Lowering the voting age?

Don’t get me wrong. I know for a fact that if you gave some teenagers the right to vote this election, they would waste it on the Green Party just because they want to legalise marijuana, or vote for UKIP ‘just for the bants’. An awful lot of people my age could not care less if they had the right to vote or not. 

But then there are others. There will always be others. Teens who believe that since many political decisions made today affect us greatly (cough tuition fees cough) we should have the right to decide if that’s what we want. The government can’t keep making us pay and not giving us any say in the matter. 

I think that former labour leader, Ed Milliband was onto something when he proposed lowering the voting age to 16, and it was a good move for his campaign, earning him a lot of support from the younger generation. It was just a shame that we couldn’t vote for him. 

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party continuously   refuse to give under 18’s the vote, and in some ways I understand why. With their unjustified plans to triple tuition fees, no one in my generation would vote for them. But by disallowing us to make our own choices, they surely can’t expect us to choose them when we finally get that right in the near future.

On the other hand, let’s say young people are given the vote, Labour wins the election and by some miracle Jeremy Corbyn is able to abolish tuition fees. Then what? Where are we going to get that extra money from? Is it fair that young people are stripped from decisions for the overall wellbeing of the nation? Since we are merely dependants, should we have the right to make such major financial decisions, or should we leave that to the adults? 

It’s my belief that under 18’s should be given the vote. Regardless of irresponsible decisions that could possibly be made by an immature minority, it is unfair to assume that just because I am if a certain age, I hold no political opinion. I have seen first hand the way in which young people have been more engaged and excited by politics than many older members of society at a voting age. Is it not true that these people are also capable of making bad decisions? Spoiling their votes and voting for the Monster Raving Looney Party just because they don’t like anyone else? 

Young people who want to be able to vote, should be able to and that’s that. In 2016, it’s hard to accept that voting rights have not been drastically extended since women got the vote after the War. Wake up Britain. Young people are the future and shutting them out means simply that you are compromising that future. 

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8 thoughts on “Lowering the voting age?

  1. I had to wait until I was 21 before I could vote but I can still remember feeling really good about having the power to vote. My first vote in a general election went to Harold Wilson [Labour] and I have continued to vote ever since although not always for the Labour Party. I believe that the voting age should be the same as that at which a young person can join the armed forces, engage in consensual sex or get married. However, I don’t believe that the young voter would be any more likely to waste their vote than an older person. In fact, they may even vote better as they are not so burdened by the “conventional wisdom” or ‘ common sense’ values that the middle-aged voter seems to value so highly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, I think that if you can marry your MP, have sex legally with your MP, fight for your country and have a child, you should also be considered mature enough to vote. I think that many older people are just as disengaged with politics and the way to engage young people, as the government is so desperately trying to do, is to lower the voting age to 16. 16-year-olds could vote in the Scottish Referendum and that didn’t lead to a global catastrophe did it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Given that youth voter turnout is terrible, giving the vote to 16 year olds seems inconsequential at worst, and at best it might start getting people to care more from an earlier age.

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