Are 16 year olds ready for the vote?
RE: Extend vote to those aged 16, (South Wales Echo, November 14). Being of a relatively advanced age I had to wait until I reached the age of majority (21) when I was judged to be a responsible adult and thus granted the vote. With this came legal responsibility which included being liable to adult jail if I committed a crime.
Several years ago the age of majority was reduced to 18. The reason being that one could fight and die on the front line for one's country but you could not vote in a general election. When one reaches the age of 18 one is regarded as a responsible adult. The only thing that has changed is that capital punishment has been abolished. 18-year-olds are still sent to young offenders' establishments which I believe should be changed. They are adults.
In the event of 16-year-olds being granted the franchise and them becoming responsible adults, are they going to serve on the front line and lay down their lives for this country? Is this country going to change the penal system so that all adult offenders serve their time in adult prisons.
Some two years ago I was asked by Cardiff University students what I thought of lowering the voting age to 16. The interviewer thought that they should because they are liable for tax was surprised to learn that we are all liable for tax from the cradle to the grave, eg give a gift of PS2 to a three-year-old to buy an ice cream they pay VAT out of their gift.
Alex Salmond (SNP) pushed for 16-year-olds to vote in the Scottish referendum "as they have a say in their country's future". If you believe that then you believe in fairies. Salmond used this as a ploy for his own ends as he hoped their young minds could be easily swayed in his own direction of national fervour towards independence.
To Beth Button (NUS Wales president) may I suggest that she takes great care in what she wishes for. Do your homework and research the reasoning for some of our rules. Lower the age by all means but remember they will then become more responsible for all their actions and answerable for them.
D Chidgey Maes-yr-Awel, Gellihirion, Rhydyfelin