LETTER: Voting age should be raised, not lowered

If anything, the voting age should be increased to 21, not lowered to 16.

To the Editor,

Re: Editorial March 21, 2018 “Lowered voting age is only a matter of time”

Your recent editorial supports lowering the voting age to 16, saying those who disagree on the basis that teenagers lack knowledge and experience are presenting an argument that doesn’t “hold water.” The editorial goes on to say that the reason for this is that many adults also lack the necessary knowledge and experience that allows them to make an informed vote. But this is also a bucket full of holes – it’s like saying two wrongs make a right.

And if we take this stance to its logical conclusion, then why not lower the age to 14, or 10, or even kindergarten? In fact, it implies that anyone who is capable of scrawling an “X” on a piece of paper should have a vote.

If anything, the voting age should be increased to 21, not lowered to 16. Young people who still live at home and who have completed a single course in social studies are hardly equipped to make informed political decisions based on their knowledge and experience. While I have no doubt that some teenagers are better informed than some adults, I would disagree that most teenagers are better informed than most adults. Generally speaking, there is a close correlation between age and wisdom. So putting the voting age up to 21 at least increases the probability of a better informed electorate.

To suggest that “the steady march of progress” relies on giving teenagers the vote is entirely without merit. If we want real progress in democracy, it’s time to find a way to get better representatives.

Being a politician is the only job left where no qualifications are needed.

Mark Blackham,

Port Alberni

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