House votes against bill to lower federal voting age to 16

The House of Representatives voted against a bill that would lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.

Sponsored by NDP MP Taylor Bachrach, Building C-210titled “Laws to Amend the Canadian Elections Act,” was voted on on Wednesday on whether it should proceed to the third reading.

MP who voted 245–77 The September 28 bill was opposed by Bloc Quebec, the NDP and the Greens, while the Liberals and Conservatives opposed.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed,” Bacharach said. prime time politics Following the bill’s defeat. “We’ve put a lot of work into this, and I think this is an idea that really makes our country stronger.”

Conservative MP Marilyn Gradu before the vote Said She believes in “informed voting” and believes the voting age should remain 18.

“For example, I think the remaining age at which you can join the military, for example, the age at which you can drink alcohol, is older, so I think we should be consistent with that,” she said.

Gradu also said the current voting age does not necessarily prevent Canadians under the age of 18 from participating in politics.

“I’ve definitely seen young people very active in my own campaigns,” she said. “I encourage it. But in my house, it didn’t have a say until the kids started paying the bills.”

Bachrach published an article in the Toronto Star on September 27, arguing that 16- and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote.

bachrack “Issues such as affordable housing and the worsening climate emergency are having a severe and disproportionate impact on young people,” he said, adding that they “deserve to speak up.”

In an interview with PrimeTime Politics, Bachrach said “many countries around the world” have started allowing citizens over the age of 16 to vote, resulting in “youth engagement” and “voter turnout”. said.

Asked whether 16- and 17-year-old Canadians are accountable enough to vote, Bachrach said many opponents of a younger voting age “due to a prejudice against young people who, in practice, are not necessarily supported.” I have a certain stereotype,” he said.

“The reality is that 16- and 17-year-olds are not expected to pay attention to politics or elections,” he continued. “And if they were given that agency and given that opportunity, they would listen.”

speak to reporters Before the bill was defeated on Wednesday, Conservative MP Randy Horback said: “Why should a 16-year-old vote when he can’t buy beer?”

“That would be the quick answer,” he said.

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.