In today's Globe and Mail, there's a great piece by Elizabeth Renzetti about youth engagement in the upcoming Scottish independence referendum.
The voting age has been set at 16, and the results have been extraordinary.
"It’s not news that young people in Western democracies are generally not passionate about the political process – about issues, yes, and protests, too, but not the nuts and bolts of a system that seems irrelevant and combative."
"So far, about four-fifths of Scotland’s 16- and 17-year-olds have registered to vote – 100,000 people."
One reason we often hear when it comes to so-called "youth apathy", is that many young people feel that politicians aren't speaking to them about the issues they care about. In the Scottish referendum, that has changed:
"Both sides have taken their message to the teenagers: They hold open-mic nights and comedy shows, and set up booths at music festivals."
"Politicians, too, are turning up at high schools – not their normal stomping grounds – to debate the issues and listen to student concerns (everything from European Union membership to Internet trolling)"
"If nothing else, teens now know that politicians are real, and not demonic puppets only seen shouting at each other on the nightly news."
Is it time to look at a lower voting age in Canada? Would it increase youth participation? Join Unlock Democracy, and become a part of the growing conversation!
Read the full article in today's Globe here.