Arzoo, 14, Tak Nga Secondary School
The appropriate voting age for Hong Kong is 18.
Most people younger than 18 are still at school, and not mature enough to make such important decisions.
Every vote is valuable, and people aged 18 and over have more knowledge and experience to make the right decisions.
Jon Chan, 15, Pui Kiu College
The voting age around the globe corresponds with the interpretation of adulthood which differs in various countries. In Hong Kong, a person legally becomes an adult at 18, so that became our minimum voting age.
However, maybe it’s time to have a re-think. Adults should be responsible as well as self-sufficient. Today a 16-year-old can work, or even get married with their parents’ consent. If that is the case, then Hong Kong should lower its voting age to 16, as there is little difference between 16-year-olds and “adults”.
Many 16-year-olds have clearly shown that they are independent, which proves that they should be allowed to vote.
Coco Lo, 13, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
It should be 18, because at that age people become “adults”.
People are more mature when they reach 18; they’re no longer just teenagers anymore. They are more objective, and can consider different viewpoints. They can see what will really benefit society.
Also, they have a lot more rights once they become 18, so can do things more sensibly. At this point, they should have the right to vote, too.
Owen Chau Ho-wan, 17, Queen’s College
The voting age, if set at 15, would give teenagers better political representation in Hong Kong.
Politicians tend to ignore teenagers’ demands since they can’t vote and directly impact election results. With a lower voting age, candidates would take young people more seriously, and there would be a better chance of tackling issues that increase their academic pressure.
Thanks to technology, teenagers are more exposed to different political issues, and understand them well. Civic education and liberal studies also give 15-year-olds a good grasp of political concepts, and this would help them cast their ballots wisely. I have no doubt that setting the voting age at 15 would make Hong Kong a better place.
Ivania Lau Shun-ying, 13, CCC Chuen Yuen College
The ideal voting age for Hong Kong is 16.
At 16, young people are moving towards adulthood. With the knowledge gained through nine years of education, they are intellectually prepared and have a strong desire to be involved in the decision-making process.
They are determined to express their views and want their ideas to be heard by the government. If the voting age is lowered to 16, more teenagers can vote so political leaders will be more aware of them and their needs.
Many young people take part in protests because they feel neglected by the government. If we believe that young people are the future of Hong Kong, we should let them maximise their participation in social affairs. So setting the voting age at 16 is the way to go.
In our next Talking Points we’ll discuss:
What book would you ban from your school library, and why?
We are now accepting answers from readers for this new topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry) to firstname.lastname@example.org by lunchtime on Monday, April 4. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line!