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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » Lowering the Aussie voting age.

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Author Topic: Lowering the Aussie voting age.
littlespoon
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I'm VERY pleased about this [Smile]

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25839595-5013404,00.html

Basically, there's long been a push to give Australian 16 and 17 year olds the option of voting (it's compulsory for those 18 and over) among a lot of left wing and youth oriented parties and factions, in recognition of the significant contingent of politically informed and engaged Australian youth.

It seems the Rudd government will be formally considering this. Hurray!

I do doubt that a lowered voting age will happen anytime soon; there seems to be a lot of opposition from the Liberal Party (the major right-wing party). But still.

Even if nothing comes of it, I think that for our government to even consider this is a great step- and a very encouraging one in our ageist society!

Thoughts? Opinions? [Smile]

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Posts: 29 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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That's so fantastic!

I'm a big advocate of voting age being lowered everywhere, so this is really cool. Why do you think the other party is so opposed? Do you think their impression is that the left will get more of the youth vote (which is certainly often the case here in the states among younger voters)?

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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
littlespoon
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That seems to be pretty much it- they're scared that it will skew voting figures to the left. And admittedly, it probably will, but I doubt as drastically as anyone imagining- I have plenty of friends my age who support left wing policies, but just as many who support the right.

And, having seen a few comments from senior Liberal spokesmen to this effect, it hardly seems like a fair reason to block such a motion. If those viewpoints exist in certain proportions, why shouldn't they be represented? Oh, that's right- because we're young, uninformed radicals who can't be trusted with the nation's future. Sigh [Razz]

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Posts: 29 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill2000Plus
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Right wing parties always pull that stuff, that's why there were very few polling stations in neighbourhoods with primarily racial minority or working class populations during the Bush administration, because these groups benefit from left wing policy more and suffer under right wing policy more (as do women, but they are almost always interspersed with men, there aren't many substantial areas of residents composed almost completely of women).

Anyway this seems like a good idea to me.

[ 07-29-2009, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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sharpay_drama_queen
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Hey guys,
I'm from Australia and the only annoying thing that I find about the voting system here is the fact that voting is compulsory. There are so many people I know that don't even want to vote so they vote for whoever their friends tell them to or whoever seems cool. This is annoying as it totally swings the vote!!!!! I want people to vote because they are informed and because they believe in the policies.

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Dusky
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Voting is not compulsory in Australia.

Registering to vote is compulsory.
Going to the local school and getting your name ticked off is compulsory.

What you do with your vote is up to you. You can donkey vote, or you can invalidate your vote by not carefully following the instructions, or you can just not write anything at all.

I would be more concerned with how well a sixteen or seventeen year old can make and informed opinion and resist pressure from people like their family and friends to vote a particular way.

To this day, my mother assumes I vote the same way as her because it's not worth the trauma for me to tell her different.

Posts: 8 | From: The land of milk and honey! | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bee_is_me
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I think it'd be great to have a lower voting age. In my opinion, it should be voluntary from 16, then compulsory from 18.

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Posts: 25 | From: Australia | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Namida
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I don't think lowering the voting age would be a good idea. The whole idea of a voting age is that you need to be able to make an informed decision. Perhaps those in youth political groups have the knowledge but you can't argue that they aren't the exception.
Posts: 66 | From: Australia | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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