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Effects of Lowering the Legal Age of Voting Essay Sample Ireland

This essay example is based on a study that discusses the various effects of lowering the legal age of voting in Ireland. The essay sample discusses the various advantages and disadvantages of lowering the age of voting in Ireland.

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It says that people who are 16 years of age in Ireland are still in their school and if they participate in voting then that implies that they are contributing to the social growth of the country (Ireland). Many in Ireland believe that this (electoral participation of individuals aged 16 years or more) is indeed a good thing.

However, there is a section of the Irish population that believes that individuals who are 16 years of age are not that mature to exercise their voting rights. This essay example discusses the effects of lowering the legal age of voting, the advantages, and disadvantages of voting.

Why lower the legal age of voting?

Many western countries have discovered that in recent years they are witnessing a reduction in electoral participation. This reduction is more prominent among the youth.

In a democracy, if the people don’t participate in voting or don’t exercise their voting rights then it is a bad thing. It then implies that the people do not care about their respective democracies.

A reduction in electoral participation can be due to several factors. Academicians often try to investigate the factors that cause a reduction in electoral participation.

Different parts of the world have implemented measures to make sure that democratic values and fostered and the youth, in particular, are motivated to cast their vote. There are nations like Ireland that have considered lowering of legal age of voting to 16 years.

What are the considerations as far as lowering the voting age is concerned?

There are several considerations as far as lowering of voting age in Ireland is concerned. This has prevented the policymakers to implement the policy in full. Many in Ireland think that by implementing such policies Irish society won’t get benefitted.

They argued that the 16-year-olds live with their parents, still attend the schools, and hence are not politically mature enough to participate in the elections.

However, there is also a section of the population in Ireland that believes that the 16-year-olds too can participate in elections, can make political decisions that can help the society to grow and develop. The debate between these two sections of the population continues.

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Arguments in favor of lowering the legal voting age in Ireland

Many arguments can be cited in favor of lowering the voting age in Ireland in this section of the essay.

  • First is the fact that if the voting age is reduced to 16 then it implies that such steps sustain the political interests of the youth and they help the youth to gain access to a greater amount of political resources.
  • Many think that such steps can make the youth become habitual voters which can have the potentiality to enhance the voter turnouts.
  • Many observe that the voter turnout for electoral aged between 16 years -18 years is higher as compared to voter turnouts for electoral aged between 18-20 years.

Therefore many in Ireland advocate reducing the legal age of voting to 16 years to increase the turnout of voters in Ireland. Also, it has been observed that there is a higher motivation among the under-aged (individuals aged 16 years or 17 years) in Ireland to participate in the electoral process.

Arguments against lowering the legal voting age in Ireland

Many arguments are against lowering the legal voting age in Ireland and these are discussed in this section of the essay example.

  • Many believe that young people lack political maturity and that they are not knowledgeable and they lack interest in Irish politics and therefore it is believed that young people casting their vote in Irish democracy can be detrimental to the democracy.
  • Experts think that the old people in Ireland are politically more resourceful and the young tend to be politically less resourceful. Therefore, they are very much against lowering the legal age of voting in Ireland.

What are the roles of socialization agents?

Apart from psychological engagement, an individual’s social context is important as far as his or her political participation is concerned. In Ireland, social networks influence an individual’s political participation.

Political discussions utilizing various social networks expose individuals to politically relevant information, norms and desirability of participation, understanding of various political problems, data on how to participate in Irish politics.

The experts believe that the prime agent of socialization in politics in Ireland is an individual’s family. They also think that the different schools in Ireland also contribute to political socialization.

Therefore, it can be said that if the legal age of voting in Ireland is lowered then the electoral turnout increases but that can happen at the cost of low quality of votes.

It is true that if the legal age of voting is lowered to 16 years then it gives rise to an electoral population that is immature, underage, not that politically knowledgeable, and resourceful.

This can certainly have a detrimental effect on the standard of politics in Ireland. Still, it can be said that the topic of the essay example is very much debatable.

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