Votes at 16

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Votes at 16 Coalition
Type Coalition

Votes at 16 is a campaign in the United Kingdom which argues in favour of the reduction of the voting age to 16 for all public elections.


The Votes at 16 Coalition is a national group of major UK youth organisations, political parties and other supporters of the Votes at 16 Cause.[1] The coalition is led by a steering group of active members who include the British Youth Council, the Children's Rights Alliance for England, The Co-operative Group, the National Union of Students and the Scottish Youth Parliament, who have all campaigned for Votes at 16 for a number of years. Trade union UNISON has also voted to support Votes at 16.[2]

The Labour Party's Conference in 2008 voted to accept the hard won recommendation of Labour's National Policy Forum to support Votes at 16.[3] North Tyneside Labour Party passed a motion in March 2011 in support of lowering the voting age to 16. The campaign is also supported by the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its youth wing the Young Scots for Independence (YSI). As the SNP is now in government in Scotland they have now officially called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 and have expressed their intention to lower the voting age to 16 for the upcoming referendum on Scottish Independence.

The campaign espouses several principles in favour of lowering the voting age.[4]

The Debate[edit]

On Friday 14th November UKYP (UK youth parliament) youth MP's from around the UK came together at the Houses of Parliament to debate on 5 issues pick from over 8750000 young people age 11-18 in the UK. [2]. The debate was led by John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons and one of the top 5 was votes at 16. The debate can be found on YouTube

UKYP has campaign on votes at 16 before; in 2014 lots of the same arguments should as; "At 16, we can marry our MP, we can sleep with our MP and we can have children with our MP. We can sign up in preparation for fighting and potentially dying for our MP. And suddenly we are not mature enough to vote for them. What an absolute disgrace!" —James Evans MYP, 2009.

But in 2014 Danny Brown, Youth MP for Darlington said, "We have all heard the arguments, as it has been pointed out, so I am not going to repeat them - we all know them. There are so many great campaigns, but think how many people have said to you, 'what you are doing is pointless. You are not going to make a change.' Your sitting hear in this room right now is making a change. As you are here, why don't you make a change for the 1.5 million young people who cannot vote? On Wednesday, I turn 15. My question is: will I have to wait a year to vote or another three years?" He then went on to say; "Let's do this for all the Lukes, Maddies, Scotts and Jameses. Let's have a revolution - let's make Britain great again."


External links[edit]