#AskFabiani – Engaging Scotland’s younger citizens

Question:

Why are you using Facebook to contact people under the voting age, and do the SNP have any plans to change the voting age?

Answer:

Politicians are often accused of being ‘out of touch’ with the communities they serve, especially with younger people.

Ever since I was elected in 1999, I have visited local schools as often as I can.  I  have encouraged them, and many other groups, to visit the parliament.

I started using Facebook (and Twitter) because I know that lots of people – and not just young people – use these as normal tools of communication.

In the same way as when I am out in the community, I am happy to engage with people of all ages.  In fact, online, it can be difficult to know what age someone really is – which is one of the dangers facing young people on the internet.

The SNP believes that, like many other countries, we should reduce the voting age to 16.

The Scottish Government has already made the party’s position clear on this by proposing that 16 and 17 year olds be allowed to vote in elections to Scotland’s Health Boards.

I have also been a great supporter of the work of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and would encourage any young person with an interest in its work to visit their website.

Linda Fabiani
April 2011

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