Friday, 13 June 2008

Right To Vote.

Is it just Mr Smith or is the Scottish Government's apparent new support for sixteen year olds to be given the vote in Scotland very ironic?

"YOU can go to war for your country, legally have sex, get married or be held responsible for a crime. Now the Scottish Government has called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 and demanded the powers from Westminster to implement the change in Scotland. It had previously been suggested that by giving Scotland's 131,000 16- and 17-year-olds the franchise, the SNP would pick up more votes than the other parties, which could swing results in key council and Holyrood seats. But the call by Bruce Crawford, the SNP minister for parliament, at a meeting of the Electoral Reform Society yesterday, was also seen as an attempt to highlight divisions between Westminster and Holyrood ... Mr Crawford said: "It is the responsibility of us all to get young people interested in the democratic process."While 16-year-olds can pay taxes, get married or serve in the armed forces, they effectively have to bite their lip when it comes to decisions that will affect them."

But hang on ... didn't the Scottish Parliament decide yesterday to ban 16 and 17 year olds from being able to use sunbeds? A few months ago didn't the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament vote to outlaw 16 and 17 year olds from being able to buy cigarettes despite the fact they can still legally smoke them? And from 2009 as a result of a change in the law agreed by the Scottish Parliament 16 and 17 year olds will no longer be able to buy alcohol and consume it with a meal as they can now do.

So isn't there a bit of a contradiction in saying that 16 year olds should be able to vote when our current band of politicians lead by the current SNP Government have lead the charge in removing their rights to do many of the things that they could lawfully do previously? Give them the vote if you want, but you can't then treat them like children at the same time.

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