Young Scots must be empowered to vote in referendum, say Greens

By staff writers
11 Jan 2012

Responding to yesterday's announcements by the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Scottish First Minister, Scottish Greens have called for the transfer of new powers to come without strings attached and for the urgent opening up of the debate to what kind of independent Scotland the voters are being offered.

The party, one of the five major ones represented in the Holyrood parliament, has emphasised that it support votes for 16 and 17 year olds and will campaign for their voice to be heard in the referendum - which the Scottish government says will be held in Autumn 2014, in defiance of Westminster dictats

Co-leader of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie MSP, commented: "It’s essential that the transfer of new powers to put the referendum on a stronger legal footing must be without strings - it must be genuinely empowering. Anything else will be seen by every Scottish voter as a piece of mischief and nothing more. Denying 16 and 17 year olds a vote on the future of their country is a shameful position that must be reversed right away."

Harvie continued: "Both sides are so far obsessed with posturing and process. Both need to move on to a debate about the kind of society Scotland could become. The real issues are about how independence – or any other option – could deliver a more equal society, a more sustainable economy, and a decent future for our communities."

"Greens take the view that independence could offer a radically better future for Scotland, but it’s vital that the campaign engages people with those issues, instead of only offering opportunities for politicians to strut and posture at one another," he concluded.

[Ekk3]

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