Should the voting age be lowered? Watch

angelinahx
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(Original post by BenK64)
i disagree, 18 is low enough as it is imo. 1) Most 16 year olds are idiots, even the smart ones. 2) The vast majority have no idea what responsibility really means. They dont own a home, they dont pay bills, they dont have a family and children they must work and provide for, they dont know what loss is. Most still have their mum wash their clothes ffs. Its no coincidence that people grow more conservative as they grow older. So while many youths have dreams of communist utopias and revolutions, they grow up, get jobs, find meaningful relationships and realize they have more important responsibilities than political activism. Young people are naturally arrogant and dismissive of the old, but wisdom comes with age.
1) Most people are idiots because most people aren't "educated enough" to vote on matters as significant as political decisions and public policy. This is the exact argument put forward to bar the lower classes and women from voting historically. "Most 16 year olds are idiots" is not an argument. It's subjective and I could make the same argument about the working class, people without college degrees, school leavers, etc. I moved away from home to another country at 16.
2) ???? What? So only land owners should be able to vote? People who live on welfare/get financial assistance from parents with bills/are disabled should not be able to vote because they don't pay bills? People without children shouldn't? People without a family of their own shouldn't? You're making zero sense. Try again.
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L i b
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(Original post by help-im-failing)
Erm, clearly you didn't understand my point. The link between marriage, age of consent and voting is that 16 year olds have responsibilies to a certain extent with things such as consent and marriage so why is voting not permitted? Also thats your own opinion about your child getting married so young, many cultures have thier kids married even younger but that theres culutre. But thats also really irrelevant, i don't understand your link between beer and smoking but okay.
Your point is not a difficult one to grasp, it's just not a very strong one. Firstly, you're suggesting the law accepts a level of responsibility at age sixteen: I would question that. Indeed, as I suggested, the marriage thing is really more of a hangover from a past age. In any case, it's an is/ought argument: you don't make a compelling case to harmonise these ages of majority - indeed, you seem to accept they are subjective.

But even if we accept the premise of your argument that voting should be linked to other age limits, then the beer and smoking question arises: are we seriously saying that voting is less of a responsibility than having a lager shandy? That surely defies any sense, no?

The Scottish referndum was a success in terms of turnout:
A survey conducted by ICM found out that, 75% of 16 and 17 year olds voted, compared with 54% of 18-24 year olds and 72% of 25-34 year olds.
reference:http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2...ar-olds-voted/
Overall, I respect your opinion on the subject
[/quote]
Just to be clear though, I don't much care if 1 percent or 99 percent of them turn out to vote.

Equally I'd question how much we can rely on the Electoral Commission's figures here - when you segment opinion polling, as they did to arrive at that 75% figure, you often get less reliable results. In this case, it was based on interviews with under 100 young people aged 16-17.

In many cases, with people aged 16 and 17, you do get a captive audience: schools actively encourage voting, as will parents. Still, of course, the 75% is significantly below a lot of other age groups.
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moggis
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I think voting is dumb so I don’t see a problem with lowering the voting age as long as there’s first past the post.
If we had a fairer voting system there might be issues.

The main argument might be that 16 year olds are more likely to vote in left wingers but at the same time as lowering the vote economics could be taught to all 16 year olds .
Not the boring stuff about curves and elasticity and marginal utility obviously but what economics is about and why it matters and what happens when countries borrow too much ,that sort of thing.
They’d still vote Labour or Green though.
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Xodrama.
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I don't believe in democracy.
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BenK64
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(Original post by angelinahx)
1) Most people are idiots because most people aren't "educated enough" to vote on matters as significant as political decisions and public policy. This is the exact argument put forward to bar the lower classes and women from voting historically. "Most 16 year olds are idiots" is not an argument. It's subjective and I could make the same argument about the working class, people without college degrees, school leavers, etc. I moved away from home to another country at 16.
2) ???? What? So only land owners should be able to vote? People who live on welfare/get financial assistance from parents with bills/are disabled should not be able to vote because they don't pay bills? People without children shouldn't? People without a family of their own shouldn't? You're making zero sense. Try again.
Look, unless you believe that literally everyone should be allowed to vote, even 2-year-olds, then you as well believe restrictions should be placed on the ability to vote based on age. Why? Likely because you know that kids and young teens are idiots, they are immature, they would likely act as a mouthpiece for their parents, they don't know responsibility, they overestimate their own issues opinions and underestimate others. I mean the last thing anyone would want is teenagers deciding how to run the country. For good reason. The only difference between you and me is you believe the age at which people are generally sufficiently mature, wise, humble, intelligent enough to vote is 16, and I 18. Honestly most 18 year olds cant be trusted to vote- indeed most don't even bother. But there has to be a point and 18 is the accepted number, so im fine with it.

