Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Hypocritical Histories: Votes at 16

Labour and political opportunism, will it ever end? This time it's on the issue of Votes for 16 and 17 year olds. @WayneDavidMP today laments that Nick Clegg "declined" to give the vote to 16 and 17 year olds.

I think he's got a bloody cheek. Shall we just look at the history of Labour's 13 years in power and what they did to further the cause for votes at 16?

1999: Labour stand in the way of Votes at 16 amendment by the Lib Dems

2003: Tory peer, and Lords, agree to votes at 16. Labour declines to timetable commons portion of legislation, killing it off

2004: SNP call for vote to extend franchise to 16 year olds. Labour vote against as does Wayne David MP.

2005: Lib Dems make a vote for a lower voting age. Tories vote against it, Labour barely turns up, certainly Wayne David MP doesn't seem bothered to come and vote for it.

2006: Lib Dem lords table amendment for votes at 16, Labour peers vote against it.

2008: A Labour (shock!) private member's bill is talked out of the commons by Tories.

2010: While Lib Dems reiterate for the third election running they would support votes at 16, Labour merely offer a "free vote" on the issue, without even the conviction to whip such an issue to pass.

So.. let's not have any of this nonsense about Lib Dems denying 16 and 17 year olds the vote. History tells us that if it goes to a vote Labour and the Tories will simply vote against it, as Wayne David himself has already done. Perhaps if this MP wants progress on the issue of extending the franchise, he should take the first step of personally not standing in the way of progress.