Stuff reports today that Patrick Barrett, a senior lecturer in public policy and political science at Waikato University, is concerned that not enough young people vote in local government elections.
Fine. I agree that if only 33 per cent of eligible voters in Hamilton cast votes, as happened in 2016, a lot of people are missing out on an important opportunity to exercise their democratic right. Perhaps more to the point, low voter turnout can skew the result and lead to the election of a council that’s not truly representative of the community.
So what’s Barrett’s solution? He’s urging that the voting age be lowered from 18 to 16.
Brilliant. I wonder what makes him think 16-18 year-olds are any more likely to vote than all the millennials who don’t bother. I mean, really.