They're not voting because...
- I'm not yet 16, and because of the ageist...
I'm not yet 16, and because of the ageist constitution in this country, i wont be able to for at least four years.written 3rd May 2005
RKP replies: Ageist? Don't be an idiot -- there has to be a cut-off somewhere. Maybe it should be 16, but then 15-year-olds would be the ones whining. What do you propose - votes for babies?
We all had to wait to 18+ to vote in a General Election (I was 17 in 1992, so waited until I was 22 in 1997) - deal with it.written 3rd May 2005
SOL replies: The users of Not Apathetic may not be apathetic but some can be offensive. Surely it isn't right that someone below the voting age who is interested in voting should be called 'an idiot'. There are many very legitimate reasons for lowering the voting age, certainly to 16, if not lower. I'm sorry RKP seems bitter that they had to wait until they were 22 before they could vote but really - deal with it.written 3rd May 2005
Screaming Lord Sutch replies: Lowering the voting age to BELOW 16?
Hmmm, seems like I'm not the only mad one around here!
Fancy joining the loonies SOL old chum?
p.s. You must read my MANICfesto. It's GRREAT!
http://www.omrlp.comwritten 3rd May 2005
RKP replies: Yes SOL, the poster is an idiot. Why? Because instead of making a case for why 16-yr-olds should be allowed to vote, he/she could only decide that the system was ageist.written 3rd May 2005
Al replies: No, the original poster is not an idiot, just a kid.
Clearly most people under 16 (perhaps not all) don't have the experience to be able to make rational decision on who to vote for and that's why the minimum age should never be brought lower than 16.
It's a low blow to be calling 15 year olds idiots just because they state an opinion you disagree with.written 3rd May 2005
Johninnit replies: Look on the bright side - it's only 2 years til you get to vote in local and Euro elections, by-elections, or those for Assemblies if you've got one - you'll be a pretty seasoned voter by the time you're 20! (PS - hope you're still this enthused about it in 2009)written 3rd May 2005
Tiger43 replies: I`m not yet 16 either. I`m 43 and getting younger by the day and looking forward to when I go to school for the first time then to nusery and back at home with mum.written 4th May 2005
SOL replies: RKP - you really need to address the fact that you feel it is acceptable to call a 15-year old an idiot - name-calling should be left in the playground. I also think it's wrong to assume that 15 year-olds don't have the experience to be able to make rational decision on who to vote for - there are 350,000 15-year olds (or 531 per constituency). Many have 'adult' relationships, 120,000 (a third) think that cannabis should be legalised (a political issue and a half) and 20% are already interested in politics. This creeps up 3-points to 23% at 16 and 26% at 17 and leaps to 31% at 18. If that 5% leap isn't explained by the fact that 18-year olds have the vote I don't what else could explain it. If young people get engaged earlier they will be more able to influence the political process.
I'm not saying the vote SHOULD be lowered to below 18, but 18 really is an arbitary figure that doesn't reflect the maturity of our society's young population.written 4th May 2005
Al replies: Your not saying the vote should be lowered to below 18, so what are you saying if your not saying that?written 4th May 2005
David replies: I just want to clear up a typo, i said the voting age was 16, it is actually 18, and i am 14written 4th May 2005
SOL replies: Al - I had two points really. Firstly and critically we shouldn't dismiss young politically-interested people as idiots (the first response to 'I'm not yet 16') and secondly; there should certainly be a debate about the age of franchise. I Personally I think lowering the age would be a good thing but I haven't got a conclusion on how low - why not 15? As my previous e-mail said there are only 350k 15-year olds so the overall impact would be small but it would at least get people involved and engaged. The age of consent would be a good starter for ten as well. If you're old enough to pay tax, pretty much pay full adult fares for everything and have sex (legally) surely you should have a say in the choice of Government.written 4th May 2005
Al replies: Your first point I agree with (as I did earlier).
On your second point, so you ARE saying the age should be lowered below 18, that's fine, I agree and would say 16 is sensible, as you say, that's inline with the age of consent and you can married at 16 too.
It was just that before you said "I'm not saying the vote SHOULD be lowered to below 18".
Are you sure your not a politician?written 4th May 2005
Puss replies: I think that SOL is absolutely right. He obviously has a very intelligent mind and I for one think he would make a fabulous Prime Minister! Vote LaBear!!!written 4th May 2005
Jax replies: I say, if you can recite at least two the candidates and a few of the policies of each, then you should be able to vote, age is arbitrary.written 5th May 2005
Al replies: Fantastic idea, so people should be made to do an exam before they get in the polling booth....
Q1) In ten or more words define 'politics'.
Q2) From the five below which two are genuine political parties;
a) The Labour Party
b) Tony's Technicoloured Dream Party
c) The Liberal Democrats
d) The British Pastry Party
e) The Fairly Liberal Yet Strangley Conservative Party
Q3) Spell your name.written 5th May 2005
shoogle replies: Isn't this perhaps a discussion symptomatic of a fault in the very idea of voting as primary democratic representation.written 6th May 2005
Were we to engage citizens sufficiently in the political process, voting would be a subsidiary issue, 15 year-olds could enter into dialogue with representatives like everyone else and the voting issue would be far smaller as actual change would be affected by rational arguments (something we might presume that all capable citizens might make, regardless of age - though Such has a point that the irrational has a place in life too. I'm just not sure that it should be so overbearing politically).