|Parties Challenged On Votes At 16 Pledge|
Labour Backed Votes At 16 For AV Referendum
The SNP today challenged Labour and the Lib Dems over their support for Votes at 16 after the UK Government sought to block 16 and 17 year olds on the electoral roll from voting on Scotland’s future as they tried to dictate the terms of Scotland’s referendum.
Labour MPs including Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander and Margaret Curran all voted for 16 and 17 year olds on the electoral roll to vote in the AV referendum.
Labour and Lib Dem MPs and MSPs including the Leader of the Lib Dems Nick Clegg, the Deputy Leaders of both parties in Scotland and the Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran have given their support to the Votes at 16 campaign and the Lib Dems, who voted with the SNP to introduce votes at 16 in Scotland’s health board elections, promised to lower the voting age in their 2010 manifesto.
Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg is on the record saying “I am a big supporter of votes at 16”
Urging the Lib Dems and Labour to back Scotland’s young people Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf, the SNP’s youngest MSP said:
“16 and 17 year olds in Scotland should be able to have their say over Scotland’s future.
“16 and 17 year olds are already on the electoral roll and they play a part in our society. They should be allowed to vote.
“Attaching strings to Scotland’s referendum is simply not acceptable. The referendum should be decided by the Scottish people and the Scottish parliament.
"It is utterly hypocritical of Labour who supported the right of 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the AV referendum to now back the Tories and Lib Dems in preventing them voting on Scotland's future.
“It is ridiculous that politicians who say they support 16 and 17 year olds having a vote in elections would not support them voting in a referendum.
"And of course Lib Dems in Scotland have already backed votes for 16 and
17 year olds as part of elections to health boards.
“The hypocrisy of the Liberal Democrats toward young people is breath taking. First they betray them on student fees, now they betray them over their right to vote. Nick Clegg’s words are clearly worthless.
“Penalising those 16 and 17 year olds who will be looking to the future of their country in an attempt to attack the SNP is just another sign of how badly the Tories, Lib Dems and now Labour are misreading the Scottish people.
“It is grossly those aged 16 and 17 are able to play a major part in our society, to pay taxes, join the armed forces, consent to marriage but under UK Government plans will not be barred from making democratic decisions about their own future.
“All parties have accepted that the SNP has the right and mandate to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence. The Lib Dems and Labour members have accepted that 16 and 17 year olds should be given the vote. They should reaffirm their position, stop equivocating and ensure 16 and 17 year olds are able to vote.”
1.Labour vote for 16/17 year olds to vote in AV referendum
Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy, Anas Sarwar and Margaret Curran alongside other Labour MPs vote for 16/17 year olds to vote on AV referendum. Amendment 332 to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill http://www.votesat16.org/news/parliament-draws-closer-to-backing-votes-at-16/
2. Liberal Democrat support for Votes at 16
@nick_clegg #asknickclegg With your pledge for a fairer electoral system, will you include votes at 16 within that?
Nick Clegg: Yes I am a big supporter of votes at 16. The state can ask a
16 year old to fight and die for this country, why not vote too?
3. Health board Elections in Scotland
The Lib Dems supported the Health Board Membership and Elections Act, specifically voting for the extension of the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds (12th March 2009)
4. Lib Dem Manifesto - page 88
“We want people to be empowered, knowing the chance to change things in their neighbourhood or in the country as a whole is in their hands.
Liberal Democrats will:
• Give the right to vote from age 16.”
5. Scottish Lib Dems supporting Votes at 16 Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader Scottish Liberal Democrats Mike Crockart MP Jim Hume MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrats MSP for South Scotland Alison McInnes MSP, Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland
6. Scottish Labour support for Votes at 16 Campaign Anas Sarwar, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour Margaret Curran, Shadow Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary Willie Bain, Shadow Scotland minister Jim Murphy, Shadow Defence Secretary Gordon Banks MP, Labour MP for Ochil and South Perthshire Anne Begg MP, Labour MP for Aberdeen South Russell Brown MP, Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway Katy Clark MP, Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran Tom Clarke MP, Labour MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill Ian Davidson MP, Labour/Co-operative MP for Glasgow South West Thomas Docherty MP, Labour MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Brian Donohoe MP, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire Sheila Gilmore MP, Labour MP for Edinburgh East Eric Joyce MP, Labour MP for Falkirk Mark Lazarowicz MP, Labour/Co-operative MP for Edinburgh North and Leith Michael McCann MP, Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow Gregg McClymont MP, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Ian Murray MP, Labour MP for Edinburgh South Pamela Nash MP, Labour MP for Airdrie and Shotts John Robertson MP, Labour MP for Glasgow North West MSPs Claudia Beamish MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for South Scotland Kezia Dugdale MSP, Scottish Labour and Co-op MSP for Lothian region Neil Findlay MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for Lothian John Park MSP, Scottish Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife http://www.votesat16.org/