15/12/2017

Motion Calling For Voting Age To Be 16 Rejected

A motion calling for the voting age to be changed to 16-years-old has been rejected.

Seven DUP and one UUP member voted against the motion, secured by the Alliance Party, during a debate at Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Alliance Councillor Deborah Girvan said the motion "does nothing but send out the message young people are not a valued part of society".

She said: "They are old enough to work, pay taxes and join the armed forces, so it follows they should have a say in who makes key decisions and how taxes are spent.
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"Arguments were made about young people being too immature or not interested in politics but that disregards the many engaged, passionate and politically astute of younger age in our society, not to mention having the ability to vote will increase that engagement.

"There is a clear need for a fundamental renewal of politics in Northern Ireland. Giving a new generation of young people the opportunity to have their say will help inspire that. Alliance will not be deterred from continuing to pursue the right of 16 and 17-year-olds to be able to take part in the democratic process."

(CD/MH)


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