Monday 19 April 2004

A middle-aged rant...

We can now look forward to 18-year-old MPs:
MEMBERS of Parliament say teenagers should be able to stand for election, but that the voting age should not be cut, a poll has revealed.

The independent body may also suggest lowering the age of majority from 18 to 16, following a review of the voting system.

Proposals to reduce the voting age to 16 may not go through however:
Overall, 56 per cent of MPs questioned by CommunicateResearch said the minimum voting age should not be cut. On the Labour benches, 50 per cent said it should stay at 18 while 43 per cent favoured 16 and just 8 per cent 17.

That will hearten Conservatives, who reject suggestions that lowering the limit will encourage more young people to take part.

That's not a good argument from the Tories. Reducing the voting age would "encourage more young people to take part" - even if only one 16-year-old in the whole country turned up at the polling station instead of watching MTV. Why don't the Conservatives acknowledge the truth, which is that even 18-year-olds don't know enough to cast a properly considered vote? I would suggest a minimum voting age of 30 together with a property qualification that would restrict the franchise to taxpaying citizens.