Crucially you ignored the second part of my sentence. Most 16 year olds are idiots, even the smart ones. The ones who are clever, interested and active in politics, are still totally ignorant of what suffering is. What life is. The opinion of a middle aged working class man is worth 10x more than a uni graduate. Simply being clever doesnt make you wise. This can only come with age and experience. And 16 year olds have 0 experience of independent adult life and all the responsibilities that come with it.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by BenK64)
Look, unless you believe that literally everyone should be allowed to vote, even 2-year-olds, then you as well believe restrictions should be placed on the ability to vote based on age. Why? Likely because you know that kids and young teens are idiots, they are immature, they would likely act as a mouthpiece for their parents, they don't know responsibility, they overestimate their own issues opinions and underestimate others. I mean the last thing anyone would want is teenagers deciding how to run the country. For good reason. The only difference between you and me is you believe the age at which people are generally sufficiently mature, wise, humble, intelligent enough to vote is 16. I totally disagree. Honestly most 18 year olds cant be trusted to vote- indeed most don't even bother. But there has to be a point and 18 is the accepted number, so im fine with it.

Crucially you ignored the second part of my sentence. Most 16 year olds are idiots, even the smart ones. The ones who are clever, interested and active in politics, are still totally ignorant of what suffering is. What life is. The opinion of a middle aged working class man is worth 10x more than a uni graduate. Simply being clever doesnt make you wise. This can only come with age and experience. And 16 year olds have 0 experience of independent adult life and all the responsibilities that come with it.
Too long didn’t read.
Your argument that “most are idiots” can be used against the working class, women (because it HAS been in the past) and people without university degrees. There’s no reason the age limit is arbitrarily set at 18 hence why the age of majority varies in a) different cultures b) across cultural periods in the West.
There just is no reason for it. Technically the brain is still developing until the age of 25 and to even suggest that most 18 year olds have any idea of what they’re doing is an insult to everybody everywhere. I’m not significantly more mature now than I was at 16 and my political opinions have not changed.
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BenK64
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(Original post by angelinahx)
Too long didn’t read.
christ
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paul514
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(Original post by help-im-failing)
Personally, I think yea. The voting should be lowered to 16. I am aware its only 2 years down but by the time you finish your GCSE's you should be abled to vote. Marriage and the age of consent is 16 so why can't they vote. When I was 16, 2 years ago I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't vote, albeit some people are easily influenced by articulate speakers and some may not understand that could happen with anyone. Take Scotland for example their referendums were really successful therefore it should be lowered.
What do yalll think?
No it shouldn’t it would be nice if it were 21 and above, young people are stupid when it comes to politics hence why they mostly change their views quite drastically by 10 and 20 years down the line when they have experience.
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paul514
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(Original post by BenK64)
i disagree, 18 is low enough as it is imo. 1) Most 16 year olds are idiots, even the smart ones. 2) The vast majority have no idea what responsibility really means. They dont own a home, they dont pay bills, they dont have a family and children they must work and provide for, they dont know what loss is. Most still have their mum wash their clothes ffs. Its no coincidence that people grow more conservative as they grow older. So while many youths have dreams of communist utopias and revolutions, they grow up, get jobs, find meaningful relationships and realize they have more important responsibilities than political activism. Young people are naturally arrogant and dismissive of the old, but wisdom comes with age.
Well said
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tazarooni89
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I would say that it should be lowered to 16. The age at which you have the right to leave school, work full time and become a fully independent, tax paying member of the society should also bring with it the right to vote.

Currently at age 16, you can legally be married, have kids, rent your own place to live, work full time and be completely self sufficient and independent from your parents. So it makes no sense that although the government and its policies are affecting you directly (rather than via your parents), you still have no say in them.
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DrMikeHuntHertz
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Either everyone can vote or no one can.
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xxmaria1912xx
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I think that 16/17 year olds would be too easy to influence, for example by their parents as they’re not experienced enough and haven’t been exposed to politics for long enough.
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randomsheep11
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Not at all

When you're 16 you're still completely under the care of your parents. You don't pay taxes. You don't have adult responsabilities.

The only reason why people advocate for this change is because they want more votes for the Green Party or some ***t...
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paul514
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(Original post by xxmaria1912xx)
I think that 16/17 year olds would be too easy to influence, for example by their parents as they’re not experienced enough and haven’t been exposed to politics for long enough.
You could make that argument for people well into their 20’s but it is a sliding scale
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VMD100
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Personally I believe it should not:
Firstly, and I suspect members of this site are part of the exception, while some are capable of reasonable political thought at a lower age others are not.

