As members of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Shetland we would like to thank The Shetland Times, MP Alistair Carmichael, MSP Tavish Scott and SIC political leader Gary Robinson for backing our ongoing campaign to extend the franchise to enable votes at 16 in all elections.
A special mention must go to all 16 and 17-year-olds who turned out to vote on 18th September. You have ensured that votes at 16 is at the forefront of ongoing discussions at both Holyrood and Westminster.
The recent independence referendum has demonstrated how engaged young people are in politics, illustrated through the very high turnout of 16 and 17-year-olds at polling stations throughout Scotland.
The Scottish Youth Parliament works on the core principle that young people should be involved in making every decision that affects them and we work tirelessly to make sure the politicians listen to what young people have to say.
We’ve seen firsthand from 16 and 17-year-olds that they’re ready to vote, desperate to vote and entirely qualified to vote.
As MSYPs for Shetland we would encourage any individual, group or organisation to sign up as an official supporter of the Votes at 16 campaign at www.votesat16.org.
Supporters of the campaign believe we are ready for votes at 16 because it will:
• Engage 16 and 17-year-olds at the ballot who hold may responsibilities in our society;
• Empower 16 and 17-year-olds, through a democratic right, to influence decisions that will define their future;
• Inspire young people to get involved in our democracy.
During the next few months we will continue to engage with young people across Shetland to consult with them and represent their views at the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Kaylee Mouat and Catherine Hannah
MSYPs for Shetland
c/o Shetland Youth Services