A bill aimed at lowering the legal voting age 16 years old is back in the Canadian Senate.
The move to lower the age limit resurfaced in the senate with a first reading on September 30, 2020 and continued with a second reading last Friday. The bill, S-209 (43rd Parliament, 2nd Session), would lower the current voting age of 18 years old to 16 years of age.
People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier posted a copy of the bill on Facebook over the weekend. He called the move an attempt by the Liberal party to unfairly secure wins in future elections.
“Another attempt by the Liberals and their Far Left allies to change the rules of the electoral system to their advantage so they can permanently stay in power,” Bernier wrote. “We are witnessing a slow-motion coup d’état.”
Senator Terry Mercer of Nova Scotia, a Senate appointee of Prime Minister Jean Chretien in 2003, supported the move during the second reading on Friday.
“Successful political parties and successful political candidates, both provincially and federally, know that engaging young people is providing energy,” said Mercer. “They bring their ideas. The engagement of young people puts energy into politics.
“As I said, pass this bill and make it law, and you will notice a huge difference in the next two elections and elections beyond that.”
The bill was tabled by Senator Marilou McPhedran earlier this year. McPhedran was named to the senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This is not the first time lowering the age limited has been brought forward in Canada.
What does the rest of Canada think?
You can view the bill here: https://parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/S-209/first-reading
Watch the second reading question period below: