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    As much as in the case of the EU vote allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote would have helped my side, in principle I am against it. Quite simply, most people of this age are absolutely clueless about life in the real world and have had no experience in living alone and managing their own affairs. Sadly, there are a number of highly engaged young activists who have to surrender their right to vote despite being more than informed enough to do so, but overall I think it is a necessary sacrifice to deprive this minority in the interests of preventing the moronic majority from expressing opinions that lack basic research and reason in the ballot box. That isn't to say that I think all older people should necessarily have the right - there are still many people in their 20's, 30's etc that have the political awareness of a baked potato, so I would (at least in theory) be in favour of introducing a short test at the top of the ballot about basic political and economic affairs to ensure that only those who score above a certain % have their 'informed' ballots counted. This would be done in secret, so no individual will know whether or not their ballot counted. Admittedly, this would discourage turnout and could discriminate against people who do not have access to such information, and I certainly don't expect it to ever happen, but in theory it would boost the average 'quality' of votes, if there is such as thing.This is coming from someone who is 17, and hence was too young to vote in the EU referendum btw. In all honesty I'd prefer that the voting age be raised to 21, where the majority of people have finished uni or have been working for a few years so at least have some degree of life experience and increased time for mental development.
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    Just because they are legally allowed to do be thing, doesn't mean they ought to be allowed to do another.

    *Some sixteen year olds may be clever enough, mature enough, *and informed enough to vote, but then there are also a lot of scumbags, chavs etc who will not be.*

    So sixteen year olds can vote. Boohoo, get over it. Wait another two years like everyone else did. *
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    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    Absolutely 100% against it. I dont even believe 18 year olds should be able to vote due to a lack of experience and understanding of how the world works. Just look at the great majority of Bernie supporters: College/University educated people with very little understanding of politics and economics - despite their education.

    I know this is not possible, but around 30 seems a good age to make an educated vote.

    Also, whats next, 12 year old vote?
    It's not necessarily around lack of experience or understanding. If the eligibility to vote was based on that, we'd have some sort of testing to determine understanding of politics.

    It's more about a fundamental right to representation. Democracy isn't about knowledge, it's about having the power to represent your own interests. Or perhaps it's even weaker than that; it's about being able to get rid of a government who you feel isn't representing your interests. This is the case even if you make mistakes about what is in your interests. That's the human nature of politics.

    16 year olds can leave home, work and start a family. They therefore should have the right to represent their own interests.
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    There are a number of reasons why I believe the voting age should not be lowered.

    At 18 you can buy alcohol, cigarettes and adult movies. Journalists are considered an adult and are no longer your parents legal responsibility.

    At 16 you cannot move out of home without permission and proof of somewhere to go. You Can have sex and get married however you cannot legal watch/view pornography (clearly something is wrong here you can do it but can't watch others do it.

    Most people agree 16 is too young to drive, too young to be considered an adult. So why is it the right age to vote at.

    Voting is for adults you are an adult at 18 not 16.
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    (Original post by Professor Oak)
    It's not necessarily around lack of experience or understanding. If the eligibility to vote was based on that, we'd have some sort of testing to determine understanding of politics.

    It's more about a fundamental right to representation. Democracy isn't about knowledge, it's about having the power to represent your own interests. Or perhaps it's even weaker than that; it's about being able to get rid of a government who you feel isn't representing your interests.

    16 year olds can leave home, work and start a family. They therefore should have the right to represent their own interests.
    At 16 Children can leave home with permission and somewhere to go. They have to stay in education until they are 18 and they cannot be married without parental permission.
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    (Original post by Professor Oak)
    It's not necessarily around lack of experience or understanding. If the eligibility to vote was based on that, we'd have some sort of testing to determine understanding of politics.

    It's more about a fundamental right to representation. Democracy isn't about knowledge, it's about having the power to represent your own interests. Or perhaps it's even weaker than that; it's about being able to get rid of a government who you feel isn't representing your interests. This is the case even if you make mistakes about what is in your interests. That's the human nature of politics.

