In a massive shift, Britain is planning to allow 16-year-olds to vote in the upcoming general election in May. Prime Minister David Cameron has backed a House of Commons vote on expanding ballot to teenagers. This was done in the recent Scottish independence referendum that boosted youth engagement with politics. “I thought the referendum in Scotland did switch a whole lot of people onto political issues because the question being asked was so important. Now, we should respect the views of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Parliament and we will devolve those powers over voting age… I’m very happy to listen to the arguments and to put them forward,” the PM said.
A massive turn out of teenagers in the recent Scottish referendum recently led to a global call for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in all elections. The move could increase young people’s engagement with politics, experts say.
The study of under-18 year-olds in the referendum found that young people were at least as interested in politics as adults. Only seven per cent had never talked about the vote with anyone.
Young people were less likely than adults to align themselves with political parties, but the proportion who said they did not feel an affinity to one dropped in the year before the vote, from 57% to 51%.
Full Article: Britain likely to allow voting at 16 – The Times of India.