ACT Government to consider lowering the voting age

Ralph 26 September 2007 76

The ABC notes that a report has been tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly – recommending that the Government consider lowering the voting age to 16.

Only in the ACT can you expect such loopy proposals. Such a policy would be a boon to fringe parties like the Greens, who often have the younger, naive, voters captured with their idealistic rhetoric.


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76 Responses to ACT Government to consider lowering the voting age
VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 9:08 am 28 Sep 07

The simplest solution would be to make voting voluntary. That way, those with an opinion can express it, and those who don’t have an opinion have no requirements placed upon them.

I have to admit, having a large group of idealistic, lefty, greeny, anti-everything influencing the vote is not my idea of sensible.

thetruth thetruth 10:56 pm 27 Sep 07

“I was fortunate enough to be born into a privileged generation that took full employment for granted. It is an awesome responsibility to enter this Parliament at a time when unemployment exceeds 10 per cent and long-term unemployment is approaching half a million. The social cost of unemployment places enormous responsibility not just on politicians in this House but also on academics, industrial leaders and everyone in our community not to tap the mat and say, `There is nothing we can do’. We should never resort to the pathetic bleating that we sometimes hear from sections of our community that there is nothing that can be done.

It is our duty, as national leaders, to ensure that the inevitable sacrifices flowing from unemployment are equitably borne; that fundamental principles of justice are preserved and applied; that all the nation’s resources of intellect and expertise are drawn into the struggle to combat unemployment. That must be our foremost task. With unemployment, Australia faces the fourth greatest challenge of its first century of federation—a challenge as great as those presented by two world wars and the great depression. This Parliament must have a decisive role in reshaping Australia, in recharging the economy and in restoring employment. I therefore applaud the commitment of the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) and the Minister for Employment, Education and Training (Mr Beazley) to tackle this problem head on. It is the most fundamental thing we can do.”

This was Wayne Swan’s maiden speech in 1993 – I am sure that the burden of unemployment will soon be shared equally with your mother.

By the way Wayne Swan was born in 1954 – who was in Government then? (noting how priviledged he felt).

Many folk have forgotten what is was like to have a scarcity of jobs rather than labour.

You wouldn’t believe that I am actually a labor voter. Just finding the balance in the debate a bit one sided – absolute power corrupts absolutely

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 10:27 pm 27 Sep 07

well, sarcasm generally relies on the tone of voice, which is impossible on here – unless you set it up well, which I don’t think you did. If you fail at cracking the lowest form of wit….
I know, the 30,000 full-time jobs on dodgy contracts that can be withdrawn at the employers whim and that employees are afraid to reject because centrelink won’t give them anything for two months if they do…
And before you start – my mother was recently fired with no warning. The reason? ‘Oh, we don’t have to give you one’

thetruth thetruth 10:00 pm 27 Sep 07

“And to thetruth (which you are not), that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! You’re an idiot, sorry. What about people who’ve lost their jobs due to IR laws, for example? Or by public service cuts? Or by companies collapsing? Should they have the right to rail against a government that cost them their livelihood?
Denying the vote to anyone who is able to contribute to society is one of the first steps towards a caste system.
Change your nick immediately!”

If sarcasism is the lowest form of wit… what does it say about you if you don’t get it?????

Maybe an IQ test would be a better determinent of ability to vote than age.

(By the way what about the 30,000 odd per month that have got a job as a result of the new IR laws – and not the McJobs that were a feature 12 to 13 years ago but full-time jobs. Now that should bring out the arguements)

boomacat boomacat 9:38 pm 27 Sep 07

I went to high school on the gold coast, most the teachers there were right leaning and if any brainwashing occurred it was towards the right.

I think it’s crap to say all schools brainwash kids.

nyssa76 nyssa76 8:51 pm 27 Sep 07

Nemo, glad to see you think that all teachers are also Union members.

Well I’m not.

Your argument is flawed so build a bridge and get over it. One article and 6 schools does not mean the entire Australian school system is biased nor should you think that because 1 article was written that it’s true.

Please tell me you didn’t teach English. I guess you missed the Critical Literacy PD when picketing for more money whilst shafting new teachers.

adeptacheese adeptacheese 8:39 pm 27 Sep 07


Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:36 pm 27 Sep 07

Just because you were a douche when you were 16, doesn’t mean everyone else was.
Quite a few 16 year olds are politically aware nowadays. I was – and my views, romantically idealistic they may be, haven’t changed that dramatically since I reached voting age.

