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Should The United Kingdom change the Voting age to 16?

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  • View Poll Results: Should The United Kingdom change the Voting age to 16?
    Yes
    60
    27.91%
    No
    155
    72.09%

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    Simple Yes or No Question, Should the voting age in The UK be changed to 16?

    What do we all think?

    If it helps in making your decision, I would like to point out that currently, In the UK the voting age is 18. Although in The Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the voting age is already 16.

    The main argument is that the voting age should be appropriate to ensure that the person is old enough to make an informed and independent choice. My question however is that how can this really truly be defined? I mean if we look at the various ages at which young people are allowed to legally do things in the UK, we find that there really isnt any consensus on at what age someone really becomes an adult.

    Indeed if we note that right across the UK the legal age of consent is now 16 years old. The legal age to marry in the uk is 16 in Scotland and 18 (or 16 with parental consent) in the rest of the UK.

    The legal age required to purchase alcohol in the uk is 18, although between the ages of 5 and 17, it is legally permissible for children to drink alcohol at home or at a friend's house with the permission of a parent or legal guardian.

    The legal age at which a person is able to drive in the UK, is 17.

    The legal age to purchase tobacco in the UK is 18, but yet the legal age to smoke it is 16.

    The legal age at which someone may join the army in the UK is 16 (although under 18 year olds, require their parents permission).

    The age of Criminal Responsibiilty in the UK is 12, (This is when a child becomes criminally responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions and so from the age of 12 onwards, individuals are then considered an adult in the eyes of the law. Therefore, all punishment given by the courts or other law enforcement agencies will rest solely upon them.

    The age at which Parental responsibility ends in the UK is when the child reaches the age of 16.

    A young person in the UK must stay in school until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turned 16. After that they are legally allowed to work Full-time and therefore legally required to pay Tax and National Insurance contributions.

    In the UK there are also different levels of National Minimum Wage, depending on a persons age.

    The current rates (from 1 October 2011) are:

    •£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
    •£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
    •£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
    •£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

    To be elected to the House of Commons, A person must be aged 18 or over, but to sit in the House of Lords, a person must be 21 or over.

    So after reading all that you may be asking what have all these legal ages got to do with the age of voting? Well it is my opinion, they have everything to do with it, because if we take into account all of the above facts about legal ages in the uk, it seems that when it comes to our laws, we really are all over the place in our legal viewpoint for when we consider someone old enough or responsibile enough for their actions.

    I am 23 and so I have no real benefit in the goverment lowering the voting age to 16 but it is something that I would support and something that I would vote Yes on (furthermore If it was up to me I would make 16 the legal age for everything but that is a topic for another day). But my main aim for asking this question is to find out what each of you think? Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

    All debate and points of view are welcomed
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    I remember on some BBC programme they said "if you are old enough to die for your country then you are old enough to vote". People are allowed to join the army at 16 therefore yes it should be lowered.
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    I'm probably going to make myself very unpopular but no way.
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    No, if anything I'd raise it to at least 21. I've found political views tend to change once the person in question has been paying taxes for a while.
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    Isn't that another thing the lib-dems promised but went back on once they got into power?
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    No it shouldn't be allowed.

    The voting will be bias because the majority of 16/17 year old's don't understand politics well enough. An example of this is when they hate on the government for raising the yearly tuition fee's for universities. Most of my friends think you need to pay the 27k figure back within a few years of graduating.

    Also, Theresa May proposed a minimum price per-unit of alcohol. That's hardly going to go down well with the 16/17 year old's who only care about getting drunk on a Friday/Saturday night. Hence, that will disadvantage the conservatives.

    Another aspect we have to consider is that they will be brainwashed/pressurised/influenced to vote for the party that their parents are voting for.

    I suppose if the government were to introduce politics into the national curriculum then perhaps we could lower the minimum age of voting, but even then, youngsters will still be influenced.

    (Original post by Michael Locke)
    No, if anything I'd raise it to at least 21. I've found political views tend to change once the person in question has been paying taxes for a while.
    Yeah, I agree.
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    (Original post by Michael Locke)
    No, if anything I'd raise it to at least 21. I've found political views tend to change once the person in question has been paying taxes for a while.
    Perhaps we should also have an age limit so that retired people cannot vote as they also do not pay taxes.
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    (Original post by XxelliexX)
    Isn't that another thing the lib-dems promised but went back on once they got into power?
    Last time I looked it was a Coalition Government...
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    no
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    I think it's silly how there's different ages for everything in the UK. For example: lottery tickets at 16, drinking at 18, marriage (with parental consent) at 16, driving at 17 etc
    Make everything 18 and be done with it. There should be a set age when someone changes from a minor to a fully responsible adult, it shouldn't be staggered.
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    (Original post by Sagacious)
    No it shouldn't be allowed.

    The voting will be bias because the majority of 16/17 year old's don't understand politics well enough. An example of this is when they hate on the government for raising the yearly tuition fee's for universities. Most of my friends think you need to pay the 21k figure back within a few years of graduating.

