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Dundee LibDems say - It's Time Young People Were Given The Vote

December 1, 2005 12:04 PM
Votes at 16 Campaign Logo

Votes at 16 Campaign Logo

Members of Parliament voted last week on whether a Bill should be introduced to reduce the voting age to 16. The vote was on a move by Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams MP to introduce a Private Members Bill but unfortunately the bill was defeated by only eight votes. Cllr Fraser Macpherson, Dundee City Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader, said the defeat of the bill was "really disappointing and very short-sighted."

There are now a large number of MP's who believe that lowering the voting age to 16 is a vital step to engaging young people in the political process. Many believe that if a person is old enough to leave school, work full time, pay taxes, leave home, join the armed forces and receive social security benefits, then they are capable of voting.

The debate is far from over, as this issue will be discussed again in the New Year when the house has the opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Electoral Administration Bill.

Cllr Macpherson said - "It is time government recognised that 16 year olds are capable of making informed voting decisions. Many of the arguments that were used to oppose this Bill were reminiscent of those used to deny women and the working people the vote. If we are to engage young people in the political process then we must start listening to what they have to say."

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