How old are you? Have you voted in any election? When was the last time you did?
This question popped into my head recently – to which I asked my followers on twitter; (@AdebolaShow).
The poll was interesting as I felt many people would choose yes rather than no. However, I think I am way past the guessing game especially after the last two major elections that we have all experienced in this world. The Brexit referendum and the American general elections for President – both of which took place in 2016
At 16 (gosh it feels like centuries ago now): I, like most of my peers, held a part-time job – along with my studies. I paid tax and national insurance for that matter; and although I was not as politically minded as I would have liked to have been back then, I think if given the option especially as a tax payer, I would most likely have voted.
I can however now confidently say that if I had been given the right to vote at the time, it would have created an early interest in politics and governance, not only for myself but for my entire generation!
Being able to vote is and should always be taken seriously!
I can remember my very first vote (as I’m sure you can too). Can’t you? Wasn’t it exciting? Okay maybe not exciting for all of you but didn’t you feel a sense of responsibility to yourself, to your family; and for many of you, the country in which you live your day to day life?
For many of you, being ‘forced’ (or should I say influenced) to cast your vote has been the norm – especially for women. Regardless of the circumstances in which you voted, believe me, be assured that you made a difference – whatever the outcome.
The day you voted, you actually let yourself to be heard!
Back in the day… yes back in the day (before the 1970’s) people had to wait until they’re 21 in order to qualify to vote. However, this ancient nonsense has now changed and you now only have to be 18 in order to vote in majority of countries across the world.
Better, yes? Of course!
But why 18 and not 16? The two-year age difference may seem big but, in my eyes that’s little to no difference at all!
Today, Austria is the only country in Europe which allows 16 year olds to vote in national elections. Scotland only allows 16 year olds to vote in the Scottish parliamentary local elections – which some would argue seems to be working out really well for them – until the recent Brexit results!
In the referendum that was held in 2014 – Should Scotland Be An Independent Country? 89% of 16-17 year olds voted to stay in the UK…. Hmmm maybe 16 year olds do have some political interests. Maybe they should have been allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum eh?? It is them who will have to live with the consequences for the longer term.
All the same, I’m sure all of us have an opinion as to whether 16 year olds should vote in elections.
As always I’m constrained from openly sharing my views on any direct political matter – although I’m sure you can place bets on where I sit on this particular topic.
All the same I would still like to open up discussions on such matters.
So where do you stand?
Do you think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote in elections? Any elections? Or, which elections?