Incremental voting rights to young people


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Submitted By
Mike McGraw
Votes: 113

There is no good reason we can't start giving young people voting rights earlier, incrementally. Start with local bylaw voting rights in junior high or younger, voting on municipal and then provincial matters / representatives in high school. Support these young people in seeking input from their own cohorts and also from the younger cohorts. Involve them in real, concrete decision-making. Young people will be quick to organize around this idea, and will not be corrupted by business interests the way adults can be. We are here to lend advice, mentoring, professional expertise, and life experience. They are our near-future leaders already.

Argue about the feasibility and specifics if need be, but it's really time to stop dismissing what our upcoming generations have to say - they have better moral compasses than we do in many respects, fewer hang-ups about old ways of thinking, and arguably far more stake in the near future than we do. They are also better connected and in many ways better informed. This will only continue to become more true as time goes on. We know this.

Canada can and should be a world leader in actively, concretely recognizing the significant potential of our globally connected, technologically savvy young people. This is a good idea!  

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Submitted by Kevin Stephens on March 09, 2018 - 4:58 PM

If anything, the rights could be argued to be delayed even longer. What is the root of the issue that this approach serves to solve? Let's take a creative approach to solving that - just because this idea may or may not hit the nail on the head, it doesn't mean there aren't other ideas. Is the root issue that there is not enough forward-thinking voters working to get forward-thinking leaders into power? This article from Stanford children's health ( ) does mention the timeframe for adolescents developing the mental ability to make decisions. In particular, look at the section on late adolescence, which is at, or closer to 18. If anything, I'd like to buffer that age with a year or two (up to 20) to allow slower developers to gain that same mental acuity as these studies are usually based on averages. Especially since a lot of activity following government information online nowadays is being manipulated to sway the opinions of the public. (

Submitted by Slava on February 28, 2018 - 10:01 PM

I disagree with that. People should reach certain level of mental maturity first before making important decisions on the future of the country. Otherwise we will end up with a big number of young people who are just having fun by voting. They are still playful kids, nothing more.