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BBC Documentaries: Season 2009

2009x71 16: Too Young to Vote

  • 2009-08-04T21:00:00+01:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Actress Melissa Suffield plays teenage tearaway Lucy Beale in EastEnders, a character famous for her bad behaviour. But now Melissa is coming of age - she has turned 16, is paying tax and is leaving school - and thinks she wants a say in how things are run. So she hits the road to find out whether 16-year-olds should get the vote.

On her journey across Britain, Melissa meets teenage protesters, the mother of a 17-year-old soldier killed in Iraq and new citizens who have just won the right to vote. There are tears in a polling station, filming is stopped in the Houses of Parliament and Melissa visits the first country in Europe to grant all 16-year-olds the vote.

At a time when our interest in politics has never been so high and our respect for politicians has never been so low, is giving 16-year-olds the right to vote the best way to refresh democracy?