I was thrilled to see the takeover of the IARS blogs last week by the IARS interns, so apt for European Youth Week. I was also impressed to read about Jemma Skelding a 12 year old, profoundly deaf Falkirk school girl who addressed the Scottish Parliament using sign language [BBC]. The elections have come to the interest of my 12 year old daughter too, she has an opinion that the voting age should be lowered as she feels had she and her classmates had the chance to vote in the referendum the outcome would be different. With these example of young people becoming involved with politics and having meaningful opinions about how their country should be governed it seems important that as many young people register to vote as possible. When I was growing up it was drummed into us that "if you don't vote you don't complain" so I have always taken the chance to vote - as I like to complain.
It is therefore so good to see a team of the IARS young people putting together the You8th Vote Manifesto this week. The Manifesto calls on all political parties to consider the opinions and needs of young people when creating their party manifesto's this week. As we will hear from all parties about their plans to govern the country and guide us through the massive changes for the future, more than ever the views of young people should be included. It is after all an election that will not only decide the next few years, but in all likelihood the next few decades! Young people like Jemma Skelding will be the adults who live with the legacy of our decision next month and will be the people shaping our new future.
If you want to see the You8th Vote Manifesto follow this link and sign up to show your support: http://www.99percentcampaign.org/manifesto/
and if you're standing for election - please consider your younger constituents!