More than 70% of surveyed youth are in favour of casting a ballot at age 16, according to a national consultation to better understand how young Canadians feel about lowering the voting age.
From March to April, Children First Canada led the consultation in partnership with Wisdom2Action and Youth Central. A total of 180 children and youth from across Canada provided their feedback on a range of issues related to the right to vote.
An online survey in French and English was promoted nationally through social media and through organizational networks. Young people aged 10-24 completed the survey, with an average age of 15.3 years old.
During the consultation, youth were provided with background information on the right to vote in Canada – which has expanded over time to include different groups of citizens. Although the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that every citizen has the right to vote, Canadians under the age of 18 remain excluded.
Lowering the Voting Age in Canada documents the finding of the consultation. The statistics show that youth are already engaged in politics – 88% of youth said they had thought about who they would vote for in the last election. The report also noted that 63% of young people felt that politicians would pay more attention to the issues youth care about if they had the right to vote.
Overall, this national consultation demonstrated that youth have a keen interest in understanding more about their rights and how to be engaged in the governance of their country.