Monday, July 15, 2019

We should lower the voting age

The Youth Parliament is being held this week, and some of the youth MPs are campaigning for a lower voting age:

Molly Doyle, 17, is one Youth MP who wants this to change. She is part of a non-partisan campaign run by youth seeking to lower the voting age in Aotearoa.

"Our democracy is based on one person, one vote,” Molly said.

“People who are 16 can work full-time, consent to sex, drive, and own guns. They should also be able to vote."

I find the argument for a lower voting age compelling, and its even more compelling now, with climate change threatening young people's futures. Scotland has done the right thing. So has Austria. We should too. And I'm looking forward to seeing where this youth-led campaign goes.

Meanwhile, you'd expect a supposedly future-focused, transformative government to be supportive of this. Sadly, that seems to be too much to expect. Because at the end of the day, Labour is about preserving existing power structures - not overturning them.