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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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    Definitely not. I'm 17, and i don't have anywhere near enough knowledge about politics to make an informed decision. Also, you don't really have much experience of life and what you want. I do think that politics should be taught in school, more people would vote that way as they would be better informed and it wouldn't seem as confusing.
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    (Original post by dgeorge)
    Whether or not you're working should have no effect on whether you can vote or not.
    I didn't say working, I said responsibilities. You can't comment on something unless it affects you.

    For example, I think the pro-life/pro-choice argument is a debate solely for women - men won't experience it, so they have no business imposing upon others.

    Masses of students scream for free tuition yet ignore what that would do to taxes - which they aren't paying.

    Alex Salmond wants to extend the referendum to 16 year olds - because he knows that most of them will vote yes without realising exactly what that would mean for Scotland.

    No, it's NOT impossible to have a good grasp on life in school. How long have YOU been working may I ask?
    Five years, but it's not relevant.

    I've been in full time employment since 2006, and I first voted at 18, just out of A levels and going into university. I had quite the sufficient grasp on life to have been able to make an informed choice.
    Yes, after all you'd had to deal with all of the responsibilities of being an adult for a total of 0 years.

    The "level of responsibilities" shouldn't make a difference - it should be solely down to your ability to make a rational, informed decision
    See above. For the most part, 16 year olds will only serve as useful idiots.
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    My thanks to all of you who have voted and also to those of you who have expressed a view and an opinion. I would say that I am a little surprised at how big the no vote is, but I am glad now that I asked the question. I did have an interesting read at some of the reasons, both for the people who voted yes and who voted no and well I will only add that I voted yes and I still would but I do understand as to why there is quite some opposition.

    Lastly I would say that I do think we need to set one age in our country that defines when someone is an adult and perhaps this need not be 16, I could be wrong about that but whether it be 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 21, what is clear is, that it would certainly be more consistent on our part and in truth make a great deal more sense.
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    (Original post by Michael Locke)
    I didn't say working, I said responsibilities. You can't comment on something unless it affects you.

    For example, I think the pro-life/pro-choice argument is a debate solely for women - men won't experience it, so they have no business imposing upon others.

    Masses of students scream for free tuition yet ignore what that would do to taxes - which they aren't paying.

    Alex Salmond wants to extend the referendum to 16 year olds - because he knows that most of them will vote yes without realising exactly what that would mean for Scotland.


    Five years, but it's not relevant.


    Yes, after all you'd had to deal with all of the responsibilities of being an adult for a total of 0 years.


    See above. For the most part, 16 year olds will only serve as useful idiots.
    You can't comment on something unless it affects you.
    1. As a citizen of a country, then any decisions that are taken by it's leaders do affect you. They may be indirect, but they DO affect you.

    Masses of students scream for free tuition yet ignore what that would do to taxes - which they aren't paying.
    Either way, the voting public doesn't (usually) directly influence public policy. The politicians do. Therefore, it would be incorrect to believe that a policy which would be harmful to the public would suddenly be instituted because the public supports it. IIRC, the Lib Dems were not in favour of tuition being raised, but it's been tripled since the last government (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

    Alex Salmond wants to extend the referendum to 16 year olds - because he knows that most of them will vote yes without realising exactly what that would mean for Scotland.
    Politicians, in general, say whatever they feel will get them as many votes as possible. This extends from 16 to 60 - there is no age limit on people who are easily swayed by political rhetoric. In fact, I could argue that people get LESS logical about their political choices as they age.
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    I'm on the fence with this. I suggest a trial with this. For the next 5 elections, lower the age limit to 17 and see how the turnout is. If it proves popular, then yes, lower the age to 16. However, if it does not prove popular, return the age limit to 18.
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    should be changed to 17 as when you are 17 you are allowed to drive. not 16 however as it is too young. 17 however is not too young, as when youre 17 you can drive and play the lottery.
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    The thought of some dumb ass 16 year old having the ability to influence national policies is scary.
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    Even if you do accept there is a possibility that we should lower the voting age, I think chiefly there's an issue of priorities here. Firstly, huge swathes of young people who are just over 18 do not vote - far less proportionately than other age groups. We should be addressing that. So too should we be addressing citizenship education - huge swathes of young people seem woefully ignorant of British politics, probably moreso than in the past. Whilst two years will make no great difference to ignorance, it yet another area which I think should be looked at first.

