3 thoughts on “IEA debate: Should the voting age be lowered to 16?”

  1. Posted 02/11/2019 at 04:36 | Permalink

    I agree with the views of Julian Jessop especially the comments contained in the two end paragraphs.
    I believe that 16 year olds have more awareness of politics than in previous generations and I admire their energy and views expressed over climate change; these 16 year olds will have their lives shaped by climate change and Brexit,(another 40 years?), more than other age groups who will be voting. However, changes to the electorate deserve serious debate and preparation and should not prompted by urgency and cynical exploitation. I find it impossible, at this time, to separate this electoral debate from Brexit where the cynical comment has extended to critiscism of the older voters.
    No one can guarantee the impartiality of political instruction in schools. How could the implications of life (and treaties) influenced by the EU be explained when it is all too apparent that little was understood by Members of Parliament.
    Age has a vital impact on voting but what exactly could be explained to any age on what the EU has in store, for future decades? The older generation have at least,the experience of the last 40 years.

  2. Posted 02/11/2019 at 09:48 | Permalink

    If some feel that part of the problem is 16 and 17 year olds not being educated enough on such political matters and want more emphasise being placed on citizenship education then surely that is not teens fault. However, i do also see that as teens we need to make sure that we know what is happening politicall, and that it is up to us to further educate ourselves on such matters.
    Personally i believe that by lowering the voting age to 16 more will become engaged in politics at a younger age, leaving us more aware of how we want the country to be run.
    The Scottish Referendum, of 2014, saw many school pupils voting. They wanted to have their say on their future, and they obviously had an opinion, which they wanted to be heard.

  3. Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:10 | Permalink

    Julian Jessop’s argument here perfectly illustrates the ‘dangerous slippery slope’ Ralph Buckle warns us about. In at least two separate comments in his piece, Jessop effectively argues that 16-18-year olds shouldn’t have the vote because they might support ideas with which he disagrees.

    First, he argues that Greta Thunberg’s activism illustrates that 16-18s shouldn’t be given the vote. That he attempts to avoid scrutiny of this position by burying it in an aside does not mean that we can discount it. Second, again in an aside, he suggests that 16-18s should not be allowed to vote until they are taught about ‘the track record of socialism in other countries.’

    In each case, he casts doubt on 16-18s’ competency to vote by linking their youth to ideas he finds disagreeable. Once again, his attempts to avoid justifying these positions by throwing them in as off-the-cuff asides shouldn’t fool us. Jessop implicitly argues here that one reason to prohibit young people from voting is because they might be more likely to support causes such as climate justice and wealth redistribution.

    We can and shold debate the merits of those ideas. Simply holding them up as examples of the folly of youth, however, is not debate. Jessop’s points about the raft of rights and obligations that don’t kick in until the age of 18 are well taken. But his attempts to link youth voting to his favoured betes noires do him no favours.

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