3 reasons not to lower the voting age

George Osborne Pleased

After a debate on Votes at 16 was filibustered out of a vote, here are three reasons not to support lowering the voting age.

As Conservative ex-chancellor George Osborne joined the campaign to lower the voting age in the UK to 16, many thought that the tides were turning. However, Tory MPs filibustered the debate - speaking for too long to allow a vote, as Labour MPs shouted 'shame' across the chamber. The Deputy Speaker even had to wade in, exclaiming that he wasn't at a football match. So why shouldn't we be supporting votes at 16?

16 year olds don't know enough about politics

This is a sweeping generalisation, of course,e but one I'm sure the majority can attest to. I certainly know that at 16, I didn't have enough knowledge about politics to vote responsibly. The problem here is a lack of political education, and this is something that should certainly be addressed before MPs try to force through virtue signalling bills.

16 year olds are more easily influenced by parents and guardians

This point ties in with the first - a general lack of political knowledge means any debates with family or friends can easily tip you one way or the other with your vote. Technically, in many cases, parents to 16 year olds may be handed an 'extra vote' in cases where their child isn't politically savvy, undermining democratic principles. 

16 year olds can't do everything politicians tell you they can

Yes, they can join the army - but not as frontline soldiers and with parental permission. Yes, they can marry their MP... if their parents give permission. 16 year olds don't pay tax, they can't drink, they can't go into nightclubs. Politicians and votes at 16 campaigners will tell you that 16 year olds can do EVERYTHING but vote. This isn't true.