Can teenagers be trusted to vote?
Right now, you have to be 18 years old before you can vote in the UK. If you’re under 18, you have to accept the consequences of our government, but you have no say in shaping it. Young people are given no control over decisions about their own education, the laws they have to live by, and the economy that will drive their future. But when do we become mature enough to make these important decisions?
In Scotland, the voting age was lowered temporarily to 16 for this year’s referendum – the first time anyone that young has been able to vote there. But can people that young be trusted with the vote? At 16, are we mature enough to be given such an important decision? When young people are among the least likely to vote, is there any point in giving them the vote at all? Or is this apathy caused by a lack of trust from older generations?
As the UK prepares for next year’s General Election, join us at Free Word for a powerful, divisive debate, as we ask: can young people be trusted with the vote?
This debate is part of “The Crisis of Trust in Europe” project of the “Time to Talk” network of European Houses for Debate. Part of a series running at Free Word, the Time to Talk:Trust events provide a platform for young people to engage with high profile speakers, and previous iterations have discussed everything from internet privacy to the media, with a range of speakers including Jeremy Corbyn MP, BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney and Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch.