There's no reason not to let younger people vote

It’s hard to find a good reason why if you can work and drive at 16, you aren’t allowed to vote. An Ontario MPP is proposing to lower the voting age and while it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon and there’s no urgent need to change the voting system, the idea has considerable merit.

Most of the arguments against younger voters are based on the assumption that teenagers aren’t smart enough, experienced enough or engaged enough to cast a ballot. But a lot of adults fit that description as well. And there are certainly lots of youth who are active and engaged on political issues, who care about their communities and who volunteer for or even lead important initiatives. Look at the teenagers in the U.S. fighting for better gun control.

Lowering the voting age would give young people more of a say in the future and a reason to get more engaged. Ultimately I don’t see any reason why allowing a 16-year-old to vote would cause any harm to our democracy. If anything, it might improve it.

Listen for 60 Seconds with Sutcliffe weekdays at 6:20 am, 8:20 am, 4:20 pm and 6:20 pm on 1310 NEWS. And join me and my guests on Ottawa Today, featuring discussion and analysis of the big stories of the day, weekdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.