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Liberals Want Voting Age Lowered to 16

Celticgirl

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Grits want voting age dropped to 16

But premier isn’t so sure younger teens mature enough

By AMY SMITH Provincial Reporter
Sat. Nov 1 - 6:07 AM

The voting age in Nova Scotia should be reduced to 16, says Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil.

Mr. McNeil introduced a bill in the legislature Friday that would shave two years off the minimum age of 18.

"At 16, I believe those young Nova Scotians are mature enough to understand and realize that decisions that we as government are making will impact their lives," he said.

"A 16-year-old today will be affected by the fact we’ll be talking and passing legislation dealing with post-secondary education, for example, that they’ll have to live with. They should have a right to cast their ballot on that and pass judgment on the government."

Mr. McNeil said he also thinks reducing the voting age would help boost voter turnout. Along with the legislation, he said, civics should be brought back into the province’s high schools.

"This is a way to engage them early on and allow them to have their voice in the democratic process," he said.

At 17, Laura Wright says she could make a well-informed decision if she had the right to vote — but she’s not sure about some of her peers.

"I just don’t know if students are ready to make that decision at such a young age," said the student at Citadel High School in Halifax.

"I just don’t know that 16 is the appropriate age. . . . You’re faced with a lot of decisions at 16. You’re in Grade 10, you’re entering your first year of high school; you’ve got a lot going on personally, socially, academically. It’s a lot to take in that year. I know it was for me."

Laura, who said the law should not be changed, feels that by the time students turn 18 they are more mature, better informed and ready to cast a ballot.

Premier Rodney MacDonald said he has some concerns about changing the voting age, and his view echoed Laura’s.

"The age of 18 reflects a student or young person leaving their high school years, getting prepared to go on to their post-secondary education or into the workforce. And there is a difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old," he said. "So I do have some reservations with respect to the bill."

Still, he said, he will review Mr. McNeil’s proposal and give it some consideration.

Link to Full Article

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I cannot express how heartily I disagree with this proposal. I don't believe that most 18-year-olds fully comprehend the process and the impact of their votes, let alone those a year to two years younger.

Here's where I think the Liberals are getting this idea: Some schools had a mock election around the time leading up to the real federal election. The Liberals were likely a popular vote among students. I know that at my daughter's elementary school, the Liberals won by a landslide.

You know, if we lower the voting age to 8 (my daughter's age), the Liberals would have it made in the shade.  8)


 

Spanky

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16 does seem a little young.  That being said, there are large numbers of 18yrs plus individual who haven't a clue about the process or the issues.  I'm sure there are many students who are more aware and informed than adults.
 

George Wallace

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So?

Does this mean that he wants to lower the Age of Majority in all legislation by two years?

You will be allowed to purchase liquor and smokes legally in Nova Scotia when you are 16?

The Age of Consent will be lowered again, with regard to Rape, in NS?

You will be permitted to obtain a Drivers Lic two years earlier?

They will then legally recognize children over the age of 16 to be adults, and therefore not subject to the International Laws against Child Soldiers?

What else will 16 year olds then be justified to claim rights to?

 

Snafu-Bar

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It's the Liberal party, they realize the only new voters willing to cast a balllot thier way are probbaly under the age of voting...

It in no way will happen due to the above aforementioned hand in hand age related issues.

Cheers.

 

Good2Golf

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I'm all for it.  The Young Offender Act would have to stop at 15!
 

Celticgirl

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Good2Golf said:
I'm all for it.  The Young Offender Act would have to stop at 15!

That is an interesting take on it.  ;) There certainly would have to be changes made to a lot of other existing laws if this age lowering were to be implemented. It's a slippery slope, indeed. I just cannot see this proposed law passing in Parliament...not now, not ever. The Liberals are certainly good at coming up with 'new and interesting' ideas to keep them in the media spotlight.  8)
 

Mike Baker

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And while we are changing some laws, why not ban guns. Lord knows these are steps in the right direction ::)

Beav
 

Fishbone Jones

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The Beaver said:
And while we are changing some laws, why not ban guns. Lord knows these are steps in the right direction ::)

Beav

Don't even suggest that sarcastically or in jest. Some dipper or liebral will hear you and spin it as support.
 

dbouls

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George Wallace said:
So?

Does this mean that he wants to lower the Age of Majority in all legislation by two years?

You will be allowed to purchase liquor and smokes legally in Nova Scotia when you are 16?

The Age of Consent will be lowered again, with regard to Rape, in NS?

You will be permitted to obtain a Drivers Lic two years earlier?

They will then legally recognize children over the age of 16 to be adults, and therefore not subject to the International Laws against Child Soldiers?

What else will 16 year olds then be justified to claim rights to?
Just for clarity


I don't know what the age restrictions are where you live, but here in Ontario it's all across the board anyways.

Alcohol and Tobacco: 19yrs.
Voting: 18 (Obviously)
Drivers license: 16 (learning permit only)
Age of Majority: 19

No, they do not want to lower all legislation by two years. They are not changing the Age of Majority. It doesn't even say that they want to do that in the article.
Age of majority is the legal term of saying someone is an "adult", they are of majority and they are not a minor. This varies from province to province. 18 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, 19 in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In some cases this can mean that people over 18/19 are the only people who can buy alcohol/tobacco and enter in a binding contract.

