Liberal contender Mike de Jong promises to lower B.C. voting age
Liberal leadership hopefulMike de Jong says he supports lowering the eligible voting age by two years in B.C.
The former attorney general unveiled the policy idea today (December 15), two weeks after launching his bid to succeed Premier Gordon Campbell.
If he becomes premier, de Jong says he would support legislation to change the provincial voting eligibility rules so British Columbians could cast ballots at 16 years of age.
At present, citizens must be at least 18 years old to vote.
In a statement, de Jong suggested the new rules would encourage youth to participate in the democratic process. He says the number of young voters has been declining.
“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,” he says.
De Jong questions why 16 year olds are allowed to drive, join the military, or be treated by the courts as adults, but they cannot vote.
The MLA for Abbotsford West resigned from the Liberal cabinet to enter the leadership race. He faces four other candidates.
A new leader of the B.C. Liberals is to be selected by party members on February 26, 2011.
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