I’m persuaded. Clearly, we need to raise the voting age to 20.
If 18- and 19-year-olds are too dumb, and too irresponsible, and their young brains too inexperienced, unformed and undeveloped to be able to responsibly choose and use their evening tipple, then it is surely without question they are too dumb, too irresponsible, and their brains too raw and undeveloped to be able to choose a government.
The conclusion must surely follow from the premise: If 18- and 19-year-olds can’t be trusted with individual sovereignty over their own consumption of fermented beverages, then how how on earth can they be trusted with choosing those who are sovereign over us all?
It is on that basis, then, that I insist—nay, I demand!—that Parliament move immediately to raise the voting age. Immediately!
And don’t come that conscience vote nonsense with me. On this, I rely on the unassailable arguments of that noted moralist of our age, John Armstrong.
Conscience votes on such legislation have traditionally been granted to MPs on the grounds that voting in parliament on matters like this is a matter of personal choice.
This is a charade which allows parties to abrogate their responsibilities on things like the voting age, on which the firmness of political opinion must trump the thin reed of public opinion.
Parties do not give their MPs free rein to vote as they like on measures dealing with social and economic policy. Yet, as the policies of parties other than the two popular and competent parties demonstrate, the harm caused by voting for the wrong parties is of huge social and economic relevance.
The same transparency, therefore, should apply to voting on the voting age. Yet, sensible policy-making is turfed out the window when it comes to the voting age.
Time to treat children like children, I say! The views and evening entertainments of 18- and 19-year-olds should neither be seen, nor heard!
PS: Naturally, these arguments do not apply to being able to marry, have sex, or go to war. 18- and 19-year-olds may not be able to choose an RTD from a fine wine, or be as unable to stand upright after a hard night as Mark Blumsky or Ruth Dyson, but if we don’t have youngsters unthinkingly pumping out babies and being forced off to fight our wars, where would we be, eh? Eh?