Voting age is NOT Age of majority. As you might know, the voting age used to be 21. Now it's 18. Did everything change by 3 years? (Don't know, ask yourself that question) Nowhere in the Canada Elections Act does it say you have to be of majority to vote.
Voting age across Canada is stated in the Canada Elections Act (Part 1 section 3)

I agree with Celtic girl that most 18 year olds don't know what's going on in our elections, but the people who don't know what's going on don't vote anyways (See voter turnout -- 59.1%) by lowering the voting age, we'll just open the field to more people that WON'T VOTE.

 

George Wallace

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dbouls said:
No, they do not want to lower all legislation by two years. They are not changing the Age of Majority. It doesn't even say that they want to do that in the article.
Age of majority is the legal term of saying someone is an "adult", they are of majority and they are not a minor. .

So?  They want to allow children the right to vote then?    >:D


dbouls said:
Voting age is NOT Age of majority. As you might know, the voting age used to be 21. Now it's 18.

At one time the Age of Majority was 21.  Now it is 18.
 

Love793

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It looks to me, like a desperate attempt to gain more uninformed voter support in any up coming elections. I can only imagine how many ridings in the recent federal election would have been swayed to the left had this been in effect. I'm sure however that it would raise the voter turn out.
 

GDawg

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Most 20, 30, 40 year olds don't have a fraction of a clue as to what is going on around them. Age and intelligence/situational awareness aren't locked together.
I am willing to bet most 16 year olds would be unwilling to take the time and trouble to go and vote on their own. This is probably just a bid for more proxy votes for those who have apathetic teenagers at home. Something like this; "You can either rake the lawn or vote liberal with me tomorrow"
 

Mike Baker

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recceguy said:
Don't even suggest that sarcastically or in jest. Some dipper or liebral will hear you and spin it as support.
Oh whoops, never thought of that.

And it IS sarcasm.

GDawg said:
Most 20, 30, 40 year olds don't have a fraction of a clue as to what is going on around them. Age and intelligence/situational awareness aren't locked together.
I am willing to bet most 16 year olds would be unwilling to take the time and trouble to go and vote on their own. This is probably just a bid for more proxy votes for those who have apathetic teenagers at home. Something like this; "You can either rake the lawn or vote liberal with me tomorrow"
I agree totally. I mean, how many people really care, and I mean REALLY care, about what political parties say they will do if they were in power, and then actually make a very smart decision. Add 16 an 17 year old's to the mix, and we have quite the cluster f*&k.

Beaver
 

Fishbone Jones

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They probably want this to come into effect about the time the young dauphin Trudeau emerges for the leadership and run at PM. All those lovestruck young women that voted for his dad proved it wasn't what was in their heads that counted. I remember the females in my family caring less about his socialist policies and more about what a snappy dresser he was. His win was based on love struck puppies, not level headed voters.
 

Old Sweat

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The lowering of the voting age to sixteen is hardly imminent and would apply only to Nova Scotia in any case. The Liberals are the third party in that province behind the PCs and the NDP. This seems like a bit of gamesmanship. Maybe it is a slow news day ploy to get some attention and the leader's picture in the paper. In my opinion it is a case of making a teapot out of a tea cup.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I say sure thing, since they are capable of choosing a leader while we are at it lets impose a draft and change the Young offenders Act to end at 16 as well, With privilege comes responsibility.
 

McG

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Celticgirl said:
"At 16, I believe those young Nova Scotians are mature enough to understand and realize that decisions that we as government are making will impact their lives," he said.
At 10 most should be able to "understand and realize that decisions ... [made by government]making will impact their lives."  That does not mean a 10 year old knows what factors to consider when choosing who to vote for.  It's not just a mater of intelligence or maturity either.  At 16, there are very very few who have considered the responsibility of financial independance (let alone experienced it).  While at 18 many (most?) are still living under the financial umberalla of thier parents, at least by this age most are starting to think of the responsibilities of living independant in society and are even starting to step-out and experience it.

I wonder if the experience of this responsibility (or at least the expectation that one is thinking of this) should not be one of the over-ridding factors in where the appropriate voting age is.  Living at home under mom & dad does not truely develop the appreciation of the functions of our society that one should be considering when choosing where to give a vote.  For someone that's always had thier meals handed to them, Communism may sound like a great idea  ...

As I said, at least at 18 we can expect that people are starting to experience this real world so that they probably have some experience background in which to understand the decision they will make.
 

RangerRay

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When I was 16, the thought of my classmates being given the right to vote gave me the willies.
 

PAT-Platoon

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I too am skeptical and hesitant at this move. I think that the current age of 18 is a perfectly fine rubicon to cross for voting rights. However they do bring up a valid point regarding, in a sense, "taxation without representation". Though a counterpoint to that would be that legally speaking, a person under the 18 is under the responsibility of their parent and therefore their views are represented through that. Maybe letting emancipated minors, minimum age 16, allowed to vote would be an interesting idea as technically speaking we have allowed them to live on their own and represent themselves, therefore they should have the legal right to vote.

-C/D
 
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