Who is more childish, a 16 year old or any MP of any party? You’ll have to think long and hard on that one.
Today Parliament discussed giving 16 year olds the vote. It ended up being a tactical play to delay proceedings until there was no time left to vote. This means the bill gets dropped without a vote. Who would have won? We’ll never know but we can hazard a guess as to what it was about. Smug Gideon was on the side of ‘yes’ even though it is widely believed that such a vote would massively disadvantage the Tories. He was hoping for another Brexit vote…
Personally I think it’s a bad idea, but not because of the reasons they think.
Teachers are overwhelmingly Leftie supporters now. They would tell those 16 year olds to vote Labour, and it is widely imagined that all 16 year olds are Socialist.
When I was 16 I was somewhere to the right of Vlad the Impaler. I had no socialist leanings at all. Never have. Neither did any of my friends. One has since become a raving Trotskyite but he was always easily manipulated. Also very predictable.
As teens we played a WWII naval-battle game using very tiny lead models. We had tank-based wargames as well. In both, you could not make use of anything you didn’t have the model of and you had to have it correctly painted too. I suppose it was a precursor to Dungeons and Dragons. Anyway, in the naval one I had the German navy and he had Britain. If we had been in charge of the real thing in WWII, HMS Hood would never have left the slipway and you’d all be goose-stepping to work now. But I digress.
Oh I should mention the best wargame we had. Airfix Series One models were cheap and could be filled with cut-off match heads during construction, then the game took place in a friend’s large garden using air rifles. You didn’t put your tanks too close together. I doubt the average 14-16 year old could get an airgun or 20 boxes of matches without raising a lot of questions now, but back then it was no problem.
When I was at school there was no overt political pressure from any of the teachers. Unless you took a class that would require knowledge of politics it was never mentioned. I certainly never experienced any political indoctrination. But then I probably wasn’t listening most of the time…
Maths wasn’t racist back then. It was a compulsory subject for all up to O level. I rather suspect it still is.
Now, politics is in everything. Political correctness, racism accusations aimed at young kids, everything is global warming and how the EU is wonderful and you know what? If that had been the case in my youth, two things would have happened.
At school I would have agreed with it all as soon as it became clear that those who objected were failing classes.
In private, and in the privacy of a voting booth, I would be thinking the exact opposite of everything I had been told because that is what teenagers do.
The more you push your beliefs on a teenager, the more most of them will resist. Of course there will always be dopes who believe anything, they grow into adults with fixed and immutable mindsets and they all, at any age, make a lot of noise. There are not as many of them as the noise suggests, and more importantly, not as many of them as they think. As Austria has just discovered. They allow 16 year olds to vote. They didn’t get a fully socialist government.
Some other countries have a lower voting age, such as North Korea. You can let anyone old enough to make an X in crayon vote in North Korea, there’s only one box on the paper. Also Venezuela, that bastion of free and fair elections… where opposition candidates get arrested.
Of the few countries who have lower voting ages, the only one that I’d trust to have non-rigged elections is Austria and the lower voting age did not turn out a Communist government. Far from it.
Look at it this way. You are 16, in school, surrounded by largely left-wing teachers who are very vocal on what you are allowed to say and do. Also very vocal on what will get you a pass or a fail. You don’t believe a word of it but you know you have to pass those exams. There are left-wingers your age willing to dob you in for one word out of place. What do you do?
You keep damn quiet, that’s what you do. You tell them what they want to hear to get through it all. Then you vote as far-right as you can because well, fuck ’em. They have made your life a living hell all through school (and probably university too) and in the privacy of that ballot box you get the chance to hit back at the hateful shrieking harpies all around you. You’re powerless, except in that one little moment when you put an X in a box.
So, giving 16 year olds the vote is a bad idea in my book because they will rebel against the strident Leftie teaching and they won’t vote midstream, calm and placid candidates in. They will vote for the polar opposites of those who have made them feel worthless, not realising that the far right is actually exactly as bad as the far left.
Either way, the future will not be good.
So, lowering the voting age gets a ‘no’ from me. They will vote on emotion, not reasoned thought, and it might not go as expected by either side.