Children and Youth Affairs, Features

Aisling from Malahide Community School discusses advantages and disadvantages of lowering the voting age.

Many young people in Ireland today have campaigned for the right to vote at sixteen years of age. While many would say that this is a good idea, many would also have their arguments against it. Here are the main arguments teens put forward both for and against the right to vote at sixteen:

Advantages: Many people think that the youth of Ireland would vote very well on anything that needed to be voted on. They also argue that young people have a unique perspective, and that we don’t get to see teenagers’ views on a lot of issues as they are not allowed to vote as teens. Some think that teenagers are capable of making their own decisions, even if those decisions are made on important topics. Various people have stated that they think teens are much more interested in politics these days, and are mature enough to have the right to vote, and that there’s no real difference between the views of a sixteen-year-old and an eighteen-year-old. Sixteen-year-olds are also allowed to work outside of school, so a lot of teenagers have the idea that if they’re able to work, they’re able to vote well.

Disadvantages: Many would argue that teenagers would not take voting seriously, and that they would be poorly informed about the politics of our country, therefore would possibly make the wrong decisions when voting. Some argue that they’re simply not mature enough, and that just because they are allowed to work, leave home etc. doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to vote. Many say that parents should make the more major decisions for their families, including voting on important issues, and some state that teenagers may vote for the wrong reasons, for something that is popular rather than judging it on its true merits.