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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

5/03/2004

Vote at 16?

Labour plans to lower the age at which people are allowed to vote from 18 to 16, even though the move has been rejected by the independent body which supervises elections in Britain.
the independent
Lowering the voting age seems to me to be a rather good idea. We do, after all, let 16 year olds drive cars which suggests, possibly wrongly, that they can be trusted with a good deal of responsibility.

The upside would be that teenagers would have a stake in the system from an earlier age. The downside would be that Hillary Duff might exercise political influence. In fact, setting sixteen as the voting age would make sense in that many teens have begun paying taxes and drawing benefits by then. Expanding the franchise to include people who are already contributing to the society would cost very little and might bring a bit more social cohesion. It will be interesting to see if the English do it and what the consequences are.