Voting at 16? Marois finds inspiration in Scotland’s decision to lower voting age for referendum
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois talks to the media after meeting with French President, Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Published Sunday, January 27, 2013 5:12PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 8:52AM EST
MONTREAL—Speaking from London, Pauline Marois said that she was inspired by a decision by Scottish colleague Alex Salmond to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds during a referendum on independence next year.
At a party convention last year, Marois’ Parti Quebecois indicated that it was in favour of lowering the voting age to 16—the decision made during a time of social upheaval due to ongoing student conflicts in Quebec. The stance to lower the voting age was not part of the PQ’s platform for the September election.
Responding to criticism from the opposition in Quebec, Marois said that Salmond’s support for a similar measure legitimized her position. “That means that it isn’t such an unacceptable idea after all,” the premier said with a smile.
On Tuesday, Marois met with Salmond at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.
Commenting on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum in 2017 on the United Kingdom’s continued membership in the European Union, Marois said she was stirred that the British “aren’t afraid of referendums” and see them as a “legitimate democratic tool.”
Marois’ remarks on Sunday were delivered from the observation deck of The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union.
—With files from The Canadian Press.