The case for lowering the voting age to 16
In 2008 the Federal Government invited youth leaders from across the country to Canberra for the 2020 Youth Summit. Over two days the delegates discussed a variety of topics – from boosting innovation and industry to national security – culminating in a youth communiqué to the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outlining their vision for 2020 Australia.
When asked about strategies to improve Australia’s Governance and electoral system, the summit delivered one unified message: “To build a more participatory 2020, the age at which people are eligible to vote must be lowered to 16. 16year olds work, pay income tax, pay GST, and can join the army. They must be enfranchised so they can have a say in Government policies that affect them.”
The message is clear: young people want the ability to participate in the democratic process; more specifically they want the right to vote.