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'The voting age should be lowered to 16'
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HausAlone
post Apr 23 2015, 04:52 PM
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A debate that has become more prominent in the build up to the elections next month, should the minimum age of voters be lowered from 18 (as it currently stands) to 16? Some parties have already said that they would lower the voting age if they came into power at the general election.

Lowering the voting age to 16 (voting FOR in the poll) could get younger people interested in politics and allow them to have a say about decisions that will be affecting them in their near future, such as university funding, the armed forces etc. Keeping the age limit as it is (voting AGAINST in the poll) prevents people that may not be fully aware of the political system to not have a say and it stops them making decisions on changes that only affect people from the age of 18 upwards.

Should people that are not yet officially "adults" have a say in how our country is run? Or should those with an interest in politics and a vision for how they want their country to be run by the time they turn 18, be able to begin shaping this?

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Klampus
post Apr 23 2015, 05:03 PM
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I'm against this.

I know there's arguments that it encourages more young people to vote, some people start working properly at the age of 16 and also that it's unfair to those who actively are interested in politics HOWEVER I just think that there's just not enough 16-18 year olds who have a grasp of politics. That's the case amongst many young people OVER the age of 18 so that needs to be combated first. I feel many 16-18 year olds may just vote on a couple of minor issues/policies or on who their family vote for/who they're told by others to vote for. Perhaps it would be better installing some sort of education programme that teaches young people about politics, preparing them for when they are eligible to vote.

I know there's also the argument that there was a high turnout for the Scottish Referendum amongst the age group but that's because there is a more obvious issue at stake than at elections.
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Styles Bilinski
post Apr 23 2015, 05:07 PM
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Tbh I don't think I'm clued up enough as it is and I'm 19.

I think if it were to happen that there should be more education regarding politics in schools. At the minute I'm saying against, but 16 year olds being affected in the near future is a very valid point. What would the turnout be anyway, this is something that could work both ways, a) if the turnout is going to be so low anyway, is it worth the hassle? but b) what's the harm in allowing those who do know enough vote whilst everyone else just doesn't bother thinking.gif
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April
post Apr 23 2015, 05:08 PM
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There's already a problem trying to engage the existing 'young' voters, let alone adding even more. The number one priority regarding voting should be to address voter turnout and encourage people already eligible to vote. The 2010 figures were shocking - only 50% of young voters actually bothered. It really saddens me that people waste their votes because 'it won't be make a difference' or they don't believe in any of the parties. The idea of fining people who don't show up is something I support (provided the person does not have a valid reason for not voting). This voter apathy needs to be addressed. Some sort of first-time voter education might be good as well, during young people's final year at Sixth Form / College. I imagine there's a massive chunk who simply don't know how/who to vote for.

What's even more sad is the turnout for local elections. Last year, I think just 36% for local and 43% for European. That's just so bad.
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HausAlone
post Apr 23 2015, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE(J▲hq @ Apr 23 2015, 06:07 PM) *
what's the harm in allowing those who do know enough vote whilst everyone else just doesn't bother thinking.gif

But then there is the third set of people that DO vote whilst still not knowing enough which i imagine would be a lot higher for younger voters.

QUOTE(April @ Apr 23 2015, 06:08 PM) *
The idea of fining people who don't show up is something I support (provided the person does not have a valid reason for not voting).

And for both of these points ^^, would you rather people that had no clue or interest in politics vote for a random party/who their parents tell them to vote for because they are effectively being forced to or face a fine? In an ideal world i'd rather have only people that know exactly what party they are voting for vote rather than forcing everyone to do it to boost stats and in turn skew the results because a number of the voters have no idea what they are doing.

