On his campaign website, Liberal MLA Mike de Jong has called for lowering the voting age to 16, and has invited B.C. teens to tell him what they’d do if they were premier.
“Year after year voter turn-out has declined and among young people, participation is even worse,” said de Jong. “Young people can drive at 16, they can enter the military and be raised to adult court, we give them these responsibilities so why not take the next logical step and let them be full participants.”
“Political parties already allow 14 year olds to vote in leadership contests so voting for government at 16 is not that big a leap,” added de Jong. “If we want to engage young people, what better way than to allow students in their graduating year to become full participants in the electoral process.”
To engage young people to think about the future of BC de Jong announced a video contest. The contest is for youth to produce a short video on what they would do as Premier of B.C. or on what matters most to them today. Two prizes of a $500 Canada Savings Bond will be awarded to the contest winners in each age category.
Entries will be uploaded to a new web site www.beheardbc.com.
Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.