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Unite calls for reduction in voting age to 16

Unite the Union’s Young Members’ Committee has called for a reduction of the current voting age in Gibraltar from 18 to the working age of 16 years old.

Alex Nuñez, Chair of the Unite’s Young Members Committee said: “The union and our young members believe it would be extremely beneficial for those of the age of 16 and above to have a say in the political discourse in Gibraltar, having the opportunity to vote for political parties and their policies which will impact them in the workplace or in full time education.”

“It would not only benefit our young members, but subsequently be invaluable to society as a whole, engaging young people in politics and challenging an obvious democratic deficit in Gibraltar.”

Unite said it believes that if members are old enough to be employed, then they should also be allowed to have a say in the policies which govern and shape their working lives.

“If the voting age was reduced to 16 we would see a need for political parties to address issues of young people, at a time that we have seen an increased engagement of young people in political issues which should be harnessed, for example climate change and the environment,” Mr Nuñez said.

“Young people’s voices should not be ignored, they are the future of our society and should have a say in the political decisions governing Gibraltar, otherwise they are disenfranchised.”

“This is no better demonstrated than their inability to have participated in the 2016 vote on membership of the EU and also the upcoming referendum on abortion, an issue that can and will impact those of the age of 16 and 17.”

“Unite and its young members believe that the reduction of the voting age would provide a refreshing balance, increase engagement in politics and address a key democratic deficit.”

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