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Call to lower voting age to 16

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  • Call to lower voting age to 16

    Call to lower voting age to 16
    Green Party MP Sue Bradford is drafting a bill to lower the voting age to 16.

    The bill – Civics Education and Voting Age – would be ready for the next ballot of members' bills.

    "The main effect of the bill would be to lower the voting age to 16 – and this change would go hand in hand with making civics education a compulsory part of the national education curriculum," Ms Bradford said.

    "At 16, young people can get married, have children, and be taxed. If we are serious about trying to get young peoples' voices into the public arena and heard in places of power, they should be allowed to vote."

    Ms Bradford said making civics education part of the compulsory education curriculum was a great opportunity.

    "Lowering the voting age and teaching them civics can help young New Zealanders get on track to being better informed, more engaged citizens."

    She said programmes like the Kids Voting scheme running in Auckland schools since 2000, and launched in Hamilton this week, were successful but should be taught in all schools.

    "This is a move whose time has come. Earlier this month, Austria became the first country in Europe to lower the voting age to 16, and won wide support for the move from four out of five parliamentary parties in that country. Brazil has already made the same move," Ms Bradford said.

    Ms Bradford's last bill to change the law around smacking was passed by Parliament and comes into effect this week.

    "This bill is about taking young people seriously as citizens, and ensuring their voices are heard – and about us addressing from the outset the obligation that everyone has to be engaged and informed in the way that we make our political choices."

    Ms Bradford said she hoped parties would support the bill.

    Her announcement was timed to coincide with the annual meeting of Youth Parliament in Wellington.

    - NZPA

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  • #2
    Yeah, Forum funnies is the right place for it!

    I wonder if she would consider removing the vote from 65+ year olds ?


    • #3
      It's been a challenge to take this one seriously but given Ms Bradford's ability to get any ridiculous law passed (I can't smack my daughter but I can pimp her out) perhaps we should.

      It's hard to know quite how all these ages are tied together. Currently, until you are 18, you can't vote; you can't be tried as an adult; and contractually you are protected.

      Does this mean that with the drop in voting age will the other legal protections be lowered?
      Will we no longer have to go to the Tenancy Tribunal to get Tenancy Agreements with 17 year olds ratified? After all if they can select a Government surely they can pay the rent and look after a property?

      Oh and my apologies for turning a funny all serious!
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      • #4
        Sue Bradford clearly has too much time on her hands.


        • #5
          I have a 16 year old daughter....heaven forbid she can't even make positive choices for herself! All that matters in her insular world is her music and her "mates" & hanging out with both. Her & a lot of her peers generally don’t even seem to have social awareness let alone political awareness. I - personally - don't need to have thier voices heard -they make enough noise as it is. I said this facetiously- but the truth is that are quite a self possessed generation and are already very aware of "their rights". The labour Govt are gunning for the youth vote as they come into an election year-they usually campaign for & win youth votes and it cant be lost on them that this would open up a bigger pool of labour voters
          Last edited by Cassandra; 04-07-2007, 10:00 PM.


          • #6
            Voting age bill dropped
            7:00AM Friday July 27, 2007

            Green MP Sue Bradford has decided not to go ahead with a member's bill seeking to give 16- and 17-year-olds the vote, saying it lacks support.

            She said she remained passionate about the issue, but thought a long-term public discussion and education programme was needed before it had any chance in Parliament.

            - NZPA

            Latest breaking news articles, photos, video, blogs, reviews, analysis, opinion and reader comment from New Zealand and around the World - NZ Herald
            "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx


            • #7
              I would be interested in hearing the arguments FOR giving sixteen year olds the vote.

              To date I have not heard any, if any do in fact exist, other than 'they are mature and responsible enough at that age'.

              In fact I can think of some arguments why the vote should be removed from certain adult catagories of citizen but that line of thinking seems not to be too popular.

              Permanant residents of less than three years?
              Ex-cons who served more than ?ten years inside.
              Certain types of unemployment beneficiaries.
              Anybody convicted of burning the flag.

              Gosh I must see a doctor about that neck of mine, it's getting redder by the day.



              • #8
                She could always be accused of robbing kids of their childhood by making them grow up too fast.

                But it's a joke saying she pulled it because it lacked support. How much support did the anti-smacking bill really have... and still that poor kid in Rotorua gets beaten!
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