Jo Swinson calls for votes at 16

Jo Swinson wants to get more young people involved in politics

Last night, at a Liberal Democrat conference fringe meeting about tackling voter disengagement, Jo Swinson called for the introduction of votes at 16.

Jo Swinson, who is the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for the target seat of East Dunbartonshire, was a guest speaker at the meeting.

Jo said, “The problem of voter disengagement is a serious one, and there is no magic solution. But there are things we can do to address the issue. We can start by involving people in political discussion from an early age. Citizenship education in schools is a first step, but needs to be backed up by the ability to engage in the process by voting at 16.

Jo continued, “Earlier this year I took part in a “Question Time” style debate at Boclair Academy in Bearsden. The level of interest from the S6 pupils was impressive, and they were clearly able to weigh up the arguments and come to their own conclusions.”

Jo concluded, “Empowering young people to be able to vote at 16 is just one of the things we can do to tackle disengagement, particularly among young people. Of course it’s not the whole answer. We also need to ensure our political parties more accurately reflect the people they are supposed to represent. We should look at innovative ways of involving people in the political process, which should be even easier in the digital age. Politicians, the media, and anyone who believes in democracy has a responsibility to do what they can to tackle voter disengagement.”