No!

Give all 16-year-olds in the UK the vote

When a 16 year old is considered sufficiently mature to buy a beer, smokes, and pay for them by performing a blow job on screen, then we can indeed say that they’re old enough to aid us all in deciding which brand of thief will rule us. But a society that considers a 16 year old too immature to do those first three things is not one that can logically then turn around and state that they’re mature enough to do the fourth.

Damn, we currently insist that a 16 year old is too stupid to know whether or not to send someone a picture of their naked genitals. If the societal belief is that they’re that dim then what in buggery is the case for their being able to vote?

28 thoughts on “No!”

  1. On the surface, my generation seems to be disengaged from politics and the political process.

    Good. At your age, you should be chasing girls and getting into hilarious capers like The Inbetweeners, not looking at mucky Lib Dem pamphlets like some kind of sick pervert.

    But the reasons for this don’t lie with the young people; disengagement has not been due to hatred of politics or a lack of interest, but, rather, due to our limited access to politics and political debate.

    Pish. Owen Jones is still going through puberty. Laurie Penny watches John Craven’s Newsround and decorates her room with free posters from Smash Hits.

    We don’t need more of them.

    Young people see a disparity between law and logic, with it being legal for 16-year-olds to have and raise a child, yet have no say in what sort of a country it is that that child will grow up in.

    How many kids have you got then, laddie?

    Not to mention that the sort of people who have kids at 16 generally shouldn’t be allowed to vote – ever – anyway.

    In relation to the other groups in society, young people often fall short in terms of respect and attention paid to them when presenting ideas of how to make change.

    That’s because you don’t deserve as much respect and attention as somebody who might actually have the experience to know what he’s talking about.

    And who doesn’t have crusty socks and a grubby copy of Mayfair hidden under his bed.

    I must live under a government that I had no option to influence. I didn’t decide to be passive: my age meant that my view was irrelevant at the time. My views, as well as that of others my age, could have been, and should have been, a factor in deciding who and how the country that I will learn, live and work in is governed and run.

    Bring back bullying.

  2. due to our limited access to politics and political debate.

    The poor child must have grown up in a house with no papers, books, TV, Internet or other people. Such deprivation.

  3. Of course, they’re not mature enough to vote. That’s precisely why those of a leftish persuasion want to them to vote.

    Obvious innit?

  4. The left know that the young and dumb are much more likely to vote for their brand of evil, stupid shite.

    That is all there is to it.

  5. Dear god, looking back I wouldn’t want my 16 year old self voting. I’d probably have picked Jeremy Corbyn.

    You know fuck all about politics until you get a real paycheque and hate the government. Or at least, take a subtle view of wanting things done well if they’re going to take it.

  6. If we gave the vote to people in hopes of getting a competent, informed, and intelligent decision, we’d set exams to see if voters were qualified to vote, and I’m pretty sure a large percentage of the adult population wouldn’t get it! I don’t find it impossible that some kids would.

    But we don’t give people the vote because we value their judgement and expertise. We give them the vote because they’re affected by the decisions politicians make.

    It’s a form of the social contract – you give your implicit consent to be ruled by having a say in your rulers. And it’s irrelevant if you’re a complete political numpty – if you are, you’ll get the politicians you deserve. It’s the same sort of principle that allows people to smoke, get drunk, and get tattoos – it doesn’t matter how ill-advised or downright stupid it is, what matters is that you were asked and you consented.

    It’s imperfect, of course, because most individual people didn’t consent to the party that actually gets in. It treats “the British people” as a singular collective whose opinion is sought. Unfortunately, Arrow’s theorem says there is no perfect system, so we have to put up with imperfection.

    For philosophical consistency, the voting age should be the same as the age of criminal responsibility – the point at which you come into the power of the legislators you’re voting for. And that’s 10 years old.

  7. Pingback: No, No, No… | Longrider

  8. Tax inspector: You owe £237.38 back tax. Pay up now if you want to keep your vote.

    DocBud: Would you like a blow job, instead?

    Tax inspector: That will do nicely…

  9. A sixteen year old has spent all his life in school and family. He/she naturally thinks the whole world works like that as its all He knows. He is also unduly influenced by the views of teachers- who have spent all their lives in education.
    Either the voting age should be raised to some years after the school leaving age, or the school leaving age should be lowered to some years before the voting age. Otherwise new voters are not forming independent opinions.

