Youth Council welcomes referendum on lower voting age
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has welcomed the Government’s confirmation that a recommendation to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 will be put to referendum within the lifetime of this administration.
Reacting to yesterday evening’s (09.07.13) Government announcement, Mary Cunningham, NYCI director said: “NYCI has been campaigning on this issue since 2009, and we are delighted at this announcement. The young people in the NYCI Vote at 16 campaign group pressed for a lower voting age at the Constitutional Convention last January. It is heartening to see that their arguments have been taken on board and the issue will now be put to the people who will have an opportunity to debate its merits.”
Maria Kelly, Vote at 16 campaign member stated: “If a 16 year old can leave school, seek full-time employment and pay tax, why can we not vote and have a say in issues that affect us?”
“It is worth remembering that while many believe that the voting age has always been 18, this is not the case. The voting age is not static, but something that changes as our societies develop and mature,” added Ms Kelly.
“It has been successful in enlarging democracy in Austria and elsewhere, so why not here in Ireland? It is only a matter of time before the idea that suffrage wasn’t extended to 16 and 17 year olds will be as antiquated and laughable as the idea that women shouldn’t vote,” concluded Ms Kelly.
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of Irish voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie
Vote@16 Youtube clip:
See the young people explain some of the reasons for reducing the voting age to 16 in this animated youtube clip: http://youtu.be/HoCD4a9ZM5o
The Convention is a forum comprising of 100 people, representative of Irish society and parliamentarians from the island of Ireland, with an independent chairman.
The Convention has been established by Resolutions of the Houses of the Oireachtas. It has been asked to consider and make recommendations to the Oireachtas on a range of topics as possible future amendments to the Constitution.
Government has undertaken to respond to the Convention’s recommendations within four months