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George welcomes referendum announcement

George and AlexGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government that the independence referendum will be held in the Autumn of 2014 and urged people Paisley to join the debate.
George said:

“The people of Paisley will have the exciting opportunity to vote in a referendum on Scotland’s future in 2014.

“This is a major opportunity to ensure that that the decisions about Scotland are taken by the people of Scotland and I hope everyone will take part.

“During this week, we have seen the Tories, the Lib-Dems and Labour all try to muscle in on the referendum, so I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to a referendum made in Scotland by the Scottish people and Scottish Parliament.

“It is also right that 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the referendum. It is notable that the Labour Party both north and south of the border are questioning this position, while numerous Labour MP’s and MSP’s have signed up to support lowering the voting age to 16, via the Vote 16 petition. The SNP has long believed that people who are entitled by law to work full time, get married and pay taxes should have a say in how their country is run and in the future of that country.

“It is absolutely vital therefore that our 16 and 17 year olds have a say in the biggest single decision Scotland will have taken in 300 years. Our young people are our future; they have a right to express their view at the ballot box.

“Above all, this is a matter for Scotland. The people gave the SNP a mandate to run this referendum. The Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour would do well to come to terms with that fact and respect the people’s decision.”

Link to Vote 16 petition signed by Labour MP’s and MSP’s

16 and 17 year olds should have the right to vote, says George

George next to Paisley's River CartGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [26/01/12] spoke on the issue of 16 and 17 year olds getting the right to vote. Speaking during Themed Questions on Education and Lifelong Learning, George made the point that if 16 and 17 year old are being taught about civic Scotland, then they should be allowed to take part in it and get the chance to vote.

After the themed questions, George said, “I make no apologies for putting my long held belief forward that 16 and 17 year olds should get to vote. While Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MSPs and indeed MPs chose to talk down this belief, I must remind them that in the not so distant past, many of them have signed up to and supported the campaign, Vote16.

‘Debate will rage over the independence referendum over the coming months and years, but the date is set; it’s starting. So instead of scaremongering, I call upon anti-independence politicians to take some of their own advice and work with the Scottish Government in lowering the voting age to 16. Many of them have supported it in the past; why do they not seem to support it now?

‘I would like to challenge Paisley, indeed, Scotland’s young people, to get involved in the referendum consultation: Your Scotland, Your Referendum, and make your views heard. I believe that 16 and 17 years old should have the vote and if you do too, get involved and let your local politicians know. It’s your future; be part of better.

Link to Names of the Politicians who have supported the Vote16 campaign

Link to online consultation