The current minimum age for voting in Singapore is 21 which is higher than the more common 18 found in the rest of the world. This high voting age has been justified on the basis of requiring voter have either finished national service or having work experience which would make them more qualified to judge who should lead them. However this arguments falls flat on its face for several reasons. One of which is the sheer hypocrisy of allowing people to fight and die for their country while not allowing them any say on the government due “Immaturity. Women do not have to go through national service and often instead of working attend college which doesn’t qualify as work experience but is said to make them mature and ready to vote.
My first proposal is to reduce the voting age to the 18 which is the date where NS enlistment begins. As it is only fair that somebody who can be expected to die for their country has a say in running the country. I would keep the barriers to becoming a Normal MP at 21 because the jobs need some experience and a broader view of the world. My second proposal, however, is more radical which is to create a special Youth MP seat, which only candidates between 14-18 can contest. In order to represent 14-18-year-olds. There are almost 300,000 citizens in that age range that are currently unrepresented and typically have little interest in politics partly due to their age but largely due to the feeling that their opinions and thoughts don’t count. Creating a youth MP will allow them to get experience with election and candidates before being allowed to fully vote and would serve as a nice transition to get teens used to politics before they are allowed to fully vote
The duties of a youth MP would be to represent the views of teenagers in parliament especially on the matters of education and public services. Governments have often launched completely disconnected campaigns and ideas which youth MP’s would help end and better target. Youth MP’s would only attend a session where educational bills are being debated or when the Speaker of parameter request they be present to allow them to remain in school. They would also only be allowed to vote on Education related bills but otherwise would receive all the same rights as a normal MP.
Some might argue that this would allow immaturely and incompetent MP to get into power but that argument falls flat as many incompetent people are already in parliament and the powers of a youth MP are limited to representing students in areas that impact them directly. It is also only a single MP slot meaning that no political party could try and use teams as the basis of their power and would give teenagers a voice in politics allowing their issues to be heard and addressed before they enter the work force