Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A future alliance?

My main motivation for creating this blog was to provide some small balance to the issue of voting age in this country. It seems I am the main paladin at the moment, but I'm confident that more people will come out of the woodwork once the issue hits Parliament.

You may recall in the run up to the Electoral Commission publishing its report on voting and candidacy age, a similar blog was authored by Philip Cowley, although it hasn't been updated since the Commissions report almost fatally crushed the Votes at 16 campaign. The link for his very good 'Votes for Adults' blog is in my links section.

At the same time Professor David Denver, something of an expert on these matters, provided some solid intellectual weight against the weak premises of those wishing to reduce the voting age.

In terms of political parties, the Conservatives policy of both voting and standing at 18 was vindicated by the specialists at the Electoral Commission, but the Lib Dems, and their youth wing (note the other distasteful policies in that document!) still stand by the ill thought out idea of further reducing the voting age, and use the VA16 campaigns' mottoes almost verbatim.

As previously mentioned, whilst the vast majority of the public support the status quo on this matter there are no obvious groups to actively campaign against changing it - it's much easier to garner support for changing something than keeping it, especially on an issue that few can get passionate about! (well, the other side do like to compare their cause to the suffragettes, but that is both disrespectful to their noble cause and misleading in comparison - women were forever denied the vote whilst itching rebels-without-causes will get their right soon enough.)

In the near future, an alliance of like-minded people such as myself, Prof.Denver and Philip Cowley may well need to formed into a more professional voice for common sense on this issue - there's just too much at stake to let this proposal waltz through to legislation.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The bandwagon rolls on

The Early Day Motion advocating lowering the voting age has managed to get a hundred signatories from MPs (less than one in six). It is concerning that it has even got to that as there is a one-sided campaign targeted at MPs.

Few people outside of a metropolitan elite bubble would feel that the noise made in Westminster for this proposal is proportional to the feelings of most people. Or is that because they all want to keep those inferior 17 year olds at bay?

Only yesterday there were strong signs that the legal smoking age will rise to 18 from 16. If it wasn't so politically correct I'm sure one of the slogans of the Votes at 16 campaign would have been
"I can smoke but I can't vote" or perhaps
"I can damage my health to look cool but I don't have the God-given right to not bother to go to a polling station to vote for the party that says it will reduce the drinking age"

Wheres another poll showing clear public support for keeping votes at 18 when you need one!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Google fight

In an extremely close fight, Votes at 18 beats Votes at 16 in a key indicator of public opinion.
p.s. putting the phrases in quotation marks makes a huge difference, but we won't mention that ;)

Edit: It's now virtually neck and neck due to recent coverage!

Not the most serious of posts :)