Personal tools
 
Views

Debate: Should the voting age be reduced from 18 to 16?

From Debatepedia

Jump to: navigation, search
[Digg]
[reddit]
[Delicious]
[Facebook]

Should the minimum voting age be reduced to 16, or remain at 18?

Background and context

At present in the UK for General, local and European elections, as well as referenda, you must be 18 to vote. This topic has been written from a UK perspective, but the arguments can easily be adapted to apply to the situation in other countries too.

[Edit]
[Delete Subquestion section]
[Add new subquestion section]
[Move subquestion section down]

Argument #1

[Add New]

Yes

Some 16 year-olds may be inexperienced however, from their curiosity they can become informed, asking others for their views. Some may not know or care about politics, so will not vote. I mean, would you stand in line for an hour to vote for something that does not matter? In the UK, they do have to pay taxes, and lack of experience is no excuse. They can be mature, and we should trust them with the responsibility to make up their minds just as much as every other citizen, or why are we letting choose their future at schools and colleges? Marginalising is not the way, informing is if they are inadept. Similar arguments about lack of awareness allowed classism, racism and sexism, and in today's world, we should be able to work past them. Maybe some 16-year-olds care about skate parks and community centres, but then surely we should be fulfilling their needs rather than ignoring them. Yes, maybe a few may act illogically and irrationally for these, but so do many adults on reducing taxes, for example, not realising future implications. Maybe the pitches would be driven slightly by popularity, but then again, is not every leadership really about getting rational support. The argument that law should stay unfair is age discriminatory. The argument that we cannot trust children to drink is used circularly with the fact that they cannot vote as a justification. Why can’t children vote? Because they can’t be trusted to drink. Why can’t children be trusted to drink? Because they can’t be trusted to vote. It is not their maturity, rather the outdated laws caused by the misunderstanding of their maturity that lead to this argument, and the remnants of the outdated, illogical, discriminatory arguments that justify the no argument.

At 16 a person can get married and have children. If we allow them this responsibility, we should also recognise that they are mature enough to vote.

[Add New]

No

  • 16 year-olds are too inexperienced as citizens and individuals to vote. A 16 year old usually lives with his or her parents. They do not have to worry taxes, health care, or even car payments and other household bills. Usually a 16 year old is not aware on the political parties, and politicans. That is how you get a igorant leader into power, is by letting a age of people participate in who you elect to run your country, provice/state, or community. A 16 year old might be only intrested in a new skate park, or community centre in the area that is being built.
  • 16 year-old voters will cause politicians to make populist pitches to get votes. Realizing that 16 year olds are vulnerable to populist pitches, politicians will make petty and fake promises to them, simply because this is what will win votes.
  • 16 year-olds should not be given the right to vote if we don't trust them to responsibly drink. For example you can have sex at 16, but you cannot drink until you are 18. Should we give the vote to people who we do not recognise as mature enough to drink or to see The Blair Witch Project?


[Edit]
[Delete Subquestion section]
[Add new subquestion section]
[Move subquestion section down]
[Move subquestion section up]

Argument #2

[Add New]

Yes

One of the important original reasons behind democracy was "no taxation without representation". At 16 you can get a job and pay taxes and it is undemocratic that you have no say in who sets those taxes. Areas such as the minimum wage and benefits also affect you directly and you should have a say in these policies.

[Add New]

No

Policies on nursery education affect 4-year-olds, but it does mean that we give them a vote! We must trust mature adults to vote on the behalf of children.

[Edit]
[Delete Subquestion section]
[Add new subquestion section]
[Move subquestion section down]
[Move subquestion section up]

Argument #3

[Add New]

Yes

In today’s society 16-year-olds are more mature than ever before and there is no significant gap between an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old’s ability to vote; the distinction is arbitrary.

[Add New]

No

That the fact that more young people are smoking, drinking and having sex earlier than before does not mean that they are more mature. 16-year-olds are still children mentally and much development happens in the next two years. If anything, the voting age should be increased to 21 to ensure full maturity.

[Edit]
[Delete Subquestion section]
[Add new subquestion section]
[Move subquestion section down]
[Move subquestion section up]

Argument #4

[Add New]

Yes

Within limitations, the wider pool of voters we have, the better it is for democracy, as it increases representation.

[Add New]

No

It is sentimental to argue that everyone should have the vote. With this argument, why not 14-year-olds? The fact is that you must have limits and while some 16-year-olds probably are mature enough to vote, the status quo protects against the majority who are not.

[Edit]
[Delete Subquestion section]
[Add new subquestion section]
[Move subquestion section up]

Argument #5

[Add New]

Yes

  • The choices that governments make affect 16 year olds too. So, they should have a say in them. Plus, 16 year olds are currently learning about government in school. They are certainly informed enough to vote. And, if the argument is that 16 year olds are not mature enough to vote, we should ask, are 18 year olds really mature enough either? Many 18-year-olds do not make informed decisions. In fact many 40-year-olds do not make informed decisions and this does not mean we deny them the vote. So, the decision as to whether to allow 16 year-olds to vote should be based off of this assessment.


[Add New]

No

Most 16-year-olds would either vote the way their parents voted, or deliberately vote the other way to be rebellious. They would not consider all the issues and make an informed decision.

See also

External links

Books:

Problem with the site? 

Tweet a bug on bugtwits
.