The leader of Australia’s opposition Labor Party says the country’s voting age should be lowered to 16.
In a speech last week, Bill Shorten said, “Young Australians like you deserve the right to shape the laws and policies that shape your lives. … I believe young people want to be involved in decision-making processes — and should be offered the opportunity to do so, within our existing political structure.”
He said 16- and 17-year-old Australians pay $41 million in total income taxes each year and deserve a say in how that money is spent.
He continued, “If Australia trusts our 16- and 17-year-old citizens to pay tax and work, to join the military, to drive on our roads, to fly a plane; to make independent decisions about their medical care, then we the Parliament of Australia should extend that trust to include a direct, empowered say in our democracy.”