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Give teenagers the vote to help bring down social divide #16tovote

THE Suffrateens want to emphasise the importance of having the voting age lowered to 16.

If teenagers are given the responsibility to put forward their views on politics then they will feel more wanted in society and, in turn, will be less likely to commit crimes and hang out on street corners.

Most 16 year olds watch the news and have views on politics and are able to use their vote sensibly to get, not what would only benefit them, but what will benefit wider society as well.

Also, we think if teenagers grew up knowing they could vote as soon as they turned 16 they would take more of an interest in politics and who they want to run the country from an early age, rather than voting for someone they have no idea about when they reach the age of 18 because they paid no attention to politics.

As people can only vote at the age of 18 at the moment they probably won't become interested in politics until they are 17 or 18 years old. As a result they won't take anything in and may just deliberately spoil their ballot paper or not vote at all.

But if they become interested in politics at an early age by the time they are 16 they will know who they want to run the country, and the European Union, and will be able to vote sensibly. They will vote sensibly and be interested in politics for the rest of their lives.

After all, society doesn't want people fighting for the age to be lowered to be like the Suffragettes, pictured left, and to campaign violently until the Government is pressured into giving in.

At 16 years of age you can marry and have children, so why aren't you allowed to vote when you surely have to be more responsible to do the two things mentioned above, as they are both life-long commitments? Many countries around the world such as Brazil, Austria, Cuba, Nicaragua, The Isle of Man, Ecuador and Slovenia allow people to vote at 16.

Germany led the way in the '90s reducing the voting age to 16, the Isle of Man followed in July 2006, then Jersey in July 2007, followed by Switzerland.

Clearly no harm has come to these societies because the voting age would have gone back up to 18.

So, why don't we follow in the footsteps of Germany and lower the voting age for the good of society? We mustn't be scared of change, we must try our best to work together.

THE SUFFRATEENS – ABBIE HUGHS, LUCY OLSZEWSKI, NATALIE McCANN, MOLLIE GAMBLE, ELIZABETH ELKIN, ELLIE FORESTER-O'NEIL St John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle

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Posted in: News by SoulRiser on April 16, 2010 @ 9:06 PM

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