August 15, 2012 by rossgreer
A 16 year old can be taxed but cannot vote; they can join the army, start a family and live an independent life; they can even marry their MSP but what they cannot do is vote for them or for anything at all. I’ve been involved in politics since I was 14. I have co-ordinated campaigns, produced materials, written press releases and even been an election agent, someone with serious legal responsibility during an election and yet throughout it all I have not been able to do the one thing that means the most in a democracy, not once through it all was I able to vote.
That’s why it’s so encouraging to see an overwhelming number of Scots from across all sections of society and of all ages responding to the government’s consultation and confirming their support for the right of 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum and be part of deciding our nation’s future. This decision will affect Scotland for generations and it is only right that those who will live with the consequences the longest are involved in the process at the most important stage.
Our generation will be crucial to the campaign for a yes vote in 2014, not just as voters but as campaigners, spokespeople and ambassadors for independence. We have the passion and drive to win something better not just for us but for generations to come.
That is why it is so important for young people to get involved now, starting with the first meeting of Youth And Students For Independence on the 4th August at Strathclyde University.
The people of Scotland have put their faith in us and we are ready.
Ross Greer is a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament