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 – http://www.battlefront.co.uk/12th-campaigner/votes-at-16/

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

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

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