    16 year olds can leave home, work and start a family. They therefore should have the right to represent their own interests.
    Im a big fan of democracy, and unlike most other germans I would like to give direct democracy a try. The vast majority of my countrymen absolutely deteste the idea of that. They're literally afraid of a direct democracy. Seems like we Germans really love to be told what to do. Guided by someone who knows better than those filthy average plebs in the middle class (sarcasm). Personal responsibility? No chance.

    I also understand your stance, but you just adressed one of the oldest most fundamental issues in the history of democracy: who gets to vote?

    100-150 years ago women were not able to vote. There was a time when blacks were not able to vote. Those two examples are based on blatant racist and sexist discrimination.

    Now, what about a system where you have to prove in a test that you understand understand the basics of economics, politics and history? Would that be unjust descrimination? I dont know.
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    Glad to see lots of engaged responses from everyone. Here's some of my thoughts on some of the specific points...

    (Original post by h3rmit)
    There are immature people in all age groups, and you don't suddenly become more mature when you reach 18. And, it is younger people's future, and they deserve to have their say. All you can do is engage in mature discussion. Count me in.
    Glad to hear it

    (Original post by Elastichedgehog)
    If this was even a viable option there'd have to be some kind of mandatory political class in school. Seriously, I knew nothing about politics when I was 16.

    Edit: I think there should be anyway. I'm 18 and I'm still incredibly ill informed. Just a little less so because I've decided to read up on things.
    I think this mandatory education in politics/democracy is a good suggestion that has come up a couple of times now. That's the sort of thing that we could build into a proposal. And don't be so self deprecating - you have decided to read up - that puts you on a level with many of your adult peers already.

    (Original post by Pulse.)
    We would be giving the vote to feotuses if people like you truly had your way. Your only advocating giving the vote to 16 year olds because you know they will vote in a certain manner.
    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    My question is, where do you make the final line? You may aswell say that 10 year olds should be able to vote. The only real reason the current voting age is 18 in most western countries is because that is the age adulthood. If you go below that age you will have to make the cut-off age for voting somewhere else. Where will this be though?.
    I am proposing the change for 16 and forever, not for a single issue. That ship has sailed now.

    Clearly there has to be a lower age limit, and for me 16 is the right one for the reasons outlined. Scotland are already there/pushing it through, and Germany allow 16 for local elections, Austria 16, Brazil 16, Argentina, Channel Islands, Ecuador, all 16. So I think this is a progressive position not a revolutionary one.

    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    Age is not a direct indicator about how "smart" someone is when it comes to voting - thats right as far as Im concerned.

    There are loads of "stupid" old voters and loads of "stupid" young voters
    I agree

    (Original post by Drewski)
    I don't see what relevance being able to drive or fly planes has to being able to vote.
    They are responsible activities in which you have your life and the life of others in your hands. If you are responsible enough for that, then I think it supports the case that you are responsible enough to vote

    (Original post by Drewski)
    I think the word deserve is misused here, it implies that age group have done something that this is a reward for, when generally speaking that's not the case (and isn't the case for most people, regardless of age). Using "deserve" doesn't do your argument any good.
    Fair enough. Maybe the wrong choice of word.

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Some of the support team met up for some UCAS training a few weeks ago and said we do need some politics lessons in school. All I know about politics, I've learnt from the news, the web or my parents. I didn't vote because I didn't feel informed enough. But in the GE, I can go online and read each parties manifestoes.
    I do like this idea.
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    Completely against the idea of 16 year olds voting.
    The majority, if not all 16 year olds lack any form of life experience and maturity that would enable them to make any form of balanced, informed decision. No chance.I'm not saying that being 18 magically means you can indeed make an informed decision, as idiots will always be idiots, but I think as time goes by (from 16-18, and onwards) such people become a tad more aware and mature.I can't say I'd trust the future of the country in the hands of immature kiddies.
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    (Original post by ChrisN)
    They are responsible activities in which you have your life and the life of others in your hands. If you are responsible enough for that, then I think it supports the case that you are responsible enough to vote
    They're activities you learn by rote that don't require any individual thought.

