Tag Archives: joanne ferguson

Crucial day for Votes at 16 as Lords debate EU Referendum Bill

One of the best moments of the Scottish independence referendum last year for me was in the late afternoon on polling day. I was outside a polling station in Corstorphine watching streams of engaged 16 and 17 year olds, some of them still in school uniform, coming in to cast their votes. At the time, I thought how cruel it would be, after they had been such a positive part of the referendum, for them not to be allowed to vote on their UK Government 7 months later.

However, when it comes to the Scottish elections next May, my 16 year old will vote for the first time, for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

I’ve always believed in votes at 16, but the case for voting in the referendum was stronger than ever. The country was making a decision that would affect it forever, not just five years. It’s exactly the same with the EU Referendum, yet the Conservative Government refuses to give these young people their say. The House of Lords could change those plans today. It goes without saying that the Liberal Democrat peers will be supporting votes at 16. The case to do so is compelling. Joanne Ferguson, who’s 17, is a Liberal Youth member who voted for the first time in the referendum. She’s written for the Common Weal site to explain what that vote meant and has led to for her:

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