Leave vot­ing age alone

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

The Cape Bre­ton Post colum­nist Jim Guy makes some good points on en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the po­lit­i­cal process (Should vot­ing age be low­ered – again?, July 22).

But surely there is some­thing un­fair in al­low­ing 16-and 17-yearolds to vote while not bear­ing the same civic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as the rest of the vot­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Un­der the Youth Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Act any­one un­der 18 has, gen­er­ally speak­ing at least, pro­tec­tion from nor­mal adult con­se­quences for break­ing the law.

Whether this is a good thing or not is not the is­sue here, but it does in­di­cate that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and the courts recog­nise that youth may not ex­er­cise suffi- cient ma­tu­rity while mak­ing de­ci­sions. This prin­ci­ple is not ap­plied on a case-by-case ba­sis but is ap­plied to all youth.

While it is un­lik­ley that al­low­ing 16-and 17-year-olds to vote would lead to chaos on the streets maybe leav­ing the vot­ing age where it is would be a good idea, just in case.

Frank King Syd­ney River

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