Should The Voting Age Be Lowered To 16?
Many people say young people's voice need to be heard. And voting is a great way to do this. But would lowering the age to 16 be the right way to go? Say what you think below!
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
They deserve to have a say.
If a sixteen year old can join the Arm forces, then the right to vote should be allowed.
If the voting age is lowered to 16, then politics could become a GCSE course, meaning they will be fully prepared at an early date, ready for an election if they are 16 for example.
and if it should be different or be changed. They can't just vote or it won't come fair as they may not know how the world is being run by government at this time.
Even if they are able to join the armed forces, its a voluntery job. You do not need a certain responsibility to join the forces. Its to simply serve your country.
Starting a class around this may disrupt education of other important subjects they have/choose to do. Its a whole other section of learning and one which is unnecessary to have on your shoulders at the same time as GCSE time.
YES, give them the rights they deserve!
This isn't just affecting you guys because you are old enough to vote. David Cameron has ruined this country and let the people of Britain down if we where aloud to vote then we could of changed that, for the better of Britain and the folks that live here!
Thank you for reading my viewpoint.
If we do let a group of 16 years old vote, and we ban another group of 16 years old from voting, then the problem of injustice will arise. Protests are likely to be sparked.
From your argument, it can be seen that your only reason for lowering the voting age to 16 is that "David Cameron ruined this country". But it is unfair, if not dangerous, to damage existing voting system and democracy to exercise one group's political views.
It would get younger people interested in politics
(Speaking mainly from a U.S. standpoint): Many young people do not even know the history of their own country, let alone the history of other countries. They do not understand the different systems of government in the world and the history of those governments, some of which led to the deaths of millions of people! I hear many young people say history is "irrelevant and meaningless", but nothing could be further from the truth! To paraphrase, "Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it" could well apply to many young people today, as well as some older people, who have not bothered to learn history, or learn the Constitution, or learn about particular issues. People, these things CAN be a matter of life and death - the difference between being free or being a slave, between living under a freely elected leader or dying in a camp under a dictator!
If young people want to get involved in politics, they should start at a local level as a volunteer. In the meantime, get educated and experienced before taking the important step of voting!
and also at the age of 16 you can choose to have sex it is legal to have sex at 16 which is a big responsibility in its self also as you can have sex you can choose whether to have a baby which would make you a parent and on all the medicines and food if you are over 10/13 you are classed as a adult so why can’t they have the opportunity to vote?
Can you please specify these qualities that at 16 year old lacks.
Furthermore how is it argued or by whom? by you? painstakingly not you create a logical fallacy by saying because 16 year olds do this they should be able to do that. My 12 year old nephew can run does that mean he should be able to participate in a marathon? obviously not because he lacks certain qualities that it takes to run a marathon just like 16 year olds lack certain qualities to vote at 16
"The exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from elections is fuelling the disengagement of 18-24 year olds. The longer young people are denied involvement in the formal democratic process, the less chance there is of engaging them ever. There is no evidence to suggest that once 18, young people are likely to become more engaged." - Electoral Reform Society
"In 2002, Citizenship was introduced as a compulsory subject as part of the English National Curriculum. At Key Stage 3 young people are taught about the electoral system and the importance of voting, central and local government, and the key characteristics of parliamentary and other forms of government. At Key Stage 4 they explore the actions citizens can take in democratic and electoral processes to influence decisions locally, nationally and beyond the operation of parliamentary democracy within the UK, and of other forms of government, both democratic and non-democratic, beyond the UK. Whilst young people are some of the only citizens to be educated about the voting system, they are denied the right to use this knowledge for at least two further years and anywhere up to seven years." - Electoral Reform Society
At present, a child will usually leave school at 16. They are leaving an environment where political issues can be discussed and debated, increasing their interest in politics. Once they have left school, they may have to wait up to 8 years before they have their first opportunity to vote at a general election. By this time, they have lost interest and are less likely to vote.
This matters because we don't want to look bad to other contries.
I will not respect any law if nobody in government will represent me whilst making it.
If 16 year olds can work and pay taxes they should be allowed to choose who governs and spends their tax money on their behalf.
