Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Weekend Read: Votes at 16 - a good idea? Parliament discusses

Last month I held a debate in Ponteland where all 4 local High Schools debated whether to let 16 year olds have the vote. The blog report is here:  http://guyopperman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/northumberland-schools-parliamentary.html
Subsequently this was reported at length in the Hexham Courant and Morpeth Herald and Pont News and Views.
Two weeks ago there was 90 minute debate in the Commons on this issue. I could not stay for all the debate but the link to it is here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2014-05-06a.1.0&s=speaker%3A24962#g14.0
I asked several questions of various speakers but the key one is here:
"I held a debate involving four high schools—Haydon Bridge, Ponteland, Prudhoe and Hexham—on that particular issue last month. It was won by Ponteland high school, whose students proposed the motion for 16-year-old voting, and who also swayed quite an elderly audience—with respect to them. I accept that my hon. Friend is my former boss, and normally I would obey everything he says, but on this issue, does he not accept that to a degree, whether or not the argument is won today, the tide is beginning to turn a little?"
The debate is good and I am moving form being against the idea to being persuaded, like the audience marginally in Ponteland, to be in favour.

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