West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw has written to the chief executive of East Renfrewshire Council calling for an area-wide schools debate for pupils aged 16-18.
The Conservative candidate for Eastwood has raised the issue with Lorraine McMillan ahead of the coming election — the first Scottish Parliamentary election in which 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to vote.
He said: “The level of engagement and participation from those aged 16-17 during the 2014 referendum was exceptional and as well informed as any age group I met while speaking across Scotland.
“I was sceptical beforehand about lowering the voting age, yet this enthusiastic engagement changed my view and I enthusiastically voted to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in this election.”
Mr Carlaw added: “This is an all party election and not just a referendum with a yes or no choice.
“First time voters in Eastwood deserve the opportunity to hear from and question their candidates for the Scottish Parliament just like any other voter.
“Therefore, I am encouraging East Renfrewshire Council to take the lead by organising an Eastwood-wide debate with involvement from 16-18-year-old pupils, so that they have the opportunity to make the best-informed judgement as they cast their very first vote.
“I urge my SNP and Labour opponents to join me and support this call, so we can all ensure the first time voters of Eastwood have a unique opportunity to quiz their candidates on the issues that matter especially to them.”
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