Cork Sinn Fein wants voting age reduced to 16

12 March 2015
By Bryan Smyth
bryan@TheCork.ie

Speaking on Sinn Féin’s proposals to extend voting rights in presidential elections to 16 year olds, the party’s education spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said that 16 year olds have competency in many areas according to the State and therefore should also be enfranchised to vote.

The Cork North Central TD told TheCork.ie

“16 year olds are deemed competent to have capacity to consent to medical treatment within this jurisdiction. They have the ability to opt in to or out of treatment concerning their personhood. This is a good thing.”

“As education spokesperson for my party, and having met with many students under 18, I have been presented with no credible argument as to why 16 and 17 year olds should not be allowed to vote, and I have no truck with the argument that they will make silly or regretful decisions about who to vote for.”

“I believe this change should be made because is the right thing to do.”

“There is research to suggest that allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote has the effect of establishing a lifelong habit of voting. If we genuinely want people to engage in the democratic process we will allow them to vote younger.”

“The Taoiseach has publicly stated that he now thinks the issue of extending voting rights to citizens in the North is one for the next Government to deal with.”

“It is a convenient excuse for the government now – once there is an issue that they don’t want to deal with, it is suddenly the responsibility of the next government.”

“This is unacceptable and the government should do the job they were elected to do and allow this Bill to forward so that a referendum may be held.”

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