Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16

At the age of 16, we can marry our MP, legally have sex with our MP, join the armed forces and fight for our MP and pay tax for our MP, but the one thing we cannot do is vote for our MP. How can this be justified?

Our guest writer is Liam Young, 14, who has recently joined the Labour Party

I was happy to find during the 2010 general election that the Labour Party was supporting the motion to lower the voting age to 16, in the Labour Party’s 2010 manifesto, something I feel very strongly about. In the last few days I have launched a campaign linked with Channel 4 on the Battlefront website, entitled “Votes At 16“, I have since named my campaign 16Votes, and myself and a team of activists are now aiming to get the campaign to first place, so we can make our mark.

The campaign itself went from last place to second place over night, and since Tuesday, Labour leadership candidates David Miliband and his brother Ed have publicly endorsed the campaign, in line with the Labour Party manifesto. Other crucial figures include Sally Bercow, wife of the speaker, who has shown her support as well via twitter.

The campaign’s main aim is to lower the voting age, in order to allow a more fairer and representative electorate to take the place of today’s current electorate. The youth of today is completely ignored in most areas, and there are only a few organisations that allow young people to have a say and make a difference.

In order to continue with the campaign, I have written letters to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and other senior ministers.

You may remember David Cameron spoke about the “great ignored” during his election campaign, and in the letter I have written to him, I ask him to follow through with his promise in representing the great ignored, which he called “the hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding majority”, by lowering the voting age to 16, because the majority of the 16 are 17 year olds in this country who are denied the right to vote at each general election are hard-working, tax-paying and law-abiding citizens!

At the age of 16, we can marry our MP, legally have sex with our MP, join the armed forces and fight for our MP and pay tax for our MP, but the one thing we cannot do is vote for our MP. How can this be justified?

I would like to ask you to join my campaign, and there are numerous ways to do so:

• Please go to the Battlefront website and vote for my campaign here – //www.battlefront.co.uk/12th-campaigner/votes-at-16/

• If you are on Facebook join the group here – //www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=146527158696847&ref=ts

• For More info visit the website – //www.16votes.org.uk/

14 Responses to “Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16”

  1. Julie Wareing

    RT @leftfootfwd: Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/

  2. Hitchin England

    Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/ via @leftfootfwd

  3. Susan Nash

    RT @leftfootfwd: Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/

  4. Anon E Mouse

    Agreed – this should have happened years ago…

    Good campaign – hope it works out…

  5. John Peart

    RT @susan_nash: RT @leftfootfwd: Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/

  6. Trakgalvis

    Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/ via @leftfootfwd

  7. Trakgalvis

    Time to enfranchise the great ignored: Time for votes at 16 //bit.ly/b53xBM Sign up – //www.16votes.org.uk/ via @leftfootfwd

  8. Mr. Sensible

    Fully support this.

    I believe the Lib Dems were talking about this before the election; I wonder where that went?

  9. Rich

    I admit it had escaped me to see Labour had taken this up as a policy. Better late than never I guess, although its track record on electoral reform doesn’t lead me to think it means it alas. Been Lib Dem policy for sometime, and I’m pretty sure Liberal Youth is continuing to push this internally now we’re in government.

  10. Mr Truthful

    I think 18 is fine personally. If there has to be a cut-off point 18 makes more sense than 16 to me. Whilst Liam may well be the exception I dont believe many 16 year olds would wish or be knowledgable to make an informed vote.

    I honestly dont think an MP would survive very long if it came out that they were marrying (or having sex with) a sixteen year old and Liam dont worry, give it a few years and it wont seem so important.

  11. Jerry Hayes

    Votes at 16? Utterly insane. And anyone joining a political party at the age of 14 should be under constant medical supervision. In the Tory party he’d be wearing a bow tie.

  12. Harry

    Good work Liam! We need to be heard more and this is the right way to do it! I have also written an article on Votes at 16. Please see the attached link (it may not work the way I intend so here it is again //www.demo-critic.com).

    On a side note, those who claim that they do not believe most 16 year olds [continue blatant excuse to continue denying the franchise to tax payers etc] are obviously blind to every poll on this issue that has been taken in the last ten years… A minimum of 70% of young people in the 16-17 age bracket believe in the right to vote at 16 (of those polled (randomly)). I direct you to the links on DemoCritic for evidence…

    Cheers,

    Harry at DemoCritic

  13. Jordan

    It’s great to see young people get involved in their representation at an early age!

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