In another example of political mischief-making Alex Salmond now suggests that 16 and 17-year-olds be allowed the vote as matter of course in all future elections and referendums.
This seems rather strange coming from the man whose party simultaneously wants to impose a state guardian on these same young people.
However, it comes as no surprise that the only main parties that support the move to lower the voting age are Labour and the Liberal Democrats, both of which, like the SNP, hope to channel the natural left-wing tendencies inherent in young people to their own political ends. The simple truth is that young people, earnest and well intentioned though they undoubtedly are, have never had to pay a bill, have no mortgage, have absolutely no life experience and have no idea of how the world works.
Therefore, despite the usual inaccurate and misleading canards about joining the army and getting married, it’s better to leave the voting age at the current level rather than further obscure the political horizon by lowering it.
We all know that the decision to lower the voting age for the referendum was an act of gerrymandering.
Any proposal to make the change permanent, so long as there are plans on the table to raise the age of criminal responsibility and to provide guardians beyond 16, is simply absurd and a further example of the lack of joined-up thinking.
In short, if 16-year-olds are deemed too young to account for their actions or to look after themselves, they should not be given the responsibility of determining a country’s future no matter how mature many appeared in the recent fix-up.
As the over-55s tend to vote more and commit less crime than other age groups while paying their financial dues and contributing to the voluntary sector, it is unusual to find them being criticised by politicians. In this, as in other things, Alex Salmond is an exception.
Perhaps he has been spending too much time with younger people in the campaign but in my experience the main preoccupation of most over-55s (some of whom, incidentally, may live another 45 years) is the safety and future well being of their children and grandchildren.