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Showing posts from December, 2015

Votes for kids

Parliament today voted against giving 16 and 17 year olds a vote in the EU referendum.
Those in favour of reducing the voting age can often be heard saying “it’s their future” and “16 year olds can get married, join the army and have kids so why shouldn’t they be able to vote?”
Neither of these arguments is particularly strong.  First, well it is their future… but it’s also my son’s future – he’s five, should he have a vote?  Clearly not since he just about understands that he was born in London let alone that London is the capital of a country called the UK, which is a member of an international organisation called the EU.
So, what does my five year old son teach us?  He teaches us that there has to be a cut off.  There will be some children his age who understand that the UK is a country and London is its capital just as there are some 16 year olds who understand what the EU is and are capable of making a mature decision about the UK’s future.  But, we all know that there are 16 ye…