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Should the voting age be lowered to sixteen?

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Aniqa Aslam Voting At 16 Should the voting age be lowered to sixteen? I believe that sixteen-year-olds should be granted the right to vote. I also believe it is important teenagers are involved; otherwise, politics will be dead by the next generation. UK citizens won't vote, join political parties or give their opinions so there won't be any point in the UK being a democracy. Over 1.5 million sixteen and seventeen-year-olds are denied the vote in the United Kingdom. I believe this needs to be changed. In the UK, sixteen-year-olds are permitted to leave school, work full time, pay taxes, leave home, get married and join the armed forces. If at sixteen, people become "adults" and take control of their own lives, why aren't they deemed responsible enough to vote? This is taxation without representation; one of the same things the Revolutionary War was fought over. The United Kingdom isn't the first country to consider lowering the voting age. Since 1984 the following eight countries or provinces have lowered their voting age: Nicaragua, Brazil, Estonia, Isle of Man, Austria, Guernsey, Jersey and Ecuador. Other countries with the lower voting age include Brunei, Cuba, Philippines (if married) ...read more.


Are they interested? The UK Youth Parliament currently has over 600 members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) and in these elections; over 1,000,000 votes were cast in elections between 2006 and 2009. In 2008, 565,802 young people cast a vote in the elections, with 1,625 standing as candidates from across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Children and Young People's Assembly for Wales currently has a Grand Council consisting of 100 young people. According to a survey I carried out, more than 60% of the students who participated thought that sixteen-year-olds weren't interested in politics yet, only 41% of adults believed this. But acceding to a questionnaire carried out on the same students, more than 70% think that they would be interested in politics if they were allowed to vote. The majority of sixteen-year-olds aren't interested in politics but this may be because they aren't given the chance to get involved in politics. If they are given the opportunity to vote and have their say - like the teenagers involved in UKYP - they might grow to enjoy politics. If sixteen-year-olds are responsible enough to vote, will their votes be beneficial, and will they make the right decisions for our country? ...read more.


A survey shows that most people don't become aware of political issues and the need to vote until they reach 18 but if young people knew they would be able to vote by sixteen, they would pay more attention to the country's problems and feel the desire to vote. To conclude, in my opinion, I have proved my hypothesis because there may be many arguments against granting sixteen-year-olds the vote but they should still be given the benefit of the doubt and have the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and opinions. If sixteen-year-olds are given the vote, they will not only represent themselves, but the entire youth of the UK. Preventing sixteen and seventeen-year-olds from expressing their political views through the ballot box gives them - and the rest of society - the impression that young people's views are somehow not important. We should increase the diversity of the electorate because sixteen-year-olds are ready to vote and the right time is now. "My concern is that there's a generation of young people who are never going to get into the voting habit... we've got citizenship classes going on in schools... if people come straight out of the citizenship class into the polling station then there's continuity and that might be an opportunity for them to get the habit of voting. ...read more.

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