Updated 10 December 2003, 19.31
Do you think you should be allowed to vote at age 16?
At the moment, you have to be 18 to vote in general elections, but some top politicians want it lowered to 16.
They think it would encourage kids to get involved in politics earlier if they knew they could vote at a younger age.
What do you think? Is 18 the right age? Or maybe you reckon that that you're not mature enough before 18 to make decisions like that?
Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.
I think it should stay the same, as 18 year olds tend to be more responsible than 16 year olds, who might muck about.
Sophie, 13, Hastings
It should just stay at the same age (18) coz they are old enough to understand the party polices and the way the government can improve things. Younger people may want to lower it just so they can vote - even though they dont understand party policies.
Bex, 14, Glasgow
You should vote at 18, cause youu don't understand the voting system untill you get older or unless you study politics.
Dan, 15, UK
I don't think kids shoud be aloud to vote coz we don't understand the big words like manifesto.
Stacie, 11, Blackpool
I think younger people should have a right to vote if they want to.
Laura, 14, Hounslow
I don't think it matters what age you're allowed to vote at, either people are interested in politics or not.
Jenny, 14, Bristol
I think we should be able to vote at 16. We may be teenagers but that doesn't mean that we don't have feelings. We want to be heard to.
Ali, 14, Spain
I'm almost 16 and I have no clue about what goes on in the government so I don't know how me and people of my age are going to vote. I think it is a bad idea and they should leave the voting age at 18.
Annamarie, 15, Richmond
Yes! All people should hear what teens have to say. If they live in that city/state/country, they should have a right to vote for who they want to lead!
Kristen, 11, St. Joe
I think at 16 people are too immature to vote. I am 16 and think that most people I know would not vote sensibly - they are too silly and immature!
Jen, 16, Bradford
I think being able to vote at 16 will show what more people think of what the government is doing. Most people under 18 are the ones who want to do something for the country and voting for a good leader is a start to hear what we have got to say. Another good reason is because we are the next generation, we want to go into a good community, run by people we trust and we don't want to be left out when it comes to deciding what is going on in our country because we'll be the ones who'll run it soon so we want a good start.
Toby, 14, Ferndown
I think its a good idea as it's true, we are old enough at 14 to pay full fares on buses, into the cinema and all that stuff but we aren't allowed to vote for the people who run our country - we have as much right to vote as the next 18 year old! The sooner it is lowered the better!
Ryan, 14, Enniskillen
17 is just right! In between so everyone is satisfied.
Sera, 14, Cardiff
People should vote at 16 as loads of the population are kids.
Richad, 12, Welwyn
I think that if you are 16 or 17 you should be allowed to vote if you have a job and pay tax. If you're old enough to pay it, you're old enough to have a say in who spends it.
Danilee, 15, Liverpool
I think lowering the voting age to 16 is a good idea as it will get more people interested in politics and will make people more aware of how our country is run and governed
Amy, 15, York
I think it is a good idea but not a good idea on Tony Blair's part... you can't expect teenagers to vote for you again if you want to make them pay university fees!
Gemma, 14, maidenhead
I think it's a good idea because then younger people can have their say in politics. Their views are just as important because the government effects their lives too.
Lindsey, 12, Solihull
i dont think people should vote when they are sixteen cuz they dont know enough to go on a sensible sort of vote
Ciara, 11, West Midlands
No, we are't interested in politics, it's more about school work. I'll be 16 next year and if I did have to vote I wouldn't have a clue who to vote for as I'll be more focused on studies.
Anika, 15, Leicester
I think 16 year olds should have a vote as their old enough to pay taxes and work but not old enough to choose who runs the country.
Joe, 10, Marsham
I don't think that the voting age should be lowered, as people at the age of 16 do not know enough about politics or the real world to know what they want when they are voting, only the stuff we are taught in school.
Anna, 15, Edinburgh
I think it's about time we lowered the voting age, we should have the age as low as possible because young people have just as much right to vote if not more than adults. After all, we are the people of tommorow.
Elin, 12, Sheffield
Although there are many mature citizens they are a minority. People at this age are in the realms of desire, not many are aware of politics. I don't think many 16 year olds would vote anyway - they would rather have fun then do an "adult thing".
Gassan, 16, Manchester
I think people at 16 should be allowed to vote because it will get more people involved in politics and it with give younger people a chance to be heard.
Joe, 15, Cheshire
Yes definitely. I think it's good that younger people need a say too. Also younger people have more to say in politics.
Sara, 12, London
At 16 you have enough to think about. Most of my friends are 16 and don't like the choices anyway, so just leave us out of it.
Sophie, 15, Horncastle
I think at 11 people should be allowed to vote, because the children are the people of the future. When Tony Blair is dead, it will be us that are devastated about the remains of the war with Iraq, not him. What the MPs do now, we worry about later. If they just give kids a chance at talking and speaking the younger generations minds the world could be a much happier and better place.
Nancy, 11, Tunbridge Wells
I think that the age should be at 18 because we don't know what voting is about until we are older and we don't get taught about it at school.
Sara, 15, St Austell
The comments on this site prove that there are a lot of young adults out there who are not afraid to express their opinion, and it seems to be logical and well balanced arguments on all sides. Good for you guys, don't ever let anyone tell you that your opinion is wrong!
