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Callum's Blog

My name is Callum, I am 14 years old.
I'm into skateboarding and action movies. I spend a lot of time out with my friends or just hanging around on my own.
I’m always getting angry and sometimes people are scared of me.
My Dad usually takes care of me, he’s at home a lot because he’s quite often unemployed.             

Should 16 and 17 year olds be allowed to vote?

I’ve settled into my new school now, and if I’m honest, it isn’t that bad. I hate wearing my uniform – the tie practically strangles me every day! But I’ve become good mates with a couple of guys in my class, Spence and Gary.

The other thing that makes school ok is that I’m running for school council. Spence and Gary both said I would be really good because I am really passionate and really ‘vocal’ about stuff.  ‘Vocal’ means speaking up for what you believe in. They said they would help me make posters to stick up and slogans to put on Facebook. I think I’d be good too, since I already managed to save the skate park last summer without even being elected!

Next year is also a really important year for voting in the whole country.  There is a general election on 7 May 2015. People from all around the country will vote for who they want to represent them in Parliament. People that can, and want to, will vote for their MP (Member of Parliament). In a general election, it’s usually the political party with the most MP’s that gets to make up the next government and run the country. 

That all sounds great, but guess what?  You can’t vote until you are 18 years old!!  That’s a whole four years away for me.

You might have heard of the Scottish referendum. This was when the people of Scotland voted on whether Scotland should be an independent country. Loads and loads of people turned out to vote, including 16 and 17-year olds who were allowed to vote just that one time!

I can’t wait until I am 16! 16 year-olds can get married, get work and pay taxes and 17 year-olds can drive and even leave school, but they can’t vote in the general election. Some people (like me) think that if 16 year-olds have all these rights and responsibilities, they should also have a voting voice. There is a big campaign to have the voting age lowered to 16.  A ‘campaign’ is when a group of people get together to create a change they believe in, like my campaign to save the skate park. 

Some people disagree and think that 16 and 17 year-olds aren’t mature, or grown-up, enough to vote. Some people think that they might be influenced too much by what adults or politicians tell them, and that they won’t be able to make up their own minds. I know I wouldn’t have that problem!  I guess every 16 and 17 year-old is different.    
What do you think?  Should 16 and 17 year-olds be allowed to vote? Will you vote when reach the voting age? 

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