Fluges Fluges 7:14 pm 27 Sep 07

Yeah, OK Deadman, I’m just a grumpy old bastard when it comes to ‘kidults’. Anyway, I do know this: when I was 16, I supported the Vietnam war – I didn’t know any better; when I was 18 I’d left home, I was a student at ANU, and my views were the exact opposite, and have remained so. I don’t think I knew that much when I was 16.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 6:11 pm 27 Sep 07

And to thetruth (which you are not), that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! You’re an idiot, sorry. What about people who’ve lost their jobs due to IR laws, for example? Or by public service cuts? Or by companies collapsing? Should they have the right to rail against a government that cost them their livelihood?
Denying the vote to anyone who is able to contribute to society is one of the first steps towards a caste system.
Change your nick immediately!

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 5:53 pm 27 Sep 07

Most people living out of home pay for their own broadband, electricity, food, rent, soap and deoderant, regardless of age, Fluges. I do, and I can tell you that one does not automatically gain adulthood by doing so. Life experience is not just merely the ability to satisfy basic needs. And you don’t need to be old and cynical to vote – only to be able to pick a party who’s policies most suit your beliefs.
16 year olds are affected by policies just as much as everyone else is. They should have the right to have a say, no matter how many lawns they’ve mowed.

Fluges Fluges 5:43 pm 27 Sep 07

In this context, I don’t think ‘life experience’ means trips to Bali. I think it means paying for your own broadband and electricity, food, rent, soap and deoderant and mowing the lawn on occasion with good humour. Even if they’re working, most ‘kidults’ living at home only spend ‘their’ money on petrol, alcohol, electronic equipment and other entertainments. I’m not talking 16 year olds here, I’m talking 18 to mid-twenties and beyond. 16 year olds are even less qualified to vote.

And, yes, the drinking age used to be 21, as was the voting age. When I turned 18 I hitch-hiked around Tasmania with a few mates to celebrate. It was supposed to be a pub crawl, but nobody told us that the legal drinking age in Tasmania at that time was still 21! So we had to continue the practise of under-age drinking for another week or so.

Ralph Ralph 5:18 pm 27 Sep 07

Yes, it’s inequitable.

thetruth thetruth 5:15 pm 27 Sep 07

“The basic argument in support of expanding the electoral franchise beyond propertied white middle aged men in centuries past was that there should be “no taxation without representation” (see the Eureka Stockade for example), ie citizens should not have to contribute to the society by way of taxation if they don’t get a say in how their taxes are spent.”

Hey I like this!!!! What about a movement that says “No representation without Taxation” Why don’t you get a vote for each dollar in taxation you pay?? Then it doesn’t matter how old you are, what matters is how much you contribute.

Don’t think this would give more to rich folk – Because it would depend on how much tax you paid.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 4:51 pm 27 Sep 07

Maybe if the voting age is dropped to 16, then 16 year olds will also be happy to be conscripted if the need arises during times of conflict?

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:44 pm 27 Sep 07

“right-leaning as I mature”

Reminds me of some trees up on the (very windy) far north west coast, although direction of lean depended on the direction one was driving…

PS: RA site seems to be responding again, for the first time since mid morning.

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 4:43 pm 27 Sep 07

Can anyone give a reasonable argument as to why 16 is a good voting age as opposed to 18, 14, 15 etc?

A cutoff age is always going to risk marginalising those who are just below it. Considering the infrequency of elections (particularly for the ACT LA), changing the voting age could still have fuck all impact anyway.

GnT GnT 3:52 pm 27 Sep 07

“right-leaning as I mature”

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Ralph Ralph 3:34 pm 27 Sep 07

JB can attest that I am not him, and that I am in fact a real person, just becoming increasingly hawkish and right-leaning as I mature. I’m sure we will have the pleasure some time soon.

The purpose is to point out the absurdity of some of the loopy things you usually only ever hear about in the ACT. I know that some readers here, when hearing such suggestions, nod with head tilted and give considered thought to such absurdities.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:00 pm 27 Sep 07

I don’t know if it is just here, but RA is proving near impossible to get any pages coming up on today…

On this topic, the original post is very much how JB sometimes wrote…hmmm

And Ralph so deliberately goes out of the way to bait people I sometimes wonder if – like the former “Big Al”, Ralph is another construct designed to use outrageous statements to haul right-thinking people out of apathy…?

I have but one observation: what is wrong with being idealistic? Better than bitter and twisted I reckon.

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