Don't reduce the voting age


We’ve just completed a response paper on the voting age for the Youth Citizenship Commission.  Despite what people might have expected from us, we believe that the voting age should remain at 18, or even be raised to 21.  It is generally those young people who are already ‘on the inside’ and participating in the political process that want the voting age lowered.  The vast majority, who are not, tend to favour better education and information. 

Changemakers offers an entry point which allows young people to develop a sense of community spirit.  This encourages them to become involved in more formal types of civic engagement.

 

We can’t try and shoe-horn the current disengaged generation into becoming engaged, active citizens who feel a keen sense of involvement with the politics of this country overnight.  Reinvigoration and energy should be the focus to reinforce the idea that voting is a privilege of adulthood that should be associated with maturity and honour. Fundamentally we want young people to feel a need to vote.

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