They are off on a recruitment drive again:
A minister gave a strong hint yesterday that the Government will press ahead with plans to lower the voting age to 16.
David Miliband, the schools minister, told a conference of A-level students that it was illogical to prevent 16-year-olds voting when they were allowed to get married and work at that age.
Do you think he was playing to the gallery at all?
The Electoral Commission is investigating the case for lowering the voting age and several ministers have said they have an open mind…
An ‘open mind’? Is that what they are calling it now? I always thought of it as vast, untamed wilderness situated between their ears, full of tumbleweeds and bleached bones.
The Labour Party has floated the idea in its “Big Conversation” policy document and Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, has called for a debate on this “very important” issue.
Yes, it’s keeping me awake at nights.
The voting age was 21 until it was lowered to 18 as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1969. Most countries have a minimum voting age of 18, although it is 17 in East Timor, Indonesia, North Korea, the Seychelles and the Sudan, 16 in Brazil, Cuba and Nicaragua and 15 in Iran.
North Korea!!? Now there’s a thriving engine of lively democratic values to which we can all aspire. And let us not forget the important contributions to the advance of citizen empowerment being forged in Cuba and Iran. These are the trail-blazers of mankind, Ladies and Gentlemen. Ours is but to give humble thanks for the gifts they have bestowed upon us as we eagerly take up the mantle of their enlightened legacy.
The Electoral Commission will publish its report on the subject towards the end of next month and it is expected that it will support enfranchising 16-year-olds.
Go ahead, make my day because this has got ‘backfire’ written all over it. The teenyboppers will just constitute yet another demographic block that stays away from the voting booths in droves. Either that or they will all earnestly rush to the polls to vote for the BNP. However it pans out, I predict disappointment or disaster or both.