Kirk Savva-Briggs Politics essay – Ms. Moss.
1. Explain the arguments in favor of lowering the voting age. With more and more of the younger generation getting involved in current political affairs and issues, the UK government is under increasing pressure to lower the current voting age from 18 years to 16. These are some of the following arguments that are in favor of lowering the voting age. Increased turnout.
The UK is currently facing a declining participation from the general public in formal politics. Since 1997 turnout for general elections has declined significantly and party membership has dwindled to an all-time low. Between 1951 and 2008 Conservative individual party membership has decreased from 2,900,000 to just 250,000 and Labor 876,000 to just 166,000. The reasoning behind lowering the voting age for this issue stems from the belief that if students are educated, informed and encouraged to take an active part in politics, they are more likely to maintain the habit of voting throughout their lives if they start at a younger age. This theory is backed by Evidence from Austria that confirms that extending voting rights to people after they turn 16 promotes higher turnout for first-time voters and over time. Austria's experience also shows that 16- and 17-year-olds are ready for voting as far as making choices that accurately reflect their views. This is strengthened by the fact that 16 and 17 year-olds are more likely to be in, or to have recently been in, an environment where politics can be discussed. Meaning they will have a developed interest in the subject and be more likely to vote. Some people may argue against this point. In the UK statistically the youngest age group has always provided the lowest turnout at elections. In addition to that, it could mean the national average turnout for elections decreases rather than increases. Representation.
Another argument in favor of lowering the voting age is the issue of representation. Many people below the voting age feel that if they’re not allowed to vote, but can go to work and pay taxes that it is a great injustice and unfairness against them. Sixteen and Seventeen year olds are affected hugely by some of the decisions made on behalf of them by the government, yet they’re restricted by the voting age so they cannot vote on issues that directly involve/affect them. Democracy is about majoritative rule. If most 16 year olds are uninformed and don't particularly understand or care about the results of elections, then they shouldn't get the vote. Rights
People below the voting age argue that it is only fair that if they can be affected by major government decisions, they should have the opportunity to express their opinions via voting. People Below the voting age can take on responsibilities such as joining the armed forces, having a child, raising a family, and going to work and pay tax. How can people expect the needs of people under the voting age of 18 to be met if they cannot make decisions that will help them? Some people make the argument that statistically, most 16 year olds are not in the army (as are most adults) and they are not married and/or raising a family. Most of them are also uninformed and generally ambivalent toward the politics, so they would not vote anyway. Tax
The great charter of liberties ( Magna Carta liberatum) states that there should be no taxation without representation. At the age of sixteen an individual is involuntarily taxed, and has to submit a portion of their wealth to the state. The voting age of 18 goes against this principal as the individual has no say at to the use of their money, which is fundamentally wrong. Citizenship
Due to the introduction of citizenship classes into the national curriculum people below the voting age are in a much better position to make informed decisions at elections. When the law was created that the voting age would be for 18 year olds and above students in the education system...
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