Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dora the Elector

I assume some of my Dear Readers have children. Some of these children may even be teen-aged, and so it is to these people, or even to anyone who closely associates with teenagers, that I address this next post.
Take a look at your kid, that scruffy-haired, high-school aged boy or girl that you've been raising (or working with or knowing), and imagine they may soon be old enough to vote.
They grow up so fast, don't they?
Nope, what I am referring to is Bill C- 634 which aims to give 16 year-old kids the vote.

Bill C - 634, introduced just yesterday into the House of  Commons, cites several countries in its text, including Brazil, where the voting age is at 16 and boasts 100% voter turnout. Of course, voting is also mandatory there. The idea that activities done during youth are continued through life as steady habits, is what is motivating the private member's bill, introduced by Mr. Don Davies the NDP member for Vancouver Kingsway. In observing the behavior of students who vote in High School elections, even some personal experience observing the voting behavior of University students (voting in an election for four seats where only one is contested) there is nothing to suggest that youngsters will have a higher voter turnout than the general population, or even vote differently than their parents, thus only heightening the current voting dynamic between parties (Sure it's a minority government, but it's a HUGE minority).

Some people argue that since they pay taxes they should be allowed to vote, to which I must reply that since I paid municipal taxes, I should have been allowed to vote in Municipal elections, but until that matter is addressed, taxes do not equal a vote.

Low voter turnout is an adult problem, perpetrated by adults, within an adult system. There is no reason to place extra stress and obligation on teenagers to try and correct a problem that shouldn't be on their plates yet. They should be focused on their education and building their future.

Incidentally there will be no repercussions against Beverly Oda for inserting the "NOT" into the KAIROS report, but whether or not funding will be returned to KAIROS remains to be seen (it is not looking good).

UPDATE March 11, 2011
As if we needed more proof that children are barely able to handle complicated political issues: between 12-15 or 35 students (the number fluctuates depending on who one speaks to) were sent home from a public Catholic school for refusing to remove a piece of green tape that said "Choice" on their shirts. They adopted this symbol in response to a set of students wearing pieces of red tape that said "Pro-Life" on them. Not only are these kids risking their future on a meaningless gesture, this kind of 'demonstration' just demeans the entire debate. Politics should not be given the same consideration as the latest Jersey shore episode.

1 comment:

Andy said...

I think it's a good idea! Imagine the class debates and participation. Personally, I would have enjoyed the voting process in school. Once I was 18, trying to figure out my future, voting just wasn't on my radar.