Political reform in the UK

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  • Political reform
    • Main issues with voting today
      • Whether under-16s should be given the vote.
      • Whether voting should be compulsory.
      • What ways can be devised to encourage more people to vote other than making it compulsory.
    • Giving under-16s the vote
      • Yes
        • With spread of citizenship education, young people are better informed about politics than ever before.
        • Voting turnout between 18-24 age group is very low. This may encourage more youth to vote and become politically engaged.
        • Internet and social media now enable young people to be better informed about politics.
        • If one is old enough to pay tax, serve in the army, get married, then one should be able to vote.
        • Gives young people a say in matters that affect them, like tuition fees.
        • Encourages civic-mindedness from an earlier age and establish an interest in politics.
      • No
        • They're too young to make rational judgements.
        • Many issues are too complex for younger people.
        • Few people in this age group pay tax so they have a lower stake in society.
        • 18-24 year olds have the lowest turnout, reflecting an apparent lack of interest in politics.
        • Young people may be impressionable and easily influenced by emotional arguments, or blindly vote for the same party as their parents.
    • Compulsory voting
      • Yes
        • May force voters, especially the young, to make themselves more informed about political issues.
        • By increasing turnout, it gives great democratic legitimacy to party or individual that wins an election.
        • By ensuring more sections of society are involved, decision makers will have to ensure policies will address concerns of all parts of society.
        • Arguably voting is a civic duty so citizens should be obliged to carry out that duty.
      • No
        • A civil liberties violation - some argue it's a basic right not to take part.
        • Many voters are ill-informed, so there would be ill-informed participation.
        • Involves large amounts of public expenditure to administer and enforce the system.
        • Impractical for those busy with work, etc.
    • Other ideas
      • Making registering to vote more convenient, especially online.
      • Introducing online voting.
      • Introducing weekend voting.
      • Encouraging more political education in schools.
      • Votes for under-16s.
      • Reforming the electoral system from FPTP.

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