Lowering the Voting Age to 16 Would be Good for Democracy



Lowering the voting age to 16 would be good for democracy
The Age


The author argues that Australia should start a public conversation about lowering the voting age.

He suggests that 16- and 17-year-olds are at a better age 'for gaining the knowledge and forming the habits needed to be an engaged Australian citizen’ than 18-year-olds. This is because they are typically still at school and living at home with family.

But the strongest argument for extending the vote to young Australians, he says, is that it would give them the opportunity to be heard on matters that will shape the long-term direction of the nation and their own futures. Young people have a large stake in long-term decisions and ‘should be able to join the rest of the community in having their voice heard.’


Thumbnail image: Patrick Giblin/Flickr


George Williams

University of New South Wales

Published Date
May 31, 2015