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Cumbernauld youths have until tomorrow to vote in SYP elections

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 18:10 GMT on Thursday 14th March, 2013.
CUMBERNAULD youths will have the best part of tomorrow to vote in the 2013 Scottish Youth Parliament elections.

Launched on Saturday 2nd March, 2013, the Scottish Youth Parliament regularly meets at the Scottish Parliament with the aim of providing better representation of Scottish youths, in politics.

The 2013 elections were declared by the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, along with Scottish Youth Parliament Chair Grant Costello MSYP, and the full membership of the Scottish Youth Parliament, outside the Scottish Parliament.

These will be the biggest youth elections ever run in Scotland, with candidates standing in all 32 Scottish Local Authorities.  

As part of the campaign, over 280 young people dedicating their time to canvassing, campaigning, and convincing young people aged 12-25 across Scotland to vote for them as the voice of Scotland’s young people.  In the 2011 elections over 84,000 votes were cast – making this one of the largest youth participation events in Europe.

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Grant Costello MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “The last two years have been the most successful in the history of the Scottish Youth Parliament.  We have taken the issues which matter to young people, on Equal Marriage, Votes at 16, and the Scottish Living Wage, and made Scotland’s leaders listen and act.

“It’s now time for a new membership to be elected.  For the first time MSYPs will be elected from every Local Authority in Scotland.  We’ve had more interest from young people than ever before, more candidates than ever before, and I am sure we’re going to have an even stronger membership elected this time.

“That’s crucial, because the challenges facing Scotland’s young people are enormous.  It’s the job of MSYPs to stand up for young people, both locally and nationally, to ensure their voice is heard.  That’s why, as we launch this election at the heart of Scottish democracy, I hope as many young people as possible take the time to vote, to ensure we have the best MSYPs, and can keep on standing up for Scotland’s young people.”

At the launch of the 2013 Scottish Youth Parliament election, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon talked about the importance of the young voice in Scottish civic and political culture.

She said: “It is through youth work and youth participation organisations like the Scottish Youth Parliament, that hundreds of thousands of young people across Scotland are accessing a wide range of activities that help them to build knowledge, capacity and skills in preparation for further learning and employment.

“We want to make sure that our young people today have the right to engage in Scotland’s democratic process.  We want to give them the right to voice their views freely and confidently on all matters that affect them.  We believe 16 and 17 year olds should be able to vote in all elections.  And we will be ensuring that they can vote in the referendum on Scotland’s future next year.

“With the launch today of the SYP National Elections, and voting due to take place all over Scotland until 15 March – it is an exciting dawn for many young people who will join as MSYPs  – and an exciting future for us all. ”

The elections are open  until tomorrow, with booths at Cumbernauld College and online voting available via the Scottish Youth Parliament website.

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