Change the voting age to 16
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Hi, my name is Rabiah and I'm a 14 year old student at Southfields Academy. I'm currently working on a Citizenship campaign with my peers Nadija, CJ, Lewis and Tia. We chose this topic because we felt that us young people are the future and we need to express our views in political matters that will affect us one day.
The topic of 16 and 17 year old people being given the right to vote is extremely important. Older generations are being given the responsibility and the right to vote about political matters like education, housing and jobs, yet they don't use their power to help us younger generations and to prepare us for the future in a positive way. Why should we sit quiet and let other people decide our fate for us?
When you turn 16, you have a range of legal rights for example:
- Work full time if you have left school
- Be paid the National Minimum Wage for 16-17 year olds
- Get a National Insurance number
- Legally consent to having sexual intercourse and having a child
If young people have these legal rights to look after themselves then how can they be irresponsible when it comes to matters that affect a whole new generation? If us young people work and pay tax whilst looking after your family etc, then why should young people sit on the side and have no say in where that tax should be spent?
The main reason to why there was no debate in Parliament is because the 'concerns about the age of maturity'. If the Government can deem young people at the age of 16 to legally have sexual intercourse and maybe even become a parent, then young people should be deemed old enough to decide issues that greatly affect their life.
Lastly, I believe that apathy is the biggest issue facing the UK's political system. Engaging people in elections and referendums and giving them the responsibility to decide what they want is initially a good path in fixing the UK's problems.
I would definitely appreciate people sharing their same concern as me and my group. Please promote my petition and stay updated for any more news from me and my peers.
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