Give youth a say with vote age cut urges Ross

st ninians pupil election, winner ross greer from bearsden academy'26/3/11'em
st ninians pupil election, winner ross greer from bearsden academy'26/3/11'em

MILNGAVIE’S Youth Parliament representative believes that the voting age should be lowered to 16.

Ross Greer (17), a sixth year pupil at Bearsden Academy, has launched an e-petition on the government’s website to campaign for 16-year-olds to be given the chance to vote.

He is hoping that 10,000 signatures can be collected so that the issue can be debated in the House of Commons.

The Scottish Youth Parliament has campaigned on this for a number of years but as it is still reserved to Westminster government there has been little progress, until now.

Ross Greer MSYP, said: “It’s ridiculous that in this country a 16 year old can marry, start a family, join the armed forces and be taxed on their income but they cannot vote for those who run our country including how that tax is spent, if and where we go to war.

“We now have a government at Holyrood who strongly support lowering the voting age but who do not have the power to act upon this. We also have the situation at Westminster where a clear majority of the parties have this as policy but there is no serious action.

“As well as promoting the petition I shall be working with Willie Bain MP to lobby every single member of the house across the coming months before a Private Members Bill is lodged. This will hopefully provoke some serious debate and result in a majority in favour of lowering the voting age and a historic moment for British democracy.

“The UK must follow the lead of countries such as Germany, Austria and Norway and engage young people in politics. Apathy is an issue I encounter on a daily basis and it is vital that this is tackled. Young people need to feel that our opinions matter, that we are being listened to and that they are a valued part of society. Giving us the right to vote would be an excellent first step towards this.”

To sign the petition go to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28