Time for universal suffrage, give children the vote

There’s a song by Eddie Cochran called Summertime Blues which has the memorable verse:

Well, I called my congressman
And he said, quote:
“I’d like to help you, son
But you’re too young to vote”

and that’s as good a way as any to introduce the idea of votes to children.

The message in the song, as in life is that if you don’t have a voice and you don’t have influence then it’s not worth considering you. For an MP it simply isn’t in their interest to prioritise the needs of non-voters over the needs of those that can (and will) vote. This won’t change, so the way to alter the current situation is to extend the vote to everyone. Universal suffrage should mean universal, all human beings, and the impact would I suspect be positive and dramatic.

In 2018 in the UK there were 14,051,585 people under the age of eighteen, which is 21.15% of the total population. This would be a sudden and huge change in the voting structure of the country and one that would skew voting significantly towards the future - towards education, childcare, support for parents and towards improvements in the environment, making the country (and world) in to a better place for the years to come.

How would it work? Pretty easily I think. After birth when being registered the child would also be given the vote, with the legal guardian automatically being granted the proxy vote:

The guardian then votes for the child in all subsequent elections alongside their own vote. If they so choose they can take the child along to the polling booth and allow the child to vote for themselves at whatever age they wish. At age eighteen the proxy is automatically removed and voting returns to the (now) adult.

There’s a concern that young adults don’t register to vote or then actually vote in large enough numbers. If you’ve always had the vote, and your vote has always meant something, that would likely change.

Give it some thought.

Father, husband, work in technology, dabble in secularism.