    (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.
    That's utter nonsense. No-one under 18 is sent out to fight. You can join the Army at 16, but you are not thrown into the frontline where there are actual bullets.

    Besides the factual inaccuracy, it's also an absurd argument.
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    (Original post by ras90)
    The thought of some dumb ass 16 year old having the ability to influence national policies is scary.
    But even more dumb ass 82 year olds are ok?
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    (Original post by L i b)
    That's utter nonsense. No-one under 18 is sent out to fight. You can join the Army at 16, but you are not thrown into the frontline where there are actual bullets.

    Besides the factual inaccuracy, it's also an absurd argument.
    That is correct, but it could be argued that if you are old enough to legally practise with an assault rifle then you are capable of voting. Is the ability to use a gun proof that someone is capable of voting... ummm not really.

    Of course in reality a 16 year old doesn't have a clue about politics. Looking at it neither do 18 year olds, women or the stupid. So should we restrict people who we deem unable to form logical political opinions from voting? My mum voted for the Labour Party in the last election should she be voting really?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    But even more dumb ass 82 year olds are ok?
    I trust 82 year olds more than 16 year olds.
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    I find the political opinions of teenagers to be absurd, uninformed and often bat**** crazy, but the voting age is a major part of why the young are poorly represented in policy.
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    Actually the age you can be sent out to die is the same as our current voting age. So we don't need to change it to bolster the left wing ranks.
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    I think, in regards to age, if 16 becomes the limit of legal voting, it should be supported by an increased presence in the classroom! If 16 olds want to vote, they should be given every available chance to vote under their own conscience, and not with peers/friends/family (like I did, the first time I voted). I understand the viewpoint that "16 years olds don't care/have enough understanding" but the only way to change that is to GIVE them the knowledge. I know it's taught in citizenship but not nearly enough, and not in much depth; which will benefit them as future voters.

    If the govt. chooses to just bring the voting age down without any support, then we're likely to jsut get a large proportion of 'copycat' voters for the few years that it takes for young people to develop an understanding about govt., money, responsibility etc... to which, I would say, not all adults practice.

    I think that the quote "if you can die for your country, you should be able to vote in it" holds true, however, I would disagree with the premise and say that I think 16 years old should be able to vote and start the process into becoming a participant in a democracy (alongside paying taxes and NI) but not to risk their lives in warfare.
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    No. Apart from the very few who take part in Youth Parliaments etc. 16 year olds are not mature enough to vote.
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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.
    You can only join at 16 if you have parental consent.
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    (Original post by dgeorge)
    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?
    I'm curious as to how your political views have changed... do you mind sharing which parties you voted for? I fully understand if not.
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    (Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
    I'm curious as to how your political views have changed... do you mind sharing which parties you voted for? I fully understand if not.
    To be clear, I didn't vote in the UK

    :eek:

    but my home country. My political views have changed in that I no longer believe that there is such a thing as a party which is 100% true to it's beliefs. The vast majority of politicians are out for personal gain, and many often say contradictory things over the course of their political career in order to ensure simply that they hold on to power.

    If I had to define myself, I guess I would call myself a moderate liberal.

    (PS
    However, at home, there was a "Labour Party" in government (though I'm not sure if their idealougical values fit that of the UK Labour Party) which I was happy to vote out because they had won 6 elections in a row, with one person being at the helm for four of those terms, and his son being at the helm for the other two. The new party which I had voted is now beginning to show many cracks despite having campaigned on transparency and good governance)
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    I'm 16... but.. no.
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    Reminds me of a political cartoon I once saw. One Labour MP is saying "I think we should let 16 year olds vote", another Labour MP says "I think we should let those who were born yesterday vote".

    16 year olds have no grounding in the real world whatsoever. Heck, most 18 year olds are barely capable of making an informed decision! I think the age should be raised to say, 21 or even 25, but that's not going to happen any time soon I'm afraid.

    Also, if it were to go down to 16, would that be an instance of representation without taxation? Interesting.

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