BLOG: Why can you marry your MP at 16, but not vote for them?


At the age of 16 you can join the armed forces, entrusted by the state to fire a gun.
But you cannot vote.
At the age of 16 you can consent to sex and start a family.
But you cannot vote.
At the age of 16 you can change your name by deed poll to ‘Votey McVoteface’.
But you cannot vote.
 
The proposal to lower the voting age to 16 is well over due. Many people finish their full-time education at 16 and go out to the workplace. They pay income tax and National Insurance but are denied a voice. ‘No taxation without representation!’.
 
Young people today are better connected and worldlier than any generation before, and are therefore just as able to come to an informed opinion as anybody else.
 
The Welsh Government’s consultation document on electoral reform in Wales was presented to Conwy County Councillors.
The document proposes numerous changes in the way we vote and who is eligible to vote at election in Wales. These changes include; electronic voting, remote voting, adopting the single transferable vote (ending the ‘first past the post’ system), and lowering the voting age to 16 at local government elections.

The committee and I voted to give 16 & 17 year olds in Conwy the right to vote in local elections. It’s now up to the Welsh Government if our decision is adopted.
 
Lowering the voting age will engage, inspire and empower 16 and 17 year olds to influence key decisions that affect their lives and ensure important issues are properly represented.
 
A fellow Councillor raised in the meeting that the voting age, and the age to hold public office, used to be 21. I couldn’t resist the urge to point out that I had only turned 21 a couple of week ago, and therefore would not have been eligible to stand at the last Council elections held in May. My point is, the age in which we develop an interest in issues that affect our lives vary from person to person.
 
Young people are the future and it’s in everyone's interests to encourage us to engage positively with our communities and with the world. The right to vote would encourage and foster an interest in current affairs as well as nurturing a sense of responsibility which will stay with us for life.
 
Let’s give generation Xcluded the vote.


- Councillor Aaron Wynne