As a teenager, do you have an interest in politics despite not being able to vote? Is there anything you feel young people can do to be politically active?
Tolly told me that her interest in politics is; ‘ it’s mainly down to social media and how keeping up to speed is so accessible and how the information is so readily available.’ Highlighting that it is social media over schools etc. is giving people access to the wider knowledge of politics.
If 16-17 years olds were allowed the vote – would you? If not what is stopping you?
Megan highlighted that; ‘I think 17 and 18 year olds should be allowed to vote however I think 16 is quite young as they’re still in high school and some may not understand it properly and vote for the sake of voting. However, I think 16 year olds should be given the choice as long as the vote is not wasted. As I’ve said, I am actually a bit torn on the whole subject for both reasons so I can’t give a ‘yes or no’ answer.’ Maybe if young people were educated about politics in secondary school this would be a different answer, yet again it is seemingly up to the individual to find out about politics for themselves.
Esme said that if she could, she would definitely vote when she turned 16. ‘I think it’s your duty to vote if you can, seeing as we are able to, living in a democratic country. I’m 14, and it can definitely feel frustrating when you feel as if your future is out of your hands. However, I know some people my age aren’t particularly interested in politics. I think that they should add lessons in politics to the national syllabus, so that if the voting age is lowered people completely understand the implications of their vote.’ Both her and Tolly said if that young people can join the army, marry and pay taxes at 16 then having the vote at 16 is not a huge implication, if the vote was given to 16 and 17 year olds then maybe they would be more inclined to know more about it.
Even if you don’t have a direct interest in politics, Esme quite rightly pointed out that ‘It’s going to affect your future no matter what, so having a conversation about it is always going to be beneficial.’ And that politics is definitely something that should be discussed more in schools.
Dalal mentioned that ‘From what I’ve seen/follow, a lot of twitter users are extreme left party believers which I think can impact a lot of individuals political views because they feel as if they should share the same beliefs as them.’ I too am incredibly aware of people online only talking about how everyone should vote for the left wing parties and I think that can influence people a lot, especially if they are on the fence about who to vote for. If you are eligible to vote, make sure you research on the parties websites rather than just what you see on Twitter.