The Surrey Board of Trade recommends that federal, provincial and municipal governments reduce the voting age to 16 for all elections. The reduction is needed to ensure civic engagement, education, and sustained participation in elections into their future.
“Those individuals that are 16+ are contributing to the economy – paying taxes, participating in our workforce – but they have no say in how it operates,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “They participate in a system that is regulated and governed, however, cannot vote for elected representatives that make decisions that impact their lives. Their voice and perspective should count in all government elections.”
Many individuals in Surrey under the age of 19 are entrepreneurs and contribute to their local communities through various initiatives, as evidenced through the 2,000 + students that have engaged in Surrey Board of Trade entrepreneurial and career programming.
There is an opportunity through the K-12 education system to enhance education and awareness of government systems, such as which level of government makes which decisions, why it is important to vote, how democracy works, and much more.
Young citizens need to be involved in the decisions that determine the future that they’re going to inherit. They also need to be able to participate in elections as some already work in the system.
The positive impacts of lowering the voting age have been demonstrated around the world.