YOUNG SCOTS LAUNCH THEIR CAMPAIGNS TO BECOME MEMBERS OF THE SCOTTISH YOUTH PARLIAMENT

14 January 2015

Young Scots launch their campaigns to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Throughout January young people will be launching their election manifestos as part of their campaigns to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs).

Over 850 young people, across every local authority, expressed an interest in standing as a candidate to represent the young people in their local area.

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. It represents young people all over Scotland, and gives young Scots a national platform to voice their issues, turn them into positive actions, and influence Scotland’s decision makers.

The Scottish Youth Parliament elections are taking place in March 2015. Young people will be able to cast their vote to elect their local MSYP between Monday 2nd March 2015 and Friday 13th March 2015.

Speaking about the 2015 SYP elections, Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“I am delighted that so many young people have chosen to stand as candidates in the 2015 SYP Elections. Following the high levels of political engagement and voter turnout during last year’s referendum, it is fantastic to see so many young Scots committed to ensuring young people are at the forefront of shaping our society.”

“Once again, Scotland’s young people continue to prove that they are interested in being at the heart of the democratic process.

“Being a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament is a truly life changing experience. I hope that everyone engages with the election campaigns taking place in their local area, and casts a vote in March for the candidate they would like to represent their views in the Scottish Youth Parliament.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament campaigns on the issues that matter most to Scotland’s young people, and MSYPs are drivers of positive change. Through her role as an MSYP for Motherwell and Wishaw, Lauren King led the 2014 national campaign, Care.Fair.Share., which sought to alleviate the financial pressures facing young carers.

Speaking about her experience as an MSYP, Lauren said:

“Being an MSYP has given me the opportunity to campaign on so many issues that matter to young people. As a young carer myself, our national campaign, Care.Fair.Share., was particularly close to my heart.

“I want to encourage everyone standing in the elections to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Being an MSYP will change your life, and most importantly, it will give you the chance to change the lives of others too.

“I’ve been at the heart of campaigns which have helped to shape historic changes in our society, such as the lowering of the voting age, marriage equality, and the implementation of policies to help young carers facing financial hardship. I am so proud of all that I have been a part of as an MSYP, and I want to wish the very best of luck to those standing as candidates in the 2015 SYP elections.”

Former Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament and Founder and Director of Dare2Lead, John Loughton, said:

“Becoming an MSYP is a fantastic way to make a difference in other people’s lives. Standing as a candidate is just the first step in the journey to affect change.

“I know from my own experience that it takes a lot of bravery to put yourself forward as a candidate. I hope the young people recognise that while this is a fantastic opportunity to affect change for other people, you will also gain a huge amount of experience personally, and will have the chance to work with some of Scotland’s most inspirational young people.

“As an MSYP, you are exposed to experiences you never otherwise get: from meeting our country’s leaders and decision makers, to getting involved in the very heart of local communities.

“I know how much the Youth Parliament can change your life, and I wish the 2015 candidates the very best of luck in their efforts to become MSYPs.”