Suffrage or franchise to vote in Great Britain is something that has gradually expanded over time, as we seek to become more democratic. Until 1832 voters had to be male, over 21 years old and owners of property over a certain value! In 1918 the vote was given to all men over 21 and to all women over 30. In 1928 women were allowed to vote on the same terms as men and since 1969 both males and females who have reached 18 have had the right to vote. Now there is talk of reducing this age to 16. But why stop there? Why not 14, or even 12?
Voting is a very serious matter. It is the choice over who is going to tax us and spend our money, who is going to take us to war and kill our young men. Get the vote wrong and we end up with an Attlee, a Harold Wilson or a Tony Blair. Get the vote right and we end up with a Thatcher or a Cameron. So it makes an immense difference to our quality of life. And the question we have to ask ourselves is when is a person old enough to make a balanced decision which can have such serious effects.
It is a proven fact that younger people tend to be more left wing than older people and so support parties such as Labour, the Greens and the Libdems. This is for two reasons. The first is that young people have little experience of life, so tend to be altruistic and thus supportive of the excessive spending plans of the left. Not realising that this money has to come from somewhere. The second is that they are relentlessly brainwashed by left wing teachers and the BBC, both of whom see it as their (very misguided) duty to support a socialist nation.
As people get older they earn money, pay taxes and learn more of the world. So with experience they tend to become more sensible, more realistic and more pragmatic. So gradually they tend to give up their support for the left and to gravitate towards the Conservatives. Because experience tells them that the Conservatives are far better at running things. Not only this, older people are actually more likely to vote, because they realise from their own lives how important their vote is and what a huge difference it makes to their lives.
Given the above you can see why the left are so keen to extend the franchise ever further down the age scale. They will get more votes due to the worldly ignorance of the younger voters. It is just one more example of how they try to move the goalposts in order to win.
So at what age should people get the privilege of voting for their political representatives? There is a very good argument that this should be dependent on earning money and paying taxes, because most of what a government does is to collect and spend these taxes. In 1969, when the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 a very high percentage of 18 year olds were tax payers so this was fair. But now, with extended education, most 18 year olds aren’t tax payers. So there is a very good case indeed for putting the voting age back up.
Of course the fairest system would be to be allowed to vote after paying so much in tax. After actually contributing to the country. This would be the best and most sensible solution and very easy to implement in our electronic age. With the non tax payers getting the vote at, say, 25. With this system the people choosing how the money is spent would mostly be the people who paid that money over. Which has to be fair.
In the Scottish referendum the SNP wanted a franchise of 16 years olds, because they knew that inexperienced children were more likely to vote for the false romance of Scottish independence. And they were right.
And now we come to the EU referendum. Obviously the pro EU camp want a franchise at 16 (lower if they could get away with it!). Inexperienced children can see all the nice things about the EU but don’t understand all the bad stuff about it. And, quite sensibly, the EU-sceptics want a franchise of 18 so that the voters actually have some understanding of what they are voting for.
And finally there is much discussion about other activities people are allowed to partake of at various ages. This is typical irrelevant leftie whataboutism. You can’t compare say driving a car with the considered experience needed to vote. However you can’t buy a beer or cigarette till you are 18. You can join the army at 16, but only with your parent’s permission and you are not allowed into combat until you are 18. So basically this is just 2 years of training, a form of apprenticeship. Driving is at 17, but that is mainly motor skills so not so age critical. And you can’t drive a LGV or PCV until you are 18.
So there you have it. Interested parties will want the voting age that gives them the most political advantage. 18 is a reasonable compromise, 16 year old children is plain silly and a tax payment based system would be the fairest and most sensible.