Deb Foskey calls for 16 yr olds to vote

Special G 30 March 2006 23

I heard yesterday on the radio that Deb Foskey is calling for the voting age to be decreased to 16.

This is apparently due to the large numbers of politically aware 16 years olds that want to voice their opinions. Also as encouragement to those not politically aware so that they will pay attention if they have to vote.

I don’t know about everyone else but when I was 16 I was more interested in sports, partying, drinking and girls, in which ever order you like, and couldn’t give a shit about who was running the show.

I think my opinion at the time was that, it doesn’t matter they’ll all screw it up as much as each other. It still is.

[ED – We have been here to some excitement last month, but if its come up again I thought why not go back?]

UPDATED: The very busy Markus Mannheim is all over this in the Canberra Times.

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23 Responses to Deb Foskey calls for 16 yr olds to vote
nyssa76 nyssa76 10:14 am 01 Apr 06

In this country, you have to vote, irrespective of whether you want to or not.

If it was made non-compulsory for 16yos – so they could if they wanted to – then it would also open up another can of worms.

seepi seepi 9:13 pm 31 Mar 06

Some 16 year olds are mature/interested enough to vote. Most aren’t – I’m sure I wasn’t. I actually voted for the Sun Ripened Warm Tomato Party the first time I got to vote – as my Dad loves to remind me. Some 18 years olds aren’t either – but you’ve got to start sometime.

schmerica schmerica 6:47 pm 31 Mar 06

I agree with everything nyssa76 said.

bulldog bulldog 9:29 am 31 Mar 06

Hey – I’d forgotten that as well. Maybe we should let the little blighters vote….


Thumper Thumper 9:13 am 31 Mar 06

I forgot an important fact.

When I was 16 I knew everything.

bulldog bulldog 8:56 am 31 Mar 06

16 and 17 year olds generally don’t contribute enough to society to be entitled to be represented at a local or federal level. The vast majority of 16 and 17 year olds are still dependants, living at home, going to school. If they work it’s only part time and will generally fall below the tax free threshold. They would make up only five to eight percent of road users and as such wouldn’t give a damn about anything that didn’t affect them personally.

I’m not saying that there aren’t exceptions to this rule or that there aren’t exceptionally clever 16 and 17 year olds – but 18 makes sense because that is when (roughly) society tells us you start contributing to society as opposed to draining it.

So why should the 16 and 17 get the vote? Becasue some of them are clever? Becasue some 18 and 19 year olds aren’t? There is no logic in that argument – that begets the train of thought that you should have to sit a basic IQ test in order to be allowed to vote. Very ‘brave new world’.

Heavs Heavs 8:45 am 31 Mar 06

I thought the proposal would be that 16 year olds have the choice to vote. If they feel the desire they can enrol and have they say. If they can’t be assed then they can continue to live in ignorant bliss without penalty.

Face it, it’s the only real way the Greens are ever going to get to branch stack so through the baby their bottle and move onto more important issues.

Special G Special G 8:38 am 31 Mar 06

white, male, 16, no mortgage, skateboard.

rose rose 6:40 pm 30 Mar 06

I’m with you JM. I would have loved to have voted when I was 16. Too bad there was no election that year.
Any 16 or 17 year olds read this site? It seems to me that it’s your opinion that matters.

nyssa76 nyssa76 6:38 pm 30 Mar 06

If I asked my students tomorrow about this – which I wouldn’t as it is shite to begin with – they would all bitch and moan about having to do it.

16yo’s don’t give a shit about politics or having the right to vote – neither do most 18yos.

The only reason it was given to 18yos was because they were old enough to die for this country, but not old enough to vote (21yo).

Why doesn’t Deb Foskey focus on the “real” issues – education, health and police?

schmerica schmerica 6:16 pm 30 Mar 06

You’ll find that most 16 year olds don’t really give a shit. Why make them do something that they don’t need to? They would simply do what I did when I turned 18… Einee – Meenie – Miny – Moe…

bulldog bulldog 2:58 pm 30 Mar 06

Can’t wait to see how Dr Foskey tries to justify her job at the next election.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 1:24 pm 30 Mar 06

My point exactly Thumper.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can register to vote at 17 too, but can’t vote until you’re 18.

And yes, Foskey is a barking-at-the-moon Carnie.

Thumper Thumper 12:42 pm 30 Mar 06

Special G and Shab,

You can’t serve in a combat zone until 18.

As for Foskey, which fruit loop tree did she fall out of?

bonfire bonfire 12:25 pm 30 Mar 06

who puts the fruit in fruit loop.

after listening to inance prattle of teens at the bus inerchange everyday i think we would see a member of big brother elected to replace stanhope.

i know its the green party, but they need to lay off the green weed.

jamius maximus jamius maximus 12:07 pm 30 Mar 06

In reference to my above post, no I don’t know what “qualitied” means.

Probably similar to “qualified”…

jamius maximus jamius maximus 12:05 pm 30 Mar 06

In fact, at least a good proportion of 16+ may have recently studied politics in High School or College. You might find them better voters than say 19-20 year olds.

As for what a ‘good’ voter is – I suppose someone who makes an informed vote, at least by taking regular notice of relevent media coverage. Hence 16-17 just having been forced to study the stuff may be be more qualitied than many 18-20 year olds out there.

Special G Special G 12:04 pm 30 Mar 06

Not quite Mr Shab – you can join the army age 17.

Maybe they should put a none of the above box in the next election and check the stats on that one.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 11:59 am 30 Mar 06

You’ve got a point JM. But you’ve gotta put the arbitrary cut-off somewhere.

Might as well be at the same age you can drink and serve in combat.

jamius maximus jamius maximus 11:55 am 30 Mar 06

Who really cares??! The 18+ population is full of people who are just as immature, ill-informed or nonchalant as your average 17 or 18 year old. Letting 16+ vote will make no difference to the quality of the eventual decision.

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