Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Idea 12 - Votes at 16 (by the SYP)

Lower the voting age to 16.

"At the heart of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s work is our belief that young people should be involved in making every decision that affects them. We feel that that one of the best ways of getting involved in making decisions is through the ballot box. Through our work we’ve seen many capable, confident and well-informed 16 and 17 year olds who have a real interest in politics, but are unable to play their full part as citizens by exercising their democratic rights on election day.

“For us, it’s an issue of fairness. In Scotland 16 and 17 year-olds can sign up for the armed forces while not having the right to have their say at the ballot box on defence policy. They can leave school, get a job and be taxed without being represented at Westminster or Holyrood. The SYP firmly believes it’s a real injustice that under 18s are considered mature and responsible enough to get married or drive a car, but not mature and responsible enough to choose who they want to represent their communities.

“Most importantly, our belief is based on the views of young people. We regularly consult thousands of young people across Scotland on issues that are important to them, and consistently the message comes back loud and clear – young people want the right to vote at 16 and they believe that it’s an essential part of encouraging young people’s participation as active citizens.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament

No comments:

Post a Comment