On the debate in question i am against. I know full well that there isn't enough education given during school between 11-16 to even begin to allow people to make an informed decision (apart from for those that actively pursue an interest in the field) and it's only post 16-18 and beyond that this education actually begins. The years from 16-18 should definitely be spent education people so that they are ready in time for their first vote but not much is done at all unfortunately.
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poppet15
post Apr 23 2015, 05:16 PM
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My dad told me that he couldn't vote until he was 21 as in the 60s that was the minimum age for voting and many other things as well.
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April
post Apr 23 2015, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE(HausofKendrick @ Apr 23 2015, 06:15 PM) *
But then there is the third set of people that DO vote whilst still not knowing enough which i imagine would be a lot higher for younger voters.


No, don't take my comment out of context. After that I said that there needs to be education for young people to make an informed decision about who to vote for and how the system works.
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LexC
post Apr 23 2015, 05:19 PM
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I think it would need to go hand in hand with better political/citizenship education rather than on its own but provided all those conditions are met I'd be in favour of lowering the voting age. I don't buy the voting the same way your parents do as in my experience the child parent political allegiance of the people I know is half and half (and it's not as if those 24 months are the magical moments where everyone suddenly discovers what they believe in).

Although, having said that I don't think reducing the voting age is the biggest priority in this area, a few ideas that really ought to be bigger priorities are:

-Compulsory voting (see Australia/Belgium)
-A 'none of the above/Re-Open Nominations option
-Change the voting system so that more people are more confident their vote will actually have an impact on the result
-Technological improvements so people can vote in elections from home/online


This post has been edited by LexC: Apr 23 2015, 05:20 PM
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HausAlone
post Apr 23 2015, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE(April @ Apr 23 2015, 06:18 PM) *
No, don't take my comment out of context. After that I said that there needs to be education for young people to make an informed decision about who to vote for and how the system works.

That was aimed at Jack's point ohmy.gif i was talking about your idea of fining people that didn't vote - whether you educate them or not, there will be people of ANY and every age that are not clued up enough to vote and i'd rather they didn't vote just because there is a risk of being fined.
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Nadolig Llawen!
post Apr 23 2015, 05:21 PM
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Against. 18 is about right for young people who are clued in on the subject. I'd imagine the majority of young people don't even begin to become interested in politics until they're 16 anyway. It's then when they realise how much politics actually affects them and 2 years isn't really too much longer to wait yet long enough for you to get yourself educated on the issues/parties.

Also, I cast my mind back 10 years and 2 general elections ago. I was 16 and only 4 months off 17. I was way to busy with school work to entertain the possibility of voting. Most 16 year olds have too much else to worry about at the time.


This post has been edited by T Boy: Apr 23 2015, 05:25 PM
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Rooney
post Apr 23 2015, 05:23 PM
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I am firmly in the NO camp.

Lex I think you make good points - however I would shocked if we ever went to online voting. Mainly because it is so easy to hack / exploit, no matter how much money you put in to the technology. I can't see it ever happening. Although I agree it would probably help to boost levels in younger people.
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April
post Apr 23 2015, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Apr 23 2015, 06:19 PM) *
I think it would need to go hand in hand with better political/citizenship education rather than on its own but provided all those conditions are met I'd be in favour of lowering the voting age. I don't buy the voting the same way your parents do as in my experience the child parent political allegiance of the people I know is half and half (and it's not as if those 24 months are the magical moments where everyone suddenly discovers what they believe in).

Although, having said that I don't think reducing the voting age is the biggest priority in this area, a few ideas that really ought to be bigger priorities are:

-Compulsory voting (see Australia/Belgium)
-A 'none of the above/Re-Open Nominations option
-Change the voting system so that more people are more confident their vote will actually have an impact on the result
-Technological improvements so people can vote in elections from home/online


I agree with your improvements. First past the post is an awful system and I'm gutted the UK decided against AV in 2011. That's something which could've made a massive impact in such a close election like this. Also, online voting would definitely encourage a lot more people I think. Look at the effect of online registration, many people were registering just one minute before the deadline on Monday.

Also, just to add, we must never have a repeat of the situation in 2010. If there's still people queuing to vote at 10pm, let them in to vote! It's their fundamental right and the world isn't going to stop if the poll has to close 30 minutes late because a few people were still in the queue.
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LexC
post Apr 23 2015, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE(Rooney @ Apr 23 2015, 06:23 PM) *
I am firmly in the NO camp.

