Thursday, 8 December 2011

Do the young have a voice?

With 15.6% of 16-24 year olds not in education, work or training and almost one million unemployed. Is it fair that we must be 18 to vote and is it not alarming that people on average do not begin to vote until their mid twenties. Perhaps there is a correlation between the decreasing voting turnout and the increasingly worsening situation for Britain's youths and despite Cameron's hope of targeting gangs as a result of the London riots a recent survey suggested that a considerable amount of people felt that the government were partly responsible:

50% agreed that "The Government's response to the economic crisis (e.g. cuts to services, unemployment, reduced education funding) is helping fuel the rioters" and  61% agreed that "Government ministers failed to return to their desks quickly enough from holidays"

I would like to say that the riots were solely a result of the governments shortcomings but there were a few people who rioted purely due to the opportunity. However the government's choice to almost completely ignore the student protests, with an estimated number of between 2000 and 15000, is just idiocy, I accept that cuts need to be made but should it target the alraedy detrimental situation of Britain's yound adults?

The electoral comission is fairly against lowering the voting age to sixteen however even they concede that

"Most responses to our consultation supported a voting age of 16"
 So it seems people want the young to have a voice, however it seems unlikely that they will get one and even when they try to get heard, they just seem to be ignored. Despite optomistic schemes like Bite the Ballot and Young Persons question time, when it comes down to it, the young do not have a voice.

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