  10. “A sixteen year old has spent all his life in school and family. He/she naturally thinks the whole world works like that as its all He knows.”

    The same can be said of pretty much anyone of limited social and intellectual horizons.

    “He went straight from school at 16 to work in a burger bar, lodging at his mum’s. He’s scarcely been out his home town, let alone the country. He’s not run a business, or even been a manager over anyone. He gets all his opinions from his mates down the pub. He can’t add up, or spell, or explain how electricity works. He knows no economics, history, trade, political or moral philosophy, or international military strategy. And you want to give him the vote with a say in how the whole country is run?!”

    If you want to limit voting to people with well-informed opinions, then I want to see voters having to pass an exam. And I’ll be marking the papers, too.

  11. Yup it’s about who is an adult. We don’t currently regard them as such although we give them some abilities of adults like getting married but with parental consent, a slow integration of you will.

    I hate votes for 16 campaigners, they are themselves confused and clearly don’t get ‘what’s broken with politics’ because 16 year olds not being enfranchised isn’t it.

  12. We don’t give people the vote because they are mature, otherwise swathes of 20-year-olds would be denied the vote. We don’t give people the vote because they pay income tax, otherwise Daniel Ratcliffe would have had the vote at the age of 12 and I would not have had the vote until I was 30.

    We give people the vote for one reason and for one reason only. They are legally adults. As a society we decide that somebody is an adult by the sole criteria of their age. At what age society decides that somebody is a legal adult is a choice for that society, but the right to vote is an adult right.

    If you want to change the age at which somebody has the adult right to vote you do it by changing the age at which somebody is legally an adult, and has all the responsibilites of being an adult, such as being held to adult contracts, being tried in an adult court, being sent to an adult prison, being shot at by foreigners as an adult soldier; and losing all rights and protections of being a child.

  13. ““He went straight from school at 16 to work in a burger bar, lodging at his mum’s. He’s scarcely been out his home town, let alone the country. He’s not run a business, or even been a manager over anyone. He gets all his opinions from his mates down the pub. He can’t add up, or spell, or explain how electricity works. He knows no economics, history, trade, political or moral philosophy, or international military strategy. ”

    Sounds streets ahead of the average university graduate.

  14. A curious bit of accounting shows that 16 year olds have more electoral power for their money than an adult.

    They can join Young Conservatives or the Labour equivalent for around £3, and this gets you 1 vote in about 300,000 in determining party leaders or future PMs.

    Voting in General Elections ( 1 vote in 30 million? ) is far more likely to be pointless by a factor of 100. It might even cost you a quid if your time is worth NMW and it takes out ten minutes of your.

    Letting the 16-17yos vote will make little practical difference – they’ve already got better value electoral power if engaged in party membership.

  15. Looking at the recent results of voting by the great British public is it not a good idea to give up on Democracy.
    Maybe some hedge fund could take over.

  16. Raise the voting age to 35. By about that age they will, roughly speaking, at last be paying into the pot. Up to that age they’ll have drawn out more than they’ve ever put in. If they argue, cut their goolies off.

  17. dearieme: as to goolie slicing, I’d settle for compulsory sterilisation for all refugees (aka economic migrants) on arrival in the UK. End of!

  18. Andrew Carey,

    “They can join Young Conservatives or the Labour equivalent for around £3, and this gets you 1 vote in about 300,000 in determining party leaders or future PMs.

    Voting in General Elections ( 1 vote in 30 million? ) is far more likely to be pointless by a factor of 100. It might even cost you a quid if your time is worth NMW and it takes out ten minutes of your.”

    Excellent points.

    Couple of notes: the Conservatives have a qualifying period, which Labour don’t. You have to have been a member for 3 months before a leadership election, which means you don’t get entryists joining the party just to vote for the leader. And for Labour, it’s not even £3. It’s £1. If you’re in any way inclined towards socialist nuttery, why wouldn’t you join at that price? Or if you’re a Conservative student wanting to destroy Labour, why wouldn’t you?

  19. We do have votes for 16-year-olds here in the Isle of Man. Hardly any of them use it. Indeed, hardly anybody under 40 (maybe even 50) does. As a result, we’ve just had a by-election with 30% turnout (on top of very low levels of electoral registration) in which few young people voted but lots of old people did, having been canvassed assiduously in their care homes by certain candidates. As a result, two reformist candidates from business backgrounds lost and a postman won.

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