Claire, 28, Fleet
Children have views too and we should be able to voice them. I like the idea of lowering the voting age, I want a chance to speak out. Children are the future!
Zara, 16, Diss
I think at 14 years olds we are old enough to know who our country should be run by. After all it will be us who will take over in the future
Roz and Em, 16, Dis
I think that its important for the politicians to listen to what the younger people have to say, whether it is how the country should be run or simply if they think they should be able to vote. Their voices matter because they (we) are the people who will shape the future.
Dan, 13, London
I think we should be about 13 so at least we understand about what we're about to do and maybe we know a little about voting. It's important to have some kid votes and some adult votes. Also kids have stuff to say too!
Allison, 10, Bear
I think that 16 is the right age to be voting at... you can do so many other things when you're 16, I mean, you're trusted on the road at 17! Most young people probably learn more at school about the state of the country's government than adults know...
Amy, 16, Romford
I think voting should be kept at 18. You have to be able to listen and know the positions and arguments of today. I mean, would a 16-year-old really know or care about the changes made today? Would they really care about taxes? They don't have to pay them.
Madeleine, 12, Atlanta, USA
I think we should have a special vote for children aged 14-16, where we say what we feel and give a good reason for it.
Katherine, 4, Southport
I think people who believe that under 18s are incapable of making an informed decision are wrong. I am 16, and I have often discovered that I have much more complex, more considered opinions that many people much older than me.
I have yet to come across a 16-year-old that is incapable of casting a vote. And those few that are too immature probably won't bother to vote anyway. Besides which, a lot of 16-year-olds have left school and started full time work - and are paying full levels of tax. Why should those people be denied the right to choose who spends their money?
Chris, 16, Northants
I think the voting age should be lowered to 16 because 16-year-olds know what they are doing. I don't agree you should vote if you are younger than 16 because you may not be sure and vote for any answer and that could make a *big* difference.
Luke, 13, Ashford
The voting age should stay at 18. People under 18 are probably to immature and too easily influenced to have a say in who runs the country.
Roxanne, 13, Glasgow
When you get to about twelve! I have very strong opinions about things but I can't get them across! Mr Blair: Take note of what young people have to say!
Laura, 13, Southampton
I think 18 is the right age because under that age, people won't fully understand what it involves and who to vote for. I don't think it should go any lower.
Laura, 13, Tenterden
To say 12 or 13 is absurd; I know I had no real sense of good politics at that age, and I've done some GCSEs in year 9. 16 is the right age to allow voting!
Steve, 15, Warrington
I think we should be allowed to vote at the of 16. It's time the government realised that today's youth is more grown-up: we have jobs, we make more choices and we are more informed than our elders.
Hannah, 13, Plymouth
I think that 16 is a suitable age because if you're allowed to do nearly everything else then why shouldn't you be allowed to do one more thing.
Elliott, 14, High Wycombe
I think that you should start voting from 13. Young people should have a say in the future of this country, because, after all, we are the ones who'll be living it!
Dayna, 13, Berkhamstead
I think 16, no younger because I have no idea about voting!
Lydia, 12, Northants
It's a big thing to decide who should lead this country and it's one only mature people can make. The voting age should be kept at 18!
Robert, 14, Dewsbury
16 is the right age, because if it were younger it would be too young, and people are mature enough when they are 16 years old.
Alexandra, 14, London
18, because that is the age that most people start paying taxes. It's their money so they should decide which party gets to spend it. Under 18s should be able to vote for a 'young people's' minister because we are the ones that are going to run the country when we are older.
Juliet, 15, Norwich
If it's about money and politics and all that other boring stuff. Fine, let the over 18's vote on that but if it's new schools or college let us vote. It's our future!
Michaela, 11, Staffs
I think you should be able to vote at the age of 12 because that's when you usually take responsibility for yourself.
Simon, 11, West Wickham
I think you should be able to vote at 12, when you stop being a kid.
Louise, 11, Greenwich
I think it should be 16. It is true that at 16 we are allowed so many other responsibilities, so why can't voting be one of them? We can play the lottery, smoke, join the military and get married. If we are mature enough to do these things then surely we are mature enough to vote.
Catherine, 16, Barnsley
At 16! Because at that age, we are old enough to pay tax, but not old enough to decide the people that take the tax from us!
Rudger, 15, Hartlepool
I don't think that people should be able to vote before 18, because people under that age might not have quite such a good idea of what politics is about; they could just vote for what their friends or parents vote for. Perhaps if the government or schools helped explain politics to younger children then the age restriction could be brought down.
Elizabeth, 12, Ipswich
I think that at 13 you should be able to vote. You'd be in 7th or 8th grade and you listen to news and things so you could tell which people you would vote for and why.
Dana, 12, USA
I agree that the vote should be given to 16 year olds because as young people we are becoming increasingly more aware of politics and it is hugely unfair to not allow us to have our say. At 16 we can work full time, join the army and marry. If the government wishes to categorise us as children, then all under 18 year olds should pay child fares for busses etc.
Gemma, 15, Ferndown
It should be at 17. 18's a bit too old, and 16 too young. 17 year olds (I reckon) have the strongest views.
Ros, 11, Leckhampton
At 16! It's about time that old folk started listening to young people - it's our country too!
Wes, 14, Bristol