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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
Ralph Ralph 9:55 pm 26 Sep 07

Another good piece from my beloved Janet.

Mind you this brainwashing goes on in public schools, and they wonder why parents are pulling their kids out of the public system in droves.

Nemo Nemo 9:41 pm 26 Sep 07

See the link for an article on Teacher’s union propaganda being distributed to school students recently.,25197,22441932-7583,00.html

The Secretary The Secretary 9:00 pm 26 Sep 07

According to the last census, in 2006 there were 12,640 Canberrans aged 15-19. Therefore, I would assume that around 40% of this figure, or approximately 5,000 Canberrans are now aged 16-17.

If these youngsters were to be given franchise, it would be a naive or out-of-touch party that neglected the issues that effect them.

As for students passively accepting to the propaganda of their teachers, that is no worse than the political soundbites and shocking statistics pedalled by the media that the rest of us mindlessly absorb, deluding ourselves that we are actually critically engaging with the world.

GregW GregW 8:50 pm 26 Sep 07

And for the record, having just left, I cannot recall any incidents of teachers pushing their views on students, even despite the high rates of unionism amongst the staff.

GregW GregW 8:48 pm 26 Sep 07

16 year olds should be able to vote, and elections should be voluntary (for any age group). That way if people don’t have a keen enough interest in politics to bother voting, they don’t have to, and if they do even at a younger age, they can. There is little legitimate reason why old people are entitled to a greater say, infact I believe a lot of problems with public education stems from older people making the decisions for said students.

Nemo Nemo 8:42 pm 26 Sep 07

We missed the labelling lesson due to a teacher’s union strike.

asp asp 8:37 pm 26 Sep 07

I’m surprised no one has pointed out that sex is legal from the age of 16 in the ACT (17 in 3 or 4 states). In the US, you can’t drink till your 21.

But let’s not get stuck in a debate over what age we should be allowed to drink and smoke and all that. It’s clear every culture and every person has different views.

The key questions are:
Will a 16yr old analyze the running candidates any better or worse than you do?
Will a 16 year old understand what the candidate is offering, what it means and what their vote will do?

When I was 16, I could as could many of my friends.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 8:32 pm 26 Sep 07

well, shauno – maybe the fact that a large amount of people want to vote for a particular party means something?
Tired of how the liberal party is screwing up the country at a federal level?
Tired of how labor acts as a liberal-lite at a state level?
Tired of the direction this country they will soon inherit is going?

shauno shauno 8:18 pm 26 Sep 07

“ralph- your assertion that 16 yr olds should not be given the vote because they’re more likely to vote green is the stupidest thing i’ve heard in a long time. It goes against the very point of a democracy to deny the vote to a group on the basis of how that group might vote.
Heaven forbid 16 yr olds use their vote to get the politicians they agree with elected.”

Maybe so but he’s right

nyssa76 nyssa76 8:14 pm 26 Sep 07

Nemo, no they aren’t. You can say that you’ve been to 5 or 6 schools in either NSW or the ACT but you cannot label all schools as being biased.

Or didn’t you teach your students that ‘labelling’ is wrong?

barking toad barking toad 7:46 pm 26 Sep 07

Oh for f’s sake!

Kids walking out of school to “protest” at APEC as an argument for dropping the voting age to 16 is one of the stupidest comments I’ve ever read.

It was an excuse to skip classes.

And as for “no taxation without representation” – so every kid with a part-time job should be able to vote? Where do you draw the line? 13, 14?

FFS let 16 year kids grow up a bit and experience life and learn about responsibilities. What’s wrong with the vote at 18? Why does the age need to drop?

To allow brainwashing of impressionable kids by hippie teachers and lefties to attract a green vote with labor preferences – that’s what it’s all about.

tom-tom tom-tom 7:35 pm 26 Sep 07

ralph- your assertion that 16 yr olds should not be given the vote because they’re more likely to vote green is the stupidest thing i’ve heard in a long time. It goes against the very point of a democracy to deny the vote to a group on the basis of how that group might vote.
Heaven forbid 16 yr olds use their vote to get the politicians they agree with elected.

Nemo Nemo 7:13 pm 26 Sep 07

I have also worked as a teacher in NSW and ACT. I stand by my statement that schools are biased.

nyssa76 nyssa76 7:10 pm 26 Sep 07

No Nemo, schools aren’t biased, your son’s school is.

Don’t label all schools because the P&C president has bigger balls than the principal.

Nemo Nemo 7:03 pm 26 Sep 07

Schools are terribly biased. The P&C president of my son’s highschool has used the last two school newsletters to bash the Howard Government.

This week his article was about truth and honesty and used John Howard, George Bush and Bob Carr as examples of people who are dishonest.

How can 16yo’s, most of whom are still at highschool being brainwashed by this left wing propaganda, be expected to make up their own mind. Majority will just be puppets.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 6:22 pm 26 Sep 07

Well said boomacat! There were kids walking out of school to protest at APEC, who says they’re not politically aware? (At least the ones who weren’t just in it for a free day off school – but adults take advantage of strikes all the time.)
And Ralph, call me a loopy left-winger or whatever, but why don’t we lower the boozing age to 16? They’ve done it in Germany and I personally think teens would be better off learning how to drink in licensed establishments, where their actions can be monitored and they can be refused service if they’ve had too much.
In fact, they’d probably be the only ones in there if this planet was moving along swimmingly.

boomacat boomacat 6:12 pm 26 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.

Arguments raised against extending the electoral franchise were very similar to those raised by Ralph, “you can’t give women the vote, they’re too emotional to make a sensible decision”, “people under the age of 21 are too immature to make the decision”, “aborigines/asians/islanders don’t possess the requisite intelligence” blah blah blah.

I’m for the idea. Most 16 years olds are working and paying tax. Further, the decisions made by government will especially affect them in a number of areas, such as education, the environment etc.

You can drive a car, have sex, buy knives, work and contribute taxes when you’re 16, why not vote?

To say that 16 year olds are all ignorant and naive fools that would be conned by the Greens into voting for them is insulting, and exposes your rhetoric for the flimsy rubbish that it is Ralph.

How about confiscating the vote from ignorant, suburban white men who get fooled into voting for the Liberal party by their divisive, dishonest and populist policies, eg “keep interest rates at record lows” or, “we’ll keep out those nasty refugees who throw their children overboard [not that they did of course, I’m just deliberately misleading you so you’ll vote for me]”.

asp asp 5:32 pm 26 Sep 07

I don’t think setting an age limit is right for anything like voting, drinking or gambling. Think about it. Maturity is the key factor. I know plenty of 16 year olds who should be able to vote and conversely, plenty of 30 year olds who shouldn’t.

bonfire bonfire 5:06 pm 26 Sep 07

For every mature and responsible 36 year old you show me, I’ll show you 2 that are deadshits with no political opinions at all.

caf caf 5:02 pm 26 Sep 07

Amateur-grade straw man Ralph.

You could neutralise the perceived benefit to leftist parties by making voting optional until 20 at the same time.

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