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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Lower the voting age

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It was sad, yet heartening (somehow), to read last week’s article from Adel Pheloung, together with the quotes of her peers.

As a fulltime secondary school teacher and now casual teacher it has not been infrequent, for years, to have discussions with young people and to hear their concerns about the future, and then I finally woke up; they need to be able to vote!

I frequently hear from ‘older’ young people who make comments that, more or less, blame the establishment of baby boomers for the state of the world ‘and nothing will change until they die off,’ etc. It’s a waste of time trying to argue against that, however, it’s obviously not just older Australians who are endlessly distracted, exhausted, or disempowered and opiated by junk media, junk environmental leadership of the major parties, and the corporate interests of endless slippery political promises, or who seem unable to initiate significant change.

The voting age needs come down to 16, and parents and community groups who care, and maybe even the Teachers Federation (but I won’t hold my breath on that) need to start sending the message.

If there is one untapped force for change on this planet, it’s 16-year-old voters who are smart enough to care – and there are millions of them.


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  1. I agree, Rod. I started full-time work when I turned 13. In WW 1 British soldiers weren’t 18. Most were years younger.
    WW 1 Australians ranged from 14 to 17. WW2 [Aussies were supposed to be 18]. Most enlisted at 16 to 17. I’m no
    lover of waring but if the country – in this case ‘the world’ – needs support that the young have shown to bring to a
    world troubled by conflict, health & an unhealthy government & opposition, then I say “lower the voting age.” Allow
    the young a voice – they’ve already earned it.


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