Votes at 16
Votes at 16 is not an issue of party advantage. It’s about how we view our democracy and the role of young people within it.
Conservative MPs now have the chance to be bold and to be brave – for their own sake, I hope they take it
It doesn’t’ seem too long ago that we had the commons debate in Parliament, 3rd November to be exact. But despite our frustrations
To build a healthy democracy we need young people to be engaged and to feel valued. We also want out political system to recognise the abilities of young people, which is why votes at 16 is so important.
Our work should not stop with the EU referendum. Instead we should work to ensure all young people are provided with both the information and opportunity to participate in our democracy. Over the next year, I will be campaigning and lobbying the government to lower the voting age to 16. I will also be working with student unions, the government and other stakeholders to improve voter registration and mitigate the risks associated with individual electoral enrolment.
Currently, the EU provides billions in funding for our Higher Education institutions; gives vital support to Further Education; enables young people to live and study across the continent; and creates jobs and training opportunities. Brexit does not need to mean the end for youth opportunity, but there is a great deal of work to be done to ensure that our futures are not damaged by it.
My generation is caught in a vicious circle. For the most part, we are disillusioned with a political system that constantly lets us down, but of course when that disillusionment unsurprisingly translates in to less engagement, it gives the system free license to neglect or even actively discriminate against us all the more.
Today, as we vote in the Lords to expand the electorate, the Government has many questions it should prepare to answer. So far they have avoided the debate, hiding behind their majority in the Commons to silence progress. The evidence has shown they are on the wrong side of history and today we wall call on them again to give young people the voice they deserve.
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