    And I'm pretty sure you're not allowed passengers until you've passed various tests (not sure about mopeds on this) and I'm willing to bet you're not advocating inducing testing for voting, so still don't see how the activities are comparable.

    The army (and other forces) part is partially relevant - you're signing up to something you have no say in - but this again falls down. 16-18 yr olds are essentially given 2 years of training with no obligation to further service, they're strictly prohibited from any form of fighting, they're not allowed overseas (even to do adventurous training) and can choose to leave at any point.

    And if the argument really is coming down to "well, they're affected by a system they have no say in" then where do we draw the line? Fetus' are as well. Are you going to suggest a pre-natal vote?!
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    18 is when you are classed as an adult. 16 year olds arent adults. Why not let 15 year olds vote then
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    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    How exactly do "young people" get ****ed over when it comes to getting their voices heard? Literally all I hear is student protests here, student protests there, studentprotests everywhere. There are whining and *****ing "young" people around every corner, so I have no idea what you're on about.

    I'm talking about how politicians basically ignore the concerns of young people and focus on those who are older. Yes, that's because young people are less likely to vote, but if you raise the voting age then that age group will have zero turnout, which is a lot worse than below average turnout. Examples of the sort of thing I'm talking about include things like proposed changes to the benefits system which sometimes target younger people (there were plans before the general election to restrict benefits and that targeted people under either 21 or 25, but I'm not sure if anything came of it or not).

    If there is one age group that's sure to be overrepresented in every media outlet in every western country its "young" people......

    Highly debatable.

    Introduce a universal politics and economics test that is mandatory for anyone who wants to vote. This is, quite honestly, the only way to ensure a semi-educated vote. If you have no idea about politics or economics you have no right to vote as far as Im concerned. When we have such a test we can talk about letting 16 and 17 year olds into the voting booths.

    And how exactly are you going to do that, when a lot of things to do with politics are very complicated, questionable, and subjective? You would struggle to do that in an unbiased manner, and it could easily be abused. Not to mention the impact on turnout not just from those who wouldn't pass this hypothetical test but also from those who couldn't be bothered. And you're missing the point that voting is a right, not a privilege.
    Where the hell people dream up ridiculous ideas like this I don't know. It makes perfect sense to draw the line for the voting age at the point someone becomes a legal adult and has all the other associated rights and responsibilities. Never mind all this manadtory testing bs.

    I personally never said I wanted to lower the voting age (which I'm undecided on), just that it shouldn't be raised.
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    As a 17 year old, I am completely against it. Most 16-17 year olds are far too immature to form their own opinion and even 18 year olds are still too young to have the right to vote. The voting age should ideally be 21 but 18 is the current age and I'm fine with that- just don't bring the age limit even further down. No need whatsoever.
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    As someone who just turned 17, I'm of two minds about this.

    On the one hand, I'm very politically/economically educated, and read up a lot before the referendum. I believe that had I been allowed to vote, I would have made a fully informed decision. On the other hand, there are a lot of people my age (and of older ages) who, as others have said, haven't got the faintest clue about politics and economics (and the two are so intrinsically linked that you really can't mention one without the other).

    Therefore, I believe that anyone over the age of 16 should be allowed to vote - if they pass a mandatory test on rudimentary politics and economics, perhaps taken alongside GCSEs. Just as you can take GCSEs at any age if you register with a centre, the voting test should function the same way - this would allow people who didn't take GCSEs for whatever reason during their youth to register. Anyone who gets a grade 'C' or above will be eligible to vote when they're 16. Instead of repeating the same PHSCE topics every year, Year 11 could have this time dedicated to preparation for this test.

