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Regardless of the outcome, the Scottish Independence referendum of September 2014 marked a sizable shift in the manner in which we vote in the UK.  For the first time ever, 16 to 18 year olds were enfranchised to vote and whilst viewed as a political experiment (the reasoning behind which could of course raise an eyebrow or two given the subject matter), it nonetheless achieved one thing if nothing else – engaging young people in politics.  Of course, given the perceived ‘success’ of the alteration of the franchise, the debate has now been sparked as to whether, as a matter of course, young people should have the vote in all elections/referendums.  Without a doubt, altering the franchise goes some way to addressing the issue of being considered level-headed enough to fight for one’s country and raise taxes for same, yet seemingly not mature enough to form political views and have a say in the decision-making processes of expenditure and foreign policy. 

Whilst the referendum may have been lost, surely now what we must not lose is the engagement of a whole new tranche of politically motivated young people, young people who are participating in politics at a time when the old two-party system is becoming consigned to the history books.  

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