Melissa Benn

Is sixteen too young to vote?

Posted on: October 26, 2012

Since my younger daughter, who is just 16, started A-level politics this autumn, every evening meal has been dominated by a spirited discussion on subjects as various as responsible capitalism (do I really believe in such a foolish, contradictory thing?) to the merits, or otherwise, of an unwritten constitution.

Unsurprising, then, that yesterday morning, over breakfast, we were intently discussing the issue of lowering the voting age, following the decision to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. As Vernon Bogdanor, the constitutional expert, said on the Today programme this week, it may be an unsatisfying, rather ad hoc way to bring about such a major change, but it makes the introduction of votes to 16- and 17-year-olds throughout the UK far more likely.


Read the rest of the piece here.

To see previous pieces by Melissa Benn published in The Independent, click here.

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2 Responses to "Is sixteen too young to vote?"

No of course not if you can decide to have sex legally or get married you can join the army and you can decide on many things then why not voting.

Many of us more senior groups have decided to give up voting as I have, because basically your just voting these days for a leader not a political party Thatcher Blair Miliband , since the Labour party now these days tend to be little different then the party which leaves power, why not let the young decide, can they do any worse then we did.

I have real sympathy for your argument. A sense of political parties with distinct programmes and perspectives has vanished. However, there are political movements with clear goals. And always worth giving one’s support to them.

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