Youth Enfranchisement: A Case For A More Democratic Canada
Keywords:Canadian electoral reform, voting age, intergenerational justice
Despite granting its citizens universal suffrage, Canada continues to experience declining numbers in voter turnout (Achen, 2019). As fewer Canadians choose to participate in the electoral process, the very foundations of liberal democracy come into question as the legitimacy of a government elected by a dwindling number of supporters becomes increasingly unclear. While the topic of electoral reform is dominated by the debate over proportional representation versus the first-past-the-post system, this paper instead focuses on the legal voting age. I contend that lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 in Canada will create a more equitable, fair, and inclusive electoral system, thus strengthening fundamental democratic values. In this essay, I will discuss how the current system is unfairly excluding youth from participating in decisions that affect their future, why the argument for maintaining the current age is flawed, and how a lower voting age would increase political interest and create a more engaged electorate.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Leonard Patterson
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