Secondly, It should be those paying taxes who get to decide how this money is spent - and the majority of adults, compared to the majority of those under 18, do pay taxes.
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fallen_acorns
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Love the BBC article this morning:

"Should the UK be raising the voting age rather than lowering it?"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46737013

--- something I have been questioning on here for years now. Great to see the viewpoint finally getting some attention, and to see that they come to the same conclusion as me (that there are very logical reasoning to raise the age, but it will never happen because the societal/political cost is to high).

---

As for lowering the voting age, the problem you have is:

you need to change the reason for having a voting age limit to make it logically sound.


Because the current reason for a voting age, is that is the time when you become an adult. Not the time when you take on a few more responsibilities (you can get married.. with parental consent..) (you can join the army... with parental consent...) but the time when you become a fully fledged adult within society, independent, most likely contributing, with the same legal status as other adults.

If you apply that standard - as I did in my previous posts, and the BBC has finally done.. then actually what you quickly see, is that we need to raise the voting age, rather than lower it! By all indicators people are entering adolescence earlier, but leaving it later. There are numerous psychological studies that back up wthat the BBC article was hinting at. 30 years ago the average adolescence was something like 13-18. Now its more like 12-21. Home ownership, financial independence, paying tax, having babbies, entering full-time work, getting married... etc. the markers of adulthood are being pushed later and later.

So if you want to change the voting age - you can't argue that people are growing up quicker, or maturing quicker, or that 16 year olds are adults.Instead you must make the case that children (which they are), should be allowed to vote as well as adults.

if children can vote? People who don't meet (on average) the criteria of being adults, what is the differentiation between 16 year olds and 15 year olds? Legally they are much closer than 16-to-18 year olds.. their circumstances are the same.. they can both work? One has finished their GCSEs? Is that our new line in the sand - finishing your GCSEs? How do we now include children in our democracy, and account for the differences to adults? Etc. etc.

---

the voting age should remain at 18 because:
Raising it - is what the cold/hard/logic points too.. but its socially and politically never going to be an option
Lowering it - is socially and politically an option, but the logic is so flawed that the majority of the adult population is still against it.

Sadly.. I 100% expect to see it lowered to 16 within my lifetime. Labour will do it. They know its a good chunk of extra votes for them - and they know that society is becoming more and more willing to bypass logic for emotion. They will sell it on the emotional angles 'don't they deserve a voice' 'its their future!' etc. and they will play the good-guy, whilst knowing full well they are doing it to increase their voter base. 2.9% more voters in most constituencies? The vast vast majority of which are left-leaning? perfect.

as for why they are left-leaning..

Spoiler:
Show

there are a few reasons. Most of their teachers are left-leaning, and most of the media they consume is.. young people are more prone to peer pressure and outside influences then older people, so the effects of their immediate environment are stronger on them. This coupled with the fact that we know that the more responsibility you have in your life, and the more assets you have, are both likely to make you more right-wing, means that they swing to the left even more. for example, there is a substantial swing to to the right in people after they have kids.. after they start paying tax, and after they own their own house. Generally speaking 16 year olds have little responsibility, and therefor on average swing left far more then older generations. The final reason they swing-left, is that young people are more psychologically open to change, and radical new ideas - two things the right opposes.

All in all its very very natural, and unavoidable that young people swing left, and older people swing right. But it should be factored in when considering youth-voting. Young people don't swing further left because they are better educated or of better morality and virtue then their parents.. they do so due to psychologocial and sociological reasons that are largely out of their control.
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Amat3ur
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The government has a logical reason why they permit 16-year-olds to do things such as get married or join a trade union as these things affect you personally or another third party and not the entire country. If someone got married at 16 it’s not going to change the entire UK economy. Even then, you need parental consent.

I was in my Year 11 GCSE Economics class and one day, someone in my class put their hand up and asked: “So what is the difference between Labour and Conservatives?” This was in my ECONOMICS class. In YEAR 11. And they were 16 YEARS OLD.

If someone studying economics doesn’t know the difference how will anyone else that age know? With all due respect, I feel this generation are not truly aware of what the importance of voting really is. They would be too influenced by what they hear at home and not research other options. I would personally love to vote but for the sake of everybody else I would rather keep the voting age at 18, thank you very much. I would perhaps even increase it to 25, as you would have greater economical experience such as paying taxes or bills then if you were 16 or 18.
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