THE DAY MIGHT NOT BE far off when 16-year-old Canadian kids will be trekking to the voting booth — or voting online — to have their say in elections.
What was considered a hair-brained idea up to a couple of years ago is suddenly gaining traction. A private member’s bill sponsored by Vancouver MP Don Davies in 2016 called for it, and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver made his third attempt with a private member’s bill last year. Weaver pointed out that 16-year-olds vote in several other countries.
At least two federal party leaders are in favour of giving 16-year-olds the vote. Elizabeth May of the Greens likes the idea, and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has made it part of his election platform.
And, just a couple of days ago, delegates to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver voted to ask John Horgan’s government to give 16-year-olds the vote in municipal elections.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.