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Arthur Potts, Ontario Liberal MPP, has proposed lowering the legal voting age in Ontario from 18 to 16 years old.
By lowering the voting age, Potts hopes to capture the attention of the new generation, making them interested and involved in politics.
“It is time to trust them to vote,” said Potts in a conference at Queen’s Park.
Potts stated that if 16-year-olds are given the responsibility to drive and work, why shouldn’t they be allowed to vote. Potts backed up his proposal arguing that the future belongs to the younger generation, therefore they should have a voice at a younger age.
His proposal comes after the amazing young movement that is happening in the United States after the unfortunate school shootings. The youth have gotten together to fight the government into change the gun laws.
The younger generation has the power to change the direction of any country, that is a fact. A perfect example can be the revolution in Ukraine in 2014, and the many attempts of the Venezuelan youth to fight the government.
But is lowering the voting age the only way to make the younger generation interested in politics?
Potts makes a valid point; the youth needs to get more involved in politics, they need to understand the importance of having a voice in the choices for their future. In the past elections, the turnouts have been low and by lowering the voting age Potts hopes to fix this problem.
Are young Canadians mature enough to handle the responsibility of making decisions for their country?
As teens, civics is part of their school program. Here they learn about Canadian politics through history. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the world of politics and for them to ask questions. This will prepare them, giving them a chance to form their own opinion, so when they turn 18, they should be ready to go and exercise their right.
At 16, they are still too young to make their own decisions. At 16 they’re still copying their parents, and looking to them as reference of how they are supposed to think or behave. There is a very small percentage of independent 16-year-olds with strong opinions about politics.
How can we guarantee these teens are not going to be influenced into voting for a specific party or politician, not because they think it’s the best option but because somebody else thinks it’s the better option?
How can we guarantee that by lowering the voting age teens will be more interested in politics?