Politics is shambles. You don’t really know what’s going on and neither do the leaders for about four years but then you blink and suddenly everyone’s having Brexit parties for some reason or another. There’s always some sort of non-political politics related scandal about an MP being a not-so-secret bigot or a US presidential candidate being accused of some horrific act which makes your blood boil. But hey! That’s politics! What a world we live in am I right? So, now I have stated my ever increasingly controversial opinion on politics, might as well go right to the deep end and talk about UK General elections voting age.
Looking over these rules, overall, I don’t really have an issue with them, except for one. That one is the age. I have such strong opinions on it, I wrote a whole essay on it in my Year 10 mock citizenship exam. It was an 8 Mark question and I wrote well over two pages (I did get full marks though which is cool). So, to reiterate my point but to a larger audience, I think the voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16. There are so many reasons, but I am here to discuss a small three with you. Please comment your opinions below, I love hearing from people, and I love debates! DISCLAIMER: for many of these points I will be using hyperboles, and so even though the facts are true (I’ll leave the links I used at the bottom of this article) my opinion may be exaggerated to prove the point – debates must do. This is a controversial subject but I am not one to shy away and so I am going to face this head on. I mean no disrespect to anyone; these are just my thoughts and feelings.
Firstly, I think that the voting age should be lowered because anyone who is registered as a UK citizen can vote, and those under 18 are UK Citizens also. This includes perpetrators like those who have committed heinous acts against society. So, if we are giving permission to serial killers to express their freedom, why can’t we allow innocent 16-year olds to express their basic human rights to freedom and expression? (Article 19 – Universal Declaration of Human Rights). At this point, it begs the question, is this just a basic act of human decency Britain, or is it a deprivation of the human rights that we get taught about as soon as we start school?
Statistically, people do not want young people to vote because they feel there is no point as the voter turnout will not be affected. This is a valid concern since in 2017 43% of 18-19-year olds did not vote in the general election. This is staggering compared to the fact that a mere 16% of over 70-year-olds did not vote. However, the reason why so many young people did not vote is because they did not understand the concept. They were not fully educated on the matters which meant they did not understand what the difference between voting for lib-dems or the conservatives would make. There is a simple solution to this “conundrum”: We educate the younger generation on voting – we explain how to vote, why their vote matters, all the different parties, left-wing vs right-wing etc. Not only does this make young people more prepared for their future and make them more well-rounded individuals, but it also makes the voter turnout greater, meaning that Britain will be a true democracy with equal amounts of different demographics voting.
If we look at the laws that sixteen-year olds hold, they are very questionable and at some points controversial. The laws a sixteen-year-old hold are shown in figure 2:
Many of these laws are very controversial and would raise a few eyebrows. Furthermore, when you are aged thirteen, you are told you must choose your GCSE options, something which greatly shapes your future. The fact we are giving young people this control, but not to choose something which greatly shapes the future of this country is definitely wrong.
In conclusion, I think we should lower the voting age from eighteen to sixteen because it is the young peoples future, it gives them good life skills for the future and it increases the chances of an equal democracy.
Thank you for reading, please like this post if you enjoyed it, comment your views and opinions on this topic and follow this blog if you want to see more about what I write 🙂
xo baby, Tati xoxo