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Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

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  • View Poll Results: Should the voting age be lowered to 16 in the UK?
    Yes, it should be lowered to 16.
    48
    24.12%
    No, it should remain at 18.
    134
    67.34%
    No, it should be increased from 18.
    17
    8.54%

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    I've just read that this week is 'Votes at 16 Action Week' - a national campaign to get support for an e-petition to lower the voting age to 16.

    What do you think of this? Should the voting age be lowered to 16? Are 16 year old's in a position to be able to make the decision on how to vote? Is it fair not to let them vote? Will a lower voting age lead to increased political engagement for young people?
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    (Original post by RK)
    I've just read that this week is 'Votes at 16 Action Week' - a national campaign to get support for an e-petition to lower the voting age to 16.

    What do you think of this? Should the voting age be lowered to 16? Are 16 year old's in a position to be able to make the decision on how to vote? Is it fair not to let them vote? Will a lower voting age lead to increased political engagement for young people?
    No. Many 16-year-olds are not mature enough to be making decisions relating to the politics of the country.
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    if there are going to be decisions made like cutting EMA that effect the age group directlythen we should be able to vote.
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    Have you ever seen Young Voters Question Time!? Of course it shouldn't be lowered! If anything it should be raised.
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    absolutely not. It's hard enough for adults to decide who should run the country, let alone allowing 16 year olds to do it. As Mazzini says, they simply wouldn't be mature enough for that sort of decision.
    Whilst we're at it, the age of consent should be raised to 18. If somebody isn't mature enough to drive or vote, they sure as hell aren't mature enough to raise a child.
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    (Original post by ccfcadam36)
    if there are going to be decisions made like cutting EMA that effect the age group directlythen we should be able to vote.
    Maybe we should let toddlers vote too, seeing as how the government is making so many decisions lately regarding Child Benefit.
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    No it shouldn't that would terrible did it ever come to be possible I say keep it the way it is don't wish for change that you don't really want. Rant over

    After reading some people's posts that want to be able vote at 16 might as well have baby's voting too if they decide to let the young teenagers in the process.
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    I think adults should only be allowed to vote, because they're less likely to be lived through by their parents being rational and use emotive language to tell them what to do. It's like the SNP in Scotland, they want 16 year olds voting because they'll vote for them because they've been brainwashed into thinking that they're being occupied by England. I don't understand how young minds, i.e. kids, are meant to have better understanding that those with greater experience, i.e. adults.
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    The voting age is appropriate at this time. I believe that it should not be lowered as 16 year olds should have education prioritorised. Also they are still not classed as adults, as many age limits pass once a person turns 18 years of age. Furthermore, they will still be growing up and trying to make important decisions about their lives by finding and establishing the start of their future. There are many opportunities for younger people to engage with politics 9such as MUN as one example). In the case of the cuts to EMA, 16 year olds are, in the majority, not paying taxes and, again in the majority, will not have a sense of the value of money. However, I do believe more can be done through the schools themselves to encourage a political interest among young people to prepare them when they turn voting age.
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    (Original post by Mazzini)
    No. Many 16-year-olds are not mature enough to be making decisions relating to the politics of the country.
    But many are mature enough. I knew who I wanted to vote for at 16, politics affects young people as well so I absolutely think the voting age should be lowered.
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    Tbh, I think they should pass a test or something to prove they take enough notice of politics to deserve the vote.
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    No, unless there was a radical change in educating young people about politics. I try to keep up with what's happening via the news, but the schools would need to take some sort part in making sure pupils knew what they were voting for. I know that a year ago I wouldn't have been able to make an informed decision if someone asked me who I wanted to vote for!

    Also, in regards to the SNP, I believe that the main aim behind their campaign to get under 18's voting is purely to try and gain independence votes by exploiting a 'Braveheart' mentality possesed by many young people in Scotland, those who are anti-English for no good reason. My school recently had an assembly on the independence referendum, and we were given no facts whatsoever on the pros and cons of each choice. All we got was a 5 minute video of 'important moments in Scottish history' with a marching beat in the background... very informative.
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    (Original post by Cybele)
    But many are mature enough. I knew who I wanted to vote for at 16, politics affects young people as well so I absolutely think the voting age should be lowered.
    I knew who I wanted to vote for at the last election and I was only 14 then. Politics affects most people in one way or another, be it cutting Child Benefit or a parent's JSA. But does this mean everyone should be able to vote? I think not.
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    I think it should stay at 18.
    Once you lower something, it's very hard to raise it again.
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    No. Too many are ill-informed.

    God only knows what their motives are, especially as many are left wing lunatics or BNP fanatics.
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    I imagine I am much more well informed than some of the adults allowed to vote, at 17, the voting age should be lowered to 16 and some form of aptitude test should be introduced for year 11s. Those that fail the aptitude must wait a year or other appropriate time period to retake, from there on until a pass is obtained the teenager or adult should be denied the vote.

    Now althought this method may be costly and eliminate a large proportion of the voting population, it would be fairer and would allow those at 16 (need I remind you that this age group can join the armed forces?) to vote.

    Also the point about the age of consent is completely proposterous, 'If somebody isn't mature enough to drive or vote, they sure as hell aren't mature enough to raise a child.' In fact, the whole idea of there being a cut-off point for maturity is ridiculous. Though note how this person also claims that this is a reason for increasing the age of consent, it isn't. If teenagers, like anyone else, use contraception, which they do, then this is no argument for raising the age.

    If any limit were to be set on the right to have a child, it should be household income. Too often people have children without being in the situation to support them financially.

    Furthermore, the word 'maturity' is thrown about too much nowadays as an excuse to say 'you're not old enough.' Unfortunately, it is often people that perpetuate this invalid argument that let their age group down.
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    Definitely. At the age of 16 me and many of my friends started to become interested in politics, and started to develop our views on how the country is run.

    Many of you seem to be saying that 16 years are not mature enough to vote. When I was 16, I was confident that myself and the vast majority of my school year were more mature than many adults that I know. Just because somebody is 18 or older doesn't ensure maturity. Here's one potential situation: a 16 year old student achieving A*/A's, who is sensible and law abiding, or a violent 35 year old, who is an alcoholic, unemployed and contributes little to society.

    If the 16 year old isn't mature enough, then they won't bother to waste their free time voting in matters which they don't understand.
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    (Original post by Mazzini)
    No. Many 16-year-olds are not mature enough to be making decisions relating to the politics of the country.
    Neither are a lot of adults.
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    I would say no because that would mean there would be people who are in year 11 been able to vote. At the very least one should complete compulsory education before been allowed to vote.
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    I don't agree with some of the comments above, yes it's fair to say many 16 year olds aren't mature enough to vote, but they won't be the ones voting! It takes effort to sign up and place a vote so clearly only the ones who are genuinely have a political opinion will bother. Most of my 16 year old friend wouldn't vote, but the ones that would understand what they're voting for and have a genuine interest!

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Updated: March 7, 2012
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