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Jo Swinson: boost for votes at 16

June 10th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

bridgeJo Swinson (who I’m convinced I saw on Westminster Bridge last night chuckling at something on a Blackberry – maybe she can confirm) has revealed that the beleaguered PM is finally doing something half-useful: floating a review of the minimum voting age.

I’m totally in favour of this, not only because of the obvious inconsistencies with other minimum age brackets.

Could it be that some good, in the form of changes to the electoral system, manages to emerge from the final days of this otherwise disastrous administration?

9 Responses to “Jo Swinson: boost for votes at 16”

  1. Anton Howes Says:

    YES!!!! Please say this is true!


  2. Ben Rawlings Says:

    It’s good that lowering the voting age is still on Gordon Brown’s mind, but it’s still all talk when what we need now is action!

    We’ve been here too many times before: all the polling shows that the majority of young people want Votes at 16, the case is overwhelming – there’s really no excuse for any more delay and dithering. The recent Youth Citizenship Commission saw two thirds of its consultation responses backing Votes at 16, and 3 out of 4 young people calling for it in the biggest online consultation the Hansard Society has ever hosted.

    Gordon Brown’s comments show that he is considering lowering the voting age – but we can’t sit back and wait for it to happen, we need to act now. Join the campaign and help us make Votes at 16 a reality – http://www.votesat16.org.uk


  3. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Julian and Anton

    Get real !!! You know that wont happen…they will find a way to screw it up. When havent they? -or are you buying the “changed man” speech?


  4. Julian Harris Says:

    Angela, it’s at times like this that we have to unite behind our leader.

    Gordon is the best person to deliver us from the recession created by Anglo-Saxon neo-liberalism.

    Furthermore, we must not let a pesky election get in the way of Gordon’s important work. Just look at the damage that annoying “Morgan” bloke has done in Zimbabwe by creating instability.


  5. John Says:

    It would be wrong to lower the voting age to 16 unless it were part of a wider move to lower the general age of majority. Are we also prepared to allow 16 year olds to be tried in adult courts, and to let them fight overseas ?

    I think those clamouring for a 16 voting age have not thought this through.

    It is possible to have different ages for different matters, but it cannot be fair that people are entitled to vote on adult matters when they are children in most other respects.


  6. Niklas Smith Says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with John. The voting age should be the same as the age of majority.

    Here are all the points in Mr Brown’s statement:

    1) He commits to finish Lords reform.
    2) He “personally favours a written constitution”!
    3) He is considering further devolution, including in England to local government
    4) He only wants electoral reform if there is a public consensus. “The link between the MP and the constituency is essential…”
    5) He wants to increase the engagement of young people in politics, perhaps by lowering the voting age.


  7. Anton Howes Says:

    The way I see it, if you can work at 16 (and thus pay national insurance), then you should be able to vote.
    I think Slovenia allows you to vote at 16 if you are employed – that could well be the best compromise, as there are certainly a few compelling arguments against.
    16-year-olds can also be in the army (although yes, you’re right that they can’t be deployed until 18).


  8. Alex Says:

    “The voting age should be the same as the age of majority.”

    What was it they used to say across the pond?

    Oh yeah: “No taxation without representation!”


  9. Ben Rawlings Says:

    Actually, though 16 and 17 year olds in the army are not meant to be deployed in reality they are – between 2003 and 2008, eighteen 16 and 17 year olds have been deployed, fifteen of them to Iraq. On April 1st 2007 there were 4560 16 and 17 year olds serving in the armed forces and in the previous year, 30% of all new recruits were under 18. Even if they are not deployed, at 16 they are still old and mature enough to make a long-term decision that will lead to them being deployed in the near future.


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