    Another aspect we have to consider is that they will be brainwashed/pressurised/influenced to vote for the party that their parents are voting for.

    I suppose if secondary schools were to introduce politics into the national curriculum then perhaps we could lower the minimum age of voting, but even then, youngsters will still be influenced.
    Hardly the majority, most 16 year olds can think for themselves. There's a bit of politics (relevant politics) in Citizenship and that's in the national curriculum
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    I may sound ignorant but whats all the hype about 16 year olds wanting to vote?
    its not like thier one vote is going to change the country #justsaying
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    (Original post by Michael Locke)
    No, if anything I'd raise it to at least 21. I've found political views tend to change once the person in question has been paying taxes for a while.
    Yeah let's make it so just the rich can vote.
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    (Original post by Setanta23)
    .
    I voted yes.

    I understand people saying that under 18s won't take it seriously, but honestly that is also true for many over 18s. There certainly isn't a magic switch that flips when someone turns 18! I know the line has to be drawn somewhere but I think 16 is an appropriate place.

    I also think that if a 16 or 17 year old doesn't have an interest they are more likely to just not vote than to vote for a random person. In essence, I think the opportunity would only really be taken by those who have thought through the issues properly. It would also bridge the gap between young people and voting age a little more so that their views are represented.

    xxx
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    (Original post by Sagacious)
    No it shouldn't be allowed.

    The voting will be bias because the majority of 16/17 year old's don't understand politics well enough. An example of this is when they hate on the government for raising the yearly tuition fee's for universities. Most of my friends think you need to pay the 27k figure back within a few years of graduating.

    Also, Theresa May proposed a minimum price per-unit of alcohol. That's hardly going to go down well with the 16/17 year old's who only care about getting drunk on a Friday/Saturday night. Hence, that will disadvantage the conservatives.

    Another aspect we have to consider is that they will be brainwashed/pressurised/influenced to vote for the party that their parents are voting for.

    I suppose if the government were to introduce politics into the national curriculum then perhaps we could lower the minimum age of voting, but even then, youngsters will still be influenced.



    Yeah, I agree.


    Anyone who votes Tory doesn't understand politics well enough.
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    (Original post by Michael Locke)
    No, if anything I'd raise it to at least 21. I've found political views tend to change once the person in question has been paying taxes for a while.
    I don't see why changing political views should stop anyone from being a voter?

    I've changed many of my views from since I was 21 (I'm 26 now) does that mean I shouldn't have voted in the previous 2 elections that I did?
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    I think no, but that's not a strongly held opinion. I just think 18 is an appropriate age, but I don't think it would be the end of the world if they lowered it.

    What I think is absolutely wrong is lowering it right before an upcoming election or referendum, because the party making that decision will obviously be doing it to further their own agenda rather than because they think it's right. So I don't think lowering the voting age right before (or especially for) the Scottish independence referendum is right. I'd say that's actually anti-democratic because it's manipulating the electorate to favour the ruling party. It's a bit like gerrymandering but using age.
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    (Original post by kpwxx)
    I voted yes.

    I understand people saying that under 18s won't take it seriously, but honestly that is also true for many over 18s. There certainly isn't a magic switch that flips when someone turns 18! I know the line has to be drawn somewhere but I think 16 is an appropriate place.

    I also think that if a 16 or 17 year old doesn't have an interest they are more likely to just not vote than to vote for a random person. In essence, I think the opportunity would only really be taken by those who have thought through the issues properly. It would also bridge the gap between young people and voting age a little more so that their views are represented.

    xxx
    Agreed. There's no magic switch between 16 and 18. Personally, I see no concrete reason (except for the fact that you aren't legally an adult) why it shouldn't be lowered
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    (Original post by internetguru)
    I remember on some BBC programme they said "if you are old enough to die for your country then you are old enough to vote". People are allowed to join the army at 16 therefore yes it should be lowered.
    correct me if im wronb tu whilst you can join the army at 16 im sure youre not aloud to see active service untill youre 18?
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    (Original post by translucent)
    Hardly the majority, most 16 year olds can think for themselves. There's a bit of politics (relevant politics) in Citizenship and that's in the national curriculum
    Whilst they can 'think for themselves', they will still be influenced.

    Imagine this;

    Bob has a mother, father, uncle and brother who all love and vote for party x. However, they hate party y and deem them as the evil party.

    If Bob then walked in and said 'I'm thinking of voting for party y', he would be questioned and persuaded to vote for party x. Whilst a few teenagers would be able to defend their views, most would cave in and be influenced (this relates back to the lack of knowledge of politics).

    Think about it, his family are going to point out all the 'bad things' that party y have done and then brag about all the good things that party x have done.

    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Anyone who votes Tory doesn't understand politics well enough.
    Please go and bash a political party elsewhere. Or at east don't quote me, thank you.

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