You are one of the lucky few who, at the age of 16, knew what you were talking about. Most 16 year olds don't. Democracy is about majoritative rule. If most 16 year olds are uninformed and don't particularly understand or care about the results of elections, then they shouldn't get the vote.
Your voice is your vote- how can people expect the needs of under 18s to be met if their is no incentive (ie votes for the parties that help them)
Yes, on the face of it, if 16 year olds can "die for their country" and "get married and pay tax", they should also be allowed to vote. Yet, how informed are their decisions in dying for their country? In getting married and raising a family? Not very. So it would be with the lowering of the voting age. So rather than informing people, we should oppress this group because we don't like them.
Effected be the policy makers decisions
It is true that many 16 year olds are informed, clever, interested and desperate to make changes. However, these 16/17 year olds are a minority in this.
Don't really care
Most of 16-year-old teenage electorate don't care about politics and don't actually vote.
Besides, an immature 16-year-old may elect an unprepared candidate who gets the kid's vote with personal qualities and a manipulated and alienated speech
They are still maturing, and have not learned enough yet through education as well as experience to make fully informed decisions.
At an age when Americans are first considered adults, their brains are still maturing, a new study suggests.
Researchers at Dartmouth College scanned the brains of nineteen 18-year-old students who had moved more than 100 miles to attend school.
"During the first year of college, students have many new experiences," said psychologist Abigail Baird, the study's principal investigator. "They are faced with new cognitive, social, and emotional challenges."
A group of 17 older students, ranging in age from 25 to 35, served as a control group for comparison. The results showed that the freshmen students' brains underwent significant changes and were very different from that of the older adults.
The researchers believe the changes represent an increased awareness of the students' inner feelings and an improved ability to organize and integrate incoming sensory information; this synthesis helps shape the kinds of emotional and behavioral responses they have to new experiences.
The results are consistent with other research suggesting that the human brain continues to grow and mature right up to the point when we become adults and even beyond. In another study, researchers found that humans don't really develop the ability to handle multiple pieces of information at once until about the ages of 16 or 17.
"The brain of an 18-year-old college freshman is still far from resembling the brain of someone in their mid-twenties," said Craig Bennett, a graduate student who was involved in the new research. "When do we reach adulthood? It might be much later than we traditionally think."
(end of article). In fact, this research, although it doesn't address the issue of voting, suggests through extrapolation, that the age at which a person should be allowed to vote be RAISED instead!
Even if reducing the voting age were to reduce the turnout, it is preposterous that we should limit the franchise to avoid producing an embarrassing statistic.
There would be more people eligible to vote and hence the actual voting numbers would presumably increase, even if percentage turnout didn’t.
"Some people are concerned that lowering the voting age would lead to a lower turnout in elections, the theory being that a larger voting population made up of younger voters, who are currently less likely to vote, would reduce the overall turnout. However, analysis by the Electoral Reform Society shows that if 16-18 year olds turned out in the same proportion as the 18-24 age group, there would be virtually no effect on turnout. Even if not one 16-18 year old voted, overall turnout would drop by only 2%.
Women are less likely to vote than men, poor people less likely than the more affluent and people from minority ethnic groups less than white people. Nobody suggests that these lower turnout groups should have their voting rights removed. No one should suggest that some 16 and 17 year olds not voting is a good enough reason to deny the many that do want to vote." - Electoral Reform Society
Where to draw the line?
Does it really matter what the voting age is in other countries? This could even be an opportunity to take a lead and to inspire other nations to follow in our footsteps. We should certainly not leave the voting age at 18 because it’s ‘the norm’.
Inaddition, why should the fact that a 14-year old may be able to vote shock us, we trust children every day. Children as young as 13 can be trusted to handle rifles with live ammunition in the combined cadet force. But, they are institually irrational because of their date of birth until their 18th birthday.
Rights of the 16 year old are not as far reaching as supposed so they do not warrant the vote on the 'rights'/consistency argument
The Electoral Reform Society
Why should discriminatory laws mean that uner 18s cannot vote, when these laws in of themselves are justified by the inability to vote.
What do you think?