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I see the government are pushing to allow 16 and 17 to vote in a national referendum. I dispair!

No disrespect to the youth of today, but I see this as a half cocked attempt at something to crow about and gain election votes when the time comes. 16/17 year olds are either still at school or have just left with very little or no experience of everyday politics. Many will have little more than a head full of iPads and pop music. How I wish politicians would use their brains for once.

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Peter, I despair when I read comments like yours. Give them a chance to become involved, show them they have a chance to change things. Look how messed up things are with the older generation continuing to vote with old ideals.

It'll never be 'Like it used to be back when..'.

At 16 you can get married, have children....but not have a choice in who rules you??

Get with the times. 

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I see the government are pushing to allow 16 and 17 to vote in a national referendum. I dispair!

No disrespect to the youth of today, but I see this as a half cocked attempt at something to crow about and gain election votes when the time comes. 16/17 year olds are either still at school or have just left with very little or no experience of everyday politics. Many will have little more than a head full of iPads and pop music. How I wish politicians would use their brains for once.

At 16 you can get married, gain full employment and pay taxes, join the services and die for your country.  OK, you might not be "savvy" in the ways of the world but, why on earth can you not get a say in running it?

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rgibson
I'm not knocking 16 year olds, and yes, they deserve every opportunity to get ahead. Being straight out of school a 16 year old will generally lack the political savvy required to make informed decisions on the nations  future. They need time to adjust to a world other than the confines of home and school. As far marriage and a family are concerned, nothing wrong with that. They are shaping their own personal future not the future of others. Let's face it, the older generation are guilty of many blunders and misdemeanours by those who sit behind big shiny desks not knowing what it's like to go without bread on the table. It can be said those old ideals you speak of are selfishly driven by money and touting for votes to stay in the job. I suppose that's a valid reason to allow 16 year olds the vote - inject some innocent sense into politics and oust the incompetent.

Incidentally Colin. 16 and 17 year olds will not fight or die for their country as you suggest. They are never used in a combat role of any description. They must be 18 years old to enter adult service. 
 

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I think many youngsters are quite savvy now, certainly far beyond when I left school. Education and access to what's happening at home and around the world has moved on.

 

I agree with Peter that the reason behind giving votes to 16/17 year olds is more likely an attempt to win favour, rather than the fact they believe it's the right thing to do, but unlike Peter I believe they should have the vote.

 

To me it's simple, if the government thinks it's ok to take taxes from 16/17 year olds, then they must allow them to vote.

 

I would think a 16 year old today, will be a lot more worldly wise than any 18 year old of my time. Hopefully they will bring something fresh to politics as what we've had lately is not much to brag about.

Edited by Windwalker
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If 16 years are to be treated as adults, then that also means IMO revoking laws which protect them as "young adults" - they are either adults or children, one or the other.

see where your coming from, but having having the right to vote should'nt mean protections aren't needed. It's separate issues. It's not about how adult you are it's about having a right when paying taxes.

 

If it was about how adult your were a lot of us would have the vote removed :-)

Edited by Windwalker
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If 16 years are to be treated as adults, then that also means IMO revoking laws which protect them as "young adults" - they are either adults or children, one or the other.

see where your coming from, but having having the right to vote should'nt mean protections aren't needed. It's separate issues. It's not about how adult you are it's about having a right when paying taxes.

 

If it was about how adult your were a lot of us would have the vote removed :-)

 

I beg to differ.  Having the right to vote reflects the fact one is capable of making adult decisions.  One of the excuses given for women not having the right to vote was that they wouldn't understand politics.  If young people need different protection regarding signing contracts and the like due to the premise put forward that they are more prone to be conned/easily influenced, then surely the same protection should be offered them from politicians and those seeking their votes.  How then would young people be protected from political literature?  Scrap the additional laws protecting 16 year olds and treat them as a 'whole adult' or don't, simples.

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If 16 years are to be treated as adults, then that also means IMO revoking laws which protect them as "young adults" - they are either adults or children, one or the other.

 

They're not one or the other though. As you point out, they are legally neither and sit in a middleground with some different rights and some different responsibilities. 

 

Allowing them to vote could be a very strong effort against disenfranchisement. Research has shown that people who have their first vote in their teens are far more likely to continue to vote in future. Allowing 16 year olds to vote means the oldest an individual could be when first eligible to vote in a General Election is 21 (maybe 22 in some very particular circumstances). It's a positive step to engaging young people and keeping them engaged as active members of the electorate. Those who were allowed to vote in last year's referendum demonstrated their keen interest and responsible approach and I see no reason the changed age shouldn't be extended outwith Scottish votes. 

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In reducing the voting age from eighteen to sixteen, WasteMonster is just copying what had already been done north of the border by the SNP. Perhaps they were feeling a bit outdated and thought that they'd better do something about it before they got chucked out in the street - which should have happened years ago :!:  :!:  :!:

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I would not allow 16yrs olds to vote, as they don't have enough life experience. The only reason it's being pushed at the moment is like with the snp for the Scottish referendum they think allowing them will mean more of a chance of a yes in the European referendum. As why trust them to vote but not to buy alcohol or drive?

I am not sure I would 100% agree. I know 16-17 year olds, granted not many, who are interested in politics and would vote as responsibly as anyone else. The course of government affects them as much, if not more, than anyone older mind you. There are many in the electorate who have zero interest in politics at all ages, perhaps because they see politicians as all being the same bunch of lying b*******ds. Possibly engaging people at a younger age would help get rid of this political apathy?

 

I believe not being allowed alcohol is because of the negative impact it has on a still developing body. I would surmise not letting them drive is due to the obvious statistics that younger drivers tend to be involved in more accidents and be more reckless. Saying that the drinking age in some countries is much higher and in others it is lower as is driving, it's really a cultural/risk based thing. 

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Going to jump on my soap box again.
The problem with the human race is the people. I still maintain the view 16-17 year olds are at an impressionable age and likely to have little or no knowledge or experience of politics. They need time to adjust to adulthood, work and girls before they venture into politics.

No prizes for guessing which way a vote would swing if a politician promised school leavers a big weekly dole hand out for 5 years or until they found work. Couldn't happen? How about the financial crash? Job cuts, cuts in services etc. With the same breath they announce a £30Bn railway project north from London which nobody seems to want except London and everyone knows will cost at least four times that amount. When last heard the cost had escalated to 80Bn. Another Millennium Dome fiasco? The problem with politics is the politicians.

Put it another way. Suppose inexperienced youngsters clinched the outcome of an election swayed by a political party preaching disarmament and appeasement. Very commendable to opt for no more wars, no more sending armed forces to fight the baddies or die in foreign lands. With no more multi-billion £££ defence budgets and the promise of all that saved money being used for improvements to pensions, education, NHS and whatever else, the world will be a better place. It all sounds very nice, but it's all pie in the sky. Nobody convinces the baddies to do the same. Britain has already been caught twice big time with its pants down. Would a 16 year old know all this? Events in Paris and Mali are not for 16 year olds.

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