Diana Johnson MP writes in the House Magazine
I was reading this article, which was published in the January edition of House magazine
I have to agree with what Ms Johnson
says on a lot of things like:
· Sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Britain pay employment-related taxes, which are set by politicians who they don't get to choose.
· Sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Britain can get married so why can't they vote.
· Sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Britain can join the armed forces so why can't they elect the politicians who decide if Britain should participate in an armed conflict.
· People at 17 are entrusted with one of society's most dangerous weapons – the motor car and if they can be trusted with that then why cant we trust them with the vote.
· The current generation of sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Britain is the first generation of young people to undertake the government's citizenship education yet they have to wait two years to apply what they have learnt about the democratic process.
· Voting is a habit that society should encourage in the young – certainly more so than less socially beneficial activities such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling and pornography and if Sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Britain can enjoy those then why not the right to vote.
In the article Ms Johnson also makes two good points which I have not heard made before the first was "Why should keen, well-informed young people coming through our education system and feeling ready for the right to vote, be held back by those not feeling up to it?" and "Why should democratic progress have to happen at a pace dictated by the slowest-developers?"
I certainly hope that soon parliament will decide that sixteen and seventeen year olds should have the vote. I think its more likely since the POWER
Commission published back in February backed lowering the voting age to sixteen.