Our View: Vote early, vote young

Getting young people involved in politics will make for a better community.

Adding more people to the voter rolls in B.C. is a great idea.

The provincial government is seriously considering a proposal to pre-register youths for the voter rolls at age 16 and 17. When the turn 18, they’ll already be registered and ready to vote.

Young voters are by far the least inclined to cast a ballot, and that extends from the late teens up into the 20s.

Meanwhile, those flocking to the polls are disproportionately seniors and those in middle age.

That’s a serious problem for our democracy. We’re losing out on the perspectives of the young.

It would be nice if we could get this program implemented soon, before this October’s municipal elections.

If the crowd at the provincial and federal polls skews old, those voting for municipal politicians are even more likely to have a few grey hairs.

Municipal politics is often seen as the domain of the homeowner and the local business person.

But the decisions of municipal governments impact people at every stage of life – in terms of jobs, roads, parking, rental housing, parks, and rec facilities.

Langley has seen some young people get involved through advocacy and volunteering over the past decades, and they’ve made a real impact – it was young people who pushed hard for the new Youth Hub that is now up and running.

If more young people register to vote in this coming election, they can make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them, and help Langley become a community that is for everyone, from nine to 109.

– M.C.

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