As far as eligibility of residents to vote is concerned, I acknowledge there are some very strong views on both sides of the argument to lower the voting age to 16. From a personal point of view, in principle, I really don’t object to the proposal to lower the voting age, but I do think it’s contradictory, while we have so many activities that are prohibited until young people reach the age of 18.

Contradictory messages are also being sent to 16 to 18-year-olds right now in other ways. On the one hand, there’s a whole list of things, such as intimate piercing, drinking alcohol et cetera, that this place and others have deemed young people too immature to decide for themselves to do under the age of 18. But, on the other hand, this Bill is telling them that they’re mature enough to vote to decide who runs the country. I mean, which one is it?

As far as the other elements of the Bill are concerned, I can support the principle of changing the name of the Assembly, but only on the basis that the new name makes it easier for the people of Wales to understand what this place actually does. It was unhelpful in the first place that Wales’s elected Chamber was called an Assembly, and I agree with what Alun Davies said earlier about devolution and about the name change for the actual Members of this place.

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Published by Benjamin Mackenzie on behalf of Michelle Brown AM © 2019. All Rights Reserved.