16-year-old who can't vote builds voting app instead
Laef Kucheran is behind app and website VoteMate.org which condenses essential campaign info
At 16 years of age, Laef Kucheran is too young to vote.
So instead, he's helping others vote smarter with an app and website he designed to inform them about the election, the parties and their positions on the issues.
The Grade 10 student at Inquiry Hub Secondary in Coquitlam built VoteMate.org as a way to condense essential information for people who want to find it quickly.
"I've always been interested in politics and democracy and current affairs, but I see a lot of other people … don't have the same interest all the time," he told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
"A lot of that's because they don't know enough right now, but they don't have the time to know, either. … It's not because they're not smart. It's because they don't have the time to learn."
VoteMate.org has platform breakdowns for all the major parties and some minor ones as well. The information is uploaded by the parties and voters can compare those platforms side-by-side to see which parties or candidates' views closest align with their own.
Easy to be cynical
Kucheran says, despite his age, his interest in politics isn't unusual. Other friends his age, he says, are similarly interested even though they won't be casting ballots on May 9.
He thinks what's more important to people his age aren't necessarily the parties but the issues, and many young people are passionate about specific issues.
"That interest is maybe taken away over time as you do have to find a job and pay taxes and find a home and so on," he said. "You no longer have time to be interested and passionate about the issues you care about."
He also thinks, as time goes on, it's easy for people to grow cynical. Young people like himself, he says, tend to be more optimistic.
But for the record, he doesn't see himself getting into politics personally anytime soon.
Listen to the complete interview with Laef Kucheran:
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast