Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Votes at Sixteen-You have the Power!

For BYC, Votes At Sixteen is a priority campaign and it’s part of our General Election manifesto.

We’ve submitted Votes at Sixteen as an idea to be discussed on Power 2010strong website. Power 2010 is an online campaign to identify 5 key ideas that will change the way we do politics in this country.

There’ll be a public vote to decide which of the ideas will make the final 5, forming the Power2010 Pledge, which will be signed by as many people as possible and taken to MPs, with the aim of making them commit to changing the face of politics.

When you’re sixteen, you aren’t mature enough to make an informed decision about who to vote for. You don’t know enough about politics or different parties. And you don’t see the point in voting anyway. Right?


How many times can sixteen year olds hear these kind of defeatist comments before they themselves start believing that there is no place for their views in politics?

It doesn’t make sense to say that you should only be allowed to vote when you have a thorough knowledge of political parties and policies- (most adults don’t).

It does make sense that you are the best person to represent your own experience.
And the government should make sure that you are able to engage with politics in a way that will allow you to represent your experience of what needs changing in society-by letting you vote now, as a sixteen year old, and not in two years time.

Issues like university fees, bullying, transport, local leisure services, education support-these are all issues that becomes less important to people as they age, because they affect them less and less.

Yet these are some the issues that affect the everyday lives of young people more than anyone else. It is important that they are represented to government if things are ever going to improve.

As young people we are the future, and our generation will be the ones running the country in years to come. The government needs to engage with young people now, show them that politics is relevant to them, and give them power to change their society-and a good way to start would be by giving them the vote. Simples.


Check out the Power 2010 website at to have your say about votes at sixteen and to take part in the public vote that starts on 18th January 2010.

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