Lowering the minimum age for voting

I recently read that the minimum age for voting in India was 21. It was only in 1988, when we amended our constitution to lower the Voting Age from 21 to 18. Since then, I’ve been wondering. Is there a link between the minimum age of voting and its impact on political standards?

Most people will agree that we had a very high standard of political leadership before the 90’s. Since 90’s, the quality of politics has suffered immensely. Thought there are much more significant reasons behind this change, which include many socio-economic factors (globalization, capitalism). However the aspect of ‘rise of youth’ can not be ruled out.

The age between 18 and 24 is the time when a boy matures and becomes a man. The question of responsibility does not arise at such age. Is lower voting age, therefore resulting in erosion in the values of our society?

The worrisome trend of little political awareness among the youth is universal. In-fact, low aged intellectual voters are mainly conservatives and are driven by unscientific provocative rhetorics. The charm of Indian democracy lies in the co-existence of left-liberals, right-conservatives and the centrists, among many other forces. Is the unaware, immature youth disturbing this balance?


One response to “Lowering the minimum age for voting

  1. Amongst the various proposals in relation to electoral reform made by the Committee was a recommendation that the voting age for Dail elections should be lowered from 18 to 17 years-of-age..In terms of Article 16 of the Constitution voting for Dail Eireann candidates is currently limited to those over 18 while the age of eligibility for membership of Dail Eireann in relation to which the Committee did not make any recommendations is prescribed as 21..In addition the Committee recommended that a voter education programme should be introduced as part of the senior cycle programme in second-level schools to promote awareness of the right to vote among newly eligible voters..In its report the Committee highlighted that areas in the electoral system where improvements are required include the political engagement of young people p.16 The proposed reduction in voting age was consistent with submissions made by a range of international and domestic experts on youth voting and issues of youth citizenship more broadly see pages 79-83 and 123-126 . These submissions highlighted the link between reduced voting ages and increased voter turnout the lack of political accountability of elected representatives to children under 18 and the discrimination inherent to the current situation in which Irish people under 18 can leave school work and pay taxes but have no right to a say in democratic decision-making. .The reduction in voting age from 18 to 17 would be welcome in terms of the and particularly Article 12 1 which sets out the obligation of States Parties to assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. Such a move would also be consistent with Article 5 CRC terms of which states are to respect the responsibilities rights and duties of parents and others responsible for the child to provide in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention. The combination of Article 12 and Article 5 augers strongly in favour of the lowering of voting ages thereby enabling participation of the child in democratic decision-making processes in accordance with the evolving capacities of the child ..Unfortunately the has engaged with the issue of child democratic participation to only a limited extent.

Speak up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s