Teenagers are being forgotten about in battle to secure votes

THEY say that ­people are confused during their teenage years and when it comes to this Independence Referendum in September that is ­certainly true.

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  • Reuben Cameron sets out his views as a first time voter
    Reuben Cameron sets out his views as a first time voter
  • Reuben Cameron sets out his views as a first time voter

Both sides say so much and promise so much that it spins your head in circles until you can't even think straight.

Alex Salmond promises an independent Scotland rich on oil and whisky, free from the rule of London and a prosperous little nation where all can live in harmony.

David Cameron on the other hand promises Devo-max if Scotland votes No alongside the strength and prosperity of the Union.

For me personally, this whole Yes/No campaign has been a sideshow in my life.

I'm quite interested in politics for my age, yet I've barely paid attention to what could possibly be the biggest moment for Britain since the Second World War.

From observation, nearly all of my friends are voting based not on the Yes/No campaigns but on pre-existing thoughts and emotions e.g patriotism, a hatred of the Tories.

To be perfectly honest, even the most politically interested 16-year-old will have been paying more ­attention to their exams, weekend plans, the World Cup etc.

So for the most part, my age group is probably the least interested in the upcoming referendum, so it makes sense that both the Scottish and the UK government would be bombarding us with information on why we should vote Yes or No.

Yet no campaigners have come to my school and I have still to see a campaign advertisement aimed at teenagers that is not condescending.

I had to resort to the ­internet to find out what the White Paper even was.

In short, my point is that there is no specific advertisement for teenagers that gives us the necessary information without treating us like children.

Apart from the UK and Scottish Governments and their respective campaigns there is another source of information - our parents.

People say how your parents' vote influences you massively and it's quite true, my family is so pro-Labour and Pro-Socialist that one of my grandad's uncles was a Communist.

I'm a Liberal so I break the rule for General Election voting but when it comes to this referendum I'm following the rule. My parents influence me with passing comments and their reactions to bits of news. Most people my age will vote what their parents vote as well, simply because it makes more sense coming from the mouth of someone you know.

The personalities of the Yes/No campaigns will also play a role.

Voting No might be seen as voting for the Tories and Mr Cameron.

Voting Yes on the other hand might be seen as voting for Mr Salmond and his smooth talking ways. Scotland is a harsh environment for Tories.

People grow up hearing about the Thatcher years and how the south of England doesn't care about anything north of the Tweed.

Couple that with young peoples attitudes to politicians today and you have a bleak outlook for the No campaign.

However, at the same time the attitude of some people is that the SNP are just ­Tartan Tories and that Mr Salmond is a sly, clever politician that knows how to play the game of politics.

In short, this referendum is the most defining ­moment in British history in the 21st century, how we vote will effect everything to come.

I have no doubt in my mind that in the end it will all come down to teenagers deciding Yes or No and hopefully the campaigns have cleared up some things because I would hate for it to come down to eeny meany miney mo.

Local government

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