I have just completed and posted my latest electoral registration form. Apart from the intrusive and insulting requisition of my personal details, I still find the double standards operated by Holyrood very annoying.
Great play is made on the form of identifying members of my household who will be 16 or 17 on polling day so they might responsibly exercise their franchise and make an informed decision about the next Scottish Government.
The dramatic reduction of the voting age is seen to be some triumph of democracy, recognising that youth must have its say.
All well and good, but this same parliament, while trumpeting 16- and 17-year-olds’ maturity and competence to make an enormously important decision, will not give them intellectual credit to make other choices, such as in buying cigarettes or alcohol.
In other words, it’s OK to vote for someone who can decide when you buy cancer sticks or booze, but you are not considered old enough or mature enough or well-informed enough to make an informed decision as to buying a product which, on their 18th birthdays they can do quite legally and without restriction. This is gross hypocrisy, and I urge all 16- and 17-year-olds to vote for a candidate who will bring a little equality to matters and lower the age at which drink or tobacco can be bought to 16, or restrict the franchise to 18 and above.
Magnus K Moodie