Kathy Megyery is a Reserach Coordinator for the Royal Commision on Electoral Reform and Party Financing.
Youth in Canadian Politics
When is a person mature enough to vote? Would lowering the voting age compromise political processes? Would giving people the vote stir them to greater involvement? What would be the effect on other laws affecting youth? What are the Charter implications?
The studies in this volume uncover a wide range of opinion about young people and their involvement in politics. The author point to the diversity of perceptions about the attitudes and attributes of youth, even among young people themselves. In considering the appropriate age for the vote, they cast light on the overall status of young Canadians in terms of rights, laws, institutions, and public opinion.
Raymond Hudon and colleagues study political involvement by Quebecois youth. Patrice Garant investigates legal and Charter implications of lowering the voting age. Jon Pammett and John Myles argue that lowering the voting ages to 16 would be a "low-risk" initiative. All concur that generalizing about 16- to 18-year-olds is as difficult and questionable as making sweeping statements about any othe rage-defined sociological group.