NDP Pledges to Lower Voting Age to 16
Recently, Jagmeet Singh, federal leader of the NDP party announced that if he were to be elected Prime Minister, he would work towards lowering the voting age from 18 to 16.
Singh cited the low voter turnout for young Canadians, and suggested part of the reason turnout is so low is because many people are in the process of completely uprooting their lives when they turn 18--the age when they can begin voting.
Singh believes the fact that many young people often leave home to pursue an education, among other things, is part of the reason many of them don’t vote--he believes the fact that many of them have never voted before, and are unfamiliar with the process is part of the reason they don’t exercise their right to vote when they become eligible to do so.
Singh suggested reducing the voting age to 16 would help foster a culture of voting among young Canadians that would help increase voter turnout among the demographic.
He suggested voting could be added to the curriculum, and students could have the opportunity to discuss politics, party platforms, and issues being raised during elections--something he believes will get young Canadians engaged in politics and inspire them to begin and continue to vote.
Singh believes a concerted effort to foster a culture that promotes political awareness and action in high school will get students interested in politics and instill a passion and desire to vote that will result in an increase in voter turnout for young Canadians.
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