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News » WAB Debate

Lower Voting Age Backed By Council - A WAB Debate

Tuesday June 3 2014

COUNCILLORS have backed calls to give 16-year-olds the right to vote.

The decision followed an emphatic speech given to councillors by Thomas Yems, 18, chairman of Barnsley Youth Council.

Thomas, of Penistone, warned how the UK is in danger of falling behind other countries such as the Isle of Man, Jersey, Brazil and Ecuador, where 16-year-olds are allowed to vote.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, backed the plans.

"It is great to see Barnsley Council supporting votes at 16," he said. "Lowering the voting age is a bold and radical proposal that has the potential to energise and engage a whole new generation.

"Votes at 16 would undoubtedly and importantly strengthen our parliamentary democracy."

What do you think to this? Are you in favour? Do you think it will inspire a new generation of voters? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by Thingybobby on Tuesday June 3 2014 at 12:34
Aren't our Councillors elected to deal with the many and varied LOCAL Issues, without wasting time on matters, dealt with by NATIONAL Government?

That said, they probably want a distraction from the mess they're creating!

Bearing in mind that some countries still have a voting age of 21 years and that our Electoral Turnout is often lucky to reach 30%, I believe other things are far more pressing.

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday June 13 2014 at 09:54
It is interesting to note that the Youth Council ran an annual consultation in the Autumn last year which achieved a 36% turnout! And in the last Youth Council elections it was 59%, so clearly young people do care, if they are given the opportunity.

Reply Posted by Dan on Wednesday June 4 2014 at 09:04
You are absolutely right thingyboby we'll said but they don't whant to hear that kind of talk. Anyway they think a good idea is only good if they think of it. As for voting Barnsley people want every thing doing for them too lazy to get off the bed of nails they are laying on

Reply Posted by blue sky on Wednesday June 4 2014 at 16:54
Why give the vote to children? They are not adults until 18. Besides most people in Barnsley do not bother to bote nor are they intetested enough or educated enough to understand politics. I say no. What do kids know about the subject?

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday June 13 2014 at 09:56
I suppose it depends on how you define 'child'. Citizens in society are given different responsibilities as they grow up, from the age of 10 which is that of criminal responsibility, to that of 21, when you can adopt a child. So clearly the bit in the middle is a grey area, a transition period, when you are neither a child nor an adult. Changing the voting age does not suddenly meant that 16 year olds will now be 'adults', nor that they are 'children'.

Reply Posted by j on Wednesday June 4 2014 at 22:15
Yet to meet a 16 year old who has any interest in politics or would get off their mobile long enough to walk to the polling booth to actually vote - stupid idea to say the least!

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday June 13 2014 at 09:59
All I will point out is goo.gl/VlO8WR

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Friday June 6 2014 at 22:13
OH hey up he's here again Tow'd Dugher with his own self promotional rubbish...


Reply Posted by Donna on Saturday June 7 2014 at 13:40
These are children.
They don't understand the world, they have no life experience,
They know what they are spoon fed to be right,
They have not learnt to make their own choices with bias.
Sounds like a crock of poop if u ask me.
Making our voting system a joke.
If they start voting I will stop as their will be no point continuingz

Stupid! Councilors need to get their heads sorted. Live on another planet!

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday June 13 2014 at 10:02
As a young person, I have met adults, who don't know a thing about politics, and cannot comprehend the differences in the electoral systems between AV, STV, First Past the Post, and different elected groups, MPs, MEPs, Councillors etc.

Many young people have had life experiences that you may never have dreamed of, being young carers, saving the lives of family members, etc.

Define the word 'children', are you an adult when you get criminal responsibility at 10, or at 16 when you can join the armed forces, or at 18 when you can buy alcohol, or at 21 when you can adopt a child ... The ages from 10 to 21 are a transition period, where you are neither a child nor an adult.

Reply Posted by richard anderson on Saturday June 7 2014 at 13:52
let them pay tax
do away with mi card and child benifits at 16
make them take out studant lones to go to collage like uni studants if they want vote and to be treat like adults

Reply Posted by spell checker on Saturday June 7 2014 at 15:30
You want to learn how to spell, never mind worrying about kids voting, There probably got more knowledge then you Richard.

Reply Posted by teacher on Saturday June 7 2014 at 15:46
3/10 for Richard Anderson. 4/10 for spell checker. How ironic. Laugh of the day!

Reply Posted by preacher on Saturday June 7 2014 at 16:07
Teacher - what odds are them? the derby odds i,m guessing.. You the only idiot on here Kilkenny.

Reply Posted by teacher on Saturday June 7 2014 at 17:25
No idea what you're on about preacher? I just marked the spelling of Richard Anderson and spell checker. No one mentioned horse races. Go preach to Kenny. Lol.

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday June 13 2014 at 10:04
We do pay tax. We pay VAT, we pay income tax.

Reply Posted by sarah on Saturday June 7 2014 at 14:38
my 16 and 17 yr olds would vote, no they dont have as much life experience as adult but they are interested in politics,they are aware of how our money is mis managed by both the council and central government. They are not brain washed into thinking what their dad and I think as we both have different opinions anyway. One of them is working and doing A levels so is not a layabout doing nothing in life and one of them doesnt even have a mobile phone!

Reply Posted by JOHNF on Monday June 16 2014 at 12:10
INTERESTING CONCEPT...... But before they go down this road how about finding a way to get the people who are already old enough to vote . So many people on here complain about the council , the government , but never bother to vote or even know the issues that the people stand for. It is not that i don't think 16 yr olds have the intelligence or are informed , i just think they need to ride the roller coater a while before they get off 18 is still ok

Reply Posted by Tom on Thursday June 19 2014 at 11:19
However, votes at 16 would improve the political education and help improve the turnout.

Reply Posted by noname on Sunday June 21 2015 at 21:37
Yes they should be able to vote. IF they can provide a good understanding of politics. A written test should suffice and if they fail then they don't get to vote. This way, engaged 16 yr olds don't loose out and those that fail don't mess up the system even more than it already is.

ipso Regulated