Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, is holding a backbench debate on Votes at 16. This is a great chance for us to show that the party and our MPs stand full square behind votes for sixteen and seventeen year olds. It is also a great chance to lobby all MPs to back this motion.
What can you do?
1. Lobby our MPs: Using social media, tweet or facebook your MP
2. Increase Debate Profile: Invite friends to our facebook event and encourage any supporter you know to post their support for this debate and Votes@16 – #votesat16
3. Write to our MPs: Using the template below, or your own, please write to your MP to attend the debate and vote in favour of Votes@16!
Dear …. MP,
On the 24th January the House of Commons will debate lowering the voting age to 16. Stephen Williams MP has brought forward a backbench motion and will lead the debate on extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds.
I am a supporter of ‘Votes at 16′ quite simply because I believe in ‘no taxation without representation’. 16 is the age at which someone can be taxed by the government, yet they are denied the right to vote on how they are governed.
Furthermore, the law also considers 16 year olds mature enough to enter into marriage and civil partnerships, to become company directors, to work full time or even to join the armed forces. It therefore doesn’t make sense to say that 16 year olds are not also mature enough to vote, and it is undemocratic to deny 16 year olds a say when government affects their lives so much. That is why it has been indicated that 16 and 17 years olds will be able to vote in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014. If 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland are old enough to vote then surely 16 and 17 years olds across the UK are too.
I call on you to support Stephen Williams MP’s backbench motion because it will engage and empower 16 and 17 year olds to influence decisions that will define their future, and inspire young people to get involved in our democracy.