Canadian News Mar 26, 2021 4:11 PM EST

WATCH: Elizabeth May says lowering voting age to 16 would create a 'healthier democracy'

"Voting at 16 is a key way of refreshing, restarting, and rebooting our democracy," she said.

WATCH: Elizabeth May says lowering voting age to 16 would create a 'healthier democracy'
Noah David Alter Toronto
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Green Party MP and former Leader Elizabeth May took to the floor of the House of Commons on Wednesday to call for the voting age in Canada to be lowered to 16.

"It's an honour to present this bill, not for the first time, but reintroducing with some modifications, to change the Elections Act such that Canadians of 16 years and older can vote," May began.

"Certainly we see a crisis in the youngest demographic in this country not voting, clear empirical evidence such as that that we reviewed when we had a special committee on electoral reform pointed in the direction that people who start voting stick with their voting habits," May continued.

"Voting at 16 is a key way of refreshing, restarting, and rebooting our democracy," she said.

Lowering the voting age to 16 has long been a commitment for the Green Party, which has often derived much of its support from younger demographics.

Proponents of lowering the voting age have argued that younger people deserve a say in the democratic process. Some have also noted that 16 is the required age to receive a driver's license in Canada, and is also used as the age of consent. Such proponents argue that if Canadians are able to drive and have sex at 16, they should also be able to vote.

Lowering the voting age has been criticized by many others who argue that 16-year-olds are not mature enough or lack the necessary life experience to vote, given that the vast majority of 16-year-olds are still in high school.

Some countries in Europe and Latin America currently have the voting age set at 16, although 18 is the standard used in the vast majority of the world's democratic countries.

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