New Zealand Voting Rights: In New Zealand, it is being considered to give the right to vote to 16-year-old boys and girls. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday (21 November) that she would introduce a bill in Parliament to enact a new voting age law.
Giving voting rights to 16-year-olds is being considered following a landmark Supreme Court ruling that the current age of 18 is “discriminatory” and violates young people’s human rights, reports the Guardian. violates.
What did the PM of New Zealand say?
According to the report, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern personally supports this change. To make a new law regarding the franchise, 75 percent of the total members of the Parliament will be needed. At the same time, the government currently does not have the necessary numbers in Parliament to pass the bill.
The English news portal The Independent quoted PM Ardern as saying, “I personally support lowering the voting age but it is not just a matter of me or the government.” Any change in such electoral law requires 75 per cent parliamentary support. PM Jacinda Ardern, who leads the Liberal Labor Party, said that all MPs should have an opinion on this issue.
New Zealand court gave this argument
New Zealand’s court argued that young people should be able to vote on issues such as the climate crisis because it is a matter of their future. It is noteworthy that there is a debate in many countries about the age of exercising franchise whether it should be reduced or not. Some countries have given suffrage to teenagers at the age of 16, including Austria, Malta, Brazil, Cuba and Ecuador.
According to news agency PTI, 18-year-old Sanat Singh, co-director of New Zealand’s ‘Make It 16’ campaign, said he was thrilled with the court’s decision. “It’s a big day, it’s historic not only for our campaign, but for the country,” he said. Sanat Singh said existential issues like climate change, as well as the recovery from the pandemic and the state of democracy, are important. The issues will affect the youth the most.
What do the other parties in New Zealand have to say?
PM Ardern said efforts would be made to get the bill passed in the coming months, but any decision would not take effect until next year’s general election. The Liberal Green Party has said it supports the change, but New Zealand’s two Conservative opposition parties have said they oppose the change.