Lex I think you make good points - however I would shocked if we ever went to online voting. Mainly because it is so easy to hack / exploit, no matter how much money you put in to the technology. I can't see it ever happening. Although I agree it would probably help to boost levels in younger people.


You'd be surprised, there's systems/apps that allow people to do online banking from your smartphones and as far as I know that technology hasn't suffered any major hacking/security problems The technology is there it'll probably just take at least 10 years before it's fully ready to implement.
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Slade
post Apr 23 2015, 05:29 PM
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Against. I am 17 until August, so will not be able to vote.

I personally see this as a pretty 'adult' decision, and that this should be kept as one of the (non-drunken) benefits of turning 18, when you're deemed officially an adult.

Talking from the experience of my own school, we have had virtually no teaching on Politics (aside from those who study the subject) until a couple of weeks ago; there was an assembly especially for us, as the vast majority of my year group will be eligible. Small sample size of course, but this is a pretty poor amount of awareness pre-18 to be clued up, if you do not actively follow Politics.


This post has been edited by Jade: Apr 23 2015, 06:00 PM
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Liаm
post Apr 23 2015, 05:48 PM
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I'm against as things are. Again I'm just drawing from my own experience but I know about two people who firmly know who they're voting for (out of my age group anyway)... We've had NO input from school, not an assembly or anything. Everything I know is from seeking it out myself, that's how I formed my opinions. I agree that this is an adult decision, I don't even feel I am ready now and this is at 18. At 16 I could barely vote on small prom features or a class representative properly, let alone for a political party to rule our country!


I'd say lowering the age could work if there was political education for all in PDC (or whatever you guys call it, it's different in schools even within my area let alone around the country!), but I still think that 16 year olds aren't mature enough for decisions like that. In a smaller way, it also feels like a rite of passage when you're 18 and that should stay as it is.
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Qassändra
post Apr 23 2015, 05:56 PM
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So against. In honesty, if I were starting the system from scratch I'd genuinely have the voting age set at 21 again.
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t=SpunderfulXmas
post Apr 23 2015, 06:04 PM
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Unpopular opinion but I don't care for these sort of things tbh ohmy.gif
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Rooney
post Apr 23 2015, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Apr 23 2015, 06:28 PM) *
You'd be surprised, there's systems/apps that allow people to do online banking from your smartphones and as far as I know that technology hasn't suffered any major hacking/security problems The technology is there it'll probably just take at least 10 years before it's fully ready to implement.


This is something different though, plus the cost to to the government would be massive (and funded by us all of course) to source, fund & implement. There are people out there that would try to hack/disrupt the system, and then how do you get around 1 person potentially voting multiple times 'on behalf' of people?

I've no doubt it would increase participation, but the potential risks out weight the gains.
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liamk97
post Apr 23 2015, 06:16 PM
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The best way to find the answer is to actually ask 16-17 year olds whether they would like to vote and go with what the majority say. As a 17 year old myself, my stance is that I'm not too bothered by the fact I can't vote yet, but if I could, then I'd certainly get myself involved, research the parties and exercise my right to vote. I don't agree with the idea of fining people for not voting though. If someone doesn't want to vote, fine. That's their choice - just because someone has a right to do something, it doesn't mean they must.

Also, I think that any parties who say they'd lower the age are probably thinking more about how it benefits them more so than actually believing 16-17 year-olds should be able to vote.
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Umi
post Apr 24 2015, 03:24 PM
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I think the solution of "make people pay a fine for not voting, then educate them so they can" has too many unnecessary steps. That being... one unnecessary step. The fine. I think if people are educated they'll vote because they'll care when they know what's actually at stake with their vote. But it's difficult to educate apathetic people - live debates and such are excellent ways to give information to people but if the public don't care to watch things like that then there's only so much you can do. Maybe a fine would make them care, actually...
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