Would letting children vote give climate change the attention in elections it deserves?

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      A Vancouver-based campaign has a novel idea to save the planet: lower the voting age.

      “Lowering the voting age from 18 to eight would make the climate emergency a top priority in the upcoming federal election,” explains an August 26 media release. “Think lowering the voting age is crazy? Doing nothing is crazier.”

      Called the “18to8” campaign, it’s an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation.

      “We are a group of Canadian kids who want to tackle climate change in the voting booth,” its website reads. “We are the future of this planet and we’re not going to just sit back and watch as it gets destroyed. While grown-ups are worried about grown-up things like gas prices and political popularity contests, we’re passionate about protecting the natural world—our home—and we’re willing to prioritize a livable climate over all other issues. In the federal election this October 21st, for the love of the planet, let us vote.”

      The 18to8 campaign emphasizes that time is running out.

      “The world’s leading climate scientists have told us we have less than 12 years to get global average temperatures under control,” the website continues. “By the time we’re old enough to vote, it will be too late. Game over! We will be the ones most affected by climate change, and yet we don’t have a say… how is that fair!? By lowering the voting age from 18 to 8, we can make sure climate change is the number one priority in this election, and all elections to come.”

      Today’s media release notes that while climate-change is a deadly serious issue, the group isn’t taking itself entirely seriously.

      “The satirical campaign suggests that because today’s children will be most affected by climate change, they are more aware of its scope and the urgency with which governments and citizens must act on solutions,” it reads.

      18to8

      David Suzuki Foundation CEO Stephen Cornish is quoted in the release saying that the campaign is not about giving children the right to vote, but rather about getting adults to vote based on how climate change will affect children and future generations to come.

      “We aren’t suggesting eight-year-olds should really get vote, but we are suggesting that adults vote with the best interests of future generations in mind this October,” he said. “Youth in Canada and around the world are speaking up, petitioning and organizing strikes to prioritize the climate crisis. Adults have the power to make changes. It’s time we listen to the young people.”

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