ve had three of my private member’s bills accepted this session… I suspect that it is not something the Liberals are supporting. Why? Because as young voters are more progressive in terms of the direction of their voting. For them, their entire life before them is nothing but change. They’re not afraid of change. As we age, we naturally become more and more conservative in our views and of course, the BC Liberals are really Harper-Tory Conservatives.”

NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway Don Davies pitched the same idea on the federal level earlier this year.