7 March 2016

By Lauren E. White

Give 16-year-olds the vote

This week’s column is all about giving young people a voice in politics that they have never gained before – and will probably never gain, either.

For too long young people have been forgotten in the Westminster bubble – disregarded and never addressed by politicians. Giving 16-year-olds a vote would mean we would have to be listened to and taken seriously.

Current policies from the Conservatives do nothing to encourage young people in any way, shape or form: university is more expensive, the living wage won’t apply to us and there is a housing crisis that will probably mean we’re still stuck in our childhood home far longer than we’d like. At the minute, politics is disengaging and off-putting but giving us the vote could change that.

There are many sceptics of this argument, including the writer of an article published on b**p that opposes this column completely. However, it can work. This was proven in the Scottish referendum when 16-year-olds were educated about the choice the country had to make and were given both sides of the argument and allowed to make their own decision.

This could easily work for us when it comes to the EU referendum or even a General Election – we can form our own opinions when told where to look, but not what to see.

Isn’t it about time we were heard and had some credibility? That could be a reality with education and a change in legislation. It’s our future; why should we not shape it?

See you next week.

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