    Of course, teacher political bias would have to be accounted for - there are some teachers who have told me that anyone who votes Tory is evil and an awful person, although of course most teachers don't have, uh... such strong opinions which they pass onto their students. Maybe local councils could employ people who are trained to present neutral perspectives to go around and run sessions at schools?

    Any which way, (how is that an actual phrase ye lords) were any proposals to include some form of mandatory testing/education like this, I would be more than happy to campaign for this - count me in!
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    (Original post by RF_PineMarten)
    Where the hell people dream up ridiculous ideas like this I don't know. It makes perfect sense to draw the line for the voting age at the point someone becomes a legal adult and has all the other associated rights and responsibilities. Never mind all this manadtory testing bs.

    I personally never said I wanted to lower the voting age (which I'm undecided on), just that it shouldn't be raised.
    I adressed every single one of those points if you would've bothered to open your eyes, nevermind actually reading what I wrote.
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    In any system such as this, there has to be a series of cut-offs of who is and is not permitted to take part. Voting was originally limited to wealthy landowners, and as time has progressed the electorate has expanded significantly, largely through the campaigns of various figures over history. Of course there has to be a cut-off, but that is no reason to abstain from trying to bring about change in something in which you believe.

    Of course there are 16 and 17-year-olds who perhaps would be best not voting, but the same can be said about any age group. I know some 16-year-olds with more life experience than 50-year-olds. Whilst the general trend is that life experience increases with age, there are always going to be some outliers.

    Twitter is much better at providing a range of opinions that a newspaper. Newspapers are heavily biased politically - the Guardian is much more left-wing than the Sun, for example - whereas Twitter shows you what people are actually saying. It's the epitome of a capitalist, democratic society: the tweets which are liked/retweet-ed the most are shown first. By virtue of the number of users, however, this helps to provide a relatively unbiased series of viewpoints. At no point was this better demonstrated than in the aftermath of the EU Referendum; thousands of people of both opinions swarmed on Twitter to make their opinions known. Given the age demographic of Twitter, many expressed annoyance and disappointment at a result over which they had no control (of course many expressed their pleasure over a result over which they had no control, too; many young people did indeed advocate Vote Leave).

    I have witnessed and engaged in many political debates in school, both over the government of our country and the governments of others, and I saw a group of politically aware and engaged young people, ranging from 14 to 16. There does, however, have to be a cut-off at some point, and that is the point about which we need to have a debate. I personally see no harm in doing this.

    TL;DR: Fantastic idea - count me in!
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    Some 16-17 YOs will have the maturity and intelligence to vote but I reckon the vast majority will not. TBH, there are a significant number of 18+ YOs who don't either but there you go.

    I also believe the Scottish Parliament allowed 16+ YOs to vote in the Referendum simply because they expected them to vote for independence. If they expected them to vote "Naw" they would not have been able to vote.

    How many of 16-17 YOs have a good enough grasp of the issues? Some might but many of those will have formed opinions based on biased indoctrination by parents or teachers/lecturers. I appreciate the 'have sex/drive/marry/buy tobacco/buy alcohol/join HM Forces' arguments put forward by others but I'm not convinced being allowed to do any of those things in themselves teaches young people who would be best placed to govern the UK.

    Anyway, in case you were still wondering, I'd be against lowering the voting age.
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    I don't believe most 30 year old's should vote with their political knowledge. Being serious though, just leave it as it is - works fine. 16/17 is to young to vote.
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    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    I adressed every single one of those points if you would've bothered to open your eyes, nevermind actually reading what I wrote.
    I read your reply to me and answered it (I replied in bold in the quote, you might have to expand it). You do not appear to have addressed them anywhere.
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    If someone is given the right to marry, drive a car or join the army at a certain age, they should be able to vote at the same age. You people are right, even 18 y/o s may not have the knowledge or experience, but the same argument applies to right to marry. These days, age does not mean experience or wisdom unfortunately.
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    There's thickos at all ages, may as well let the 16 year olds have at it too.
 
 
 
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