You know what I think? Doesn't matter, you will in five minutes.
I've always been aware of how politically ignorant I am. I went into my first state election, newly 18, and hadn't heard of at least three of the parties (which led me to putting Family First quite high up, due to their innocuous name, but as it turns out, their policies are very Christian-driven).
But when I was at school, I actually knew quite a bit about it. Definitely not enough to call myself very informed, but enough to call myself...mildly informed. In any case, I was more informed than I am now.
And based on this one, single case, I reckon 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote. Without hard evidence, I do think that my case is not alone - I'd be willing to bet that quite a few people cared a bit less once they were old enough to actually need to know. This is partly due to some schools encouraging political curiosity, and partly because 16-year-olds are very much at their peak of wanting to change the world. One vote at a time. I remember being quite frustrated that my voice didn't count.
After some discussion with a friend, I acknowledged that not at 16-year-olds are like this though. Some of them are quite stupid. And still a bit self-absorbed. So I propose instead that 16- and 17-year-olds be allowed to vote, without being obligated to. If we operate on a basis similar to what's in America, presumably, only the teenagers who care enough to make the effort will be the ones voting.
There are some obvious concerns, with regard to teenagers obviously not placing as much priority on some very important aspects, things that don't affect them yet like housing, job security, sometimes roads. But at the same time it adds a perspective that is lost to adults, policies that are for children, for example, or that are about the more distant future. I think it would have the power to make sure politicians listen to the needs of the youth.
Now, who do I address this idea to?
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.