Is giving under-18s their fair say a good idea, or would it distract from a bigger problem?by Oliver Sidorczuk, Claire Fox / April 23, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
Oliver Sidorczuk—Director at Bite the Ballot
Votes for 16 and 17 year olds across the United Kingdom, for all elections and referendums, transformed from an “if” to a “when” issue on 15th October 2012 when David Cameron and Alex Salmond signed the Edinburgh Agreement.
This agreement enabled around 100,000 under-18s to have their say in the first official contest where the franchise had been reduced to 16: the Scottish independence referendum. And less excitingly, though they’ve been historically opposed to the idea, Conservatives in the UK government also recently legislated to empower the Welsh assembly to determine whether 16 and 17 year olds should have the right to vote in an income tax referendum. Not exactly a cause close to many teenagers’ hearts, but a significant milestone nonetheless.
This movement towards votes at 16 is important, and perhaps vital, to the future survival of UK democracy. It’s also fair, not least because the government is quit…