Vote age 'futility'

Instead of addressing the problem of adult disaffection with the electoral process, Gordon Brown proposes 16 as the voting age as a means of boosting electoral turnout, completely ignoring the need for maturity in this matter (your report, 12 April). This is a futile numerical exercise.

Adolescence is a crossover stage in development, as acknowledged by the very fact often used to justify the age reduction; army service at 16. Using maturity as the benchmark, they should then be empowered to kill or be killed at that age, but they are not.

People regarded as mature enough to influence the formation of government would surely be entitled to buy alcohol and cigarettes, and indulge in gambling – entitlements, like active service, currently available only from age 18.

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It is only logical that 16-year-olds must also be eligible to stand for parliament.


Ormiston Road


I doubt whether many 16-year-olds would bother to turn up to vote, so this debate is rather academic.


Cambridge Street