On Friday 11th November, Elin Bold and Stephanie Ezeadum, Members of Youth Parliament for Cardiff debated a range of topical issues, including the need for a ‘curriculum for life’ and tackling racial and religious discrimination in the House of Commons. Elin gave a speech on her ideas for a ‘better, kinder democracy’.
276 Members of Youth Parliament from across the UK participated in the debate and have been elected by their peers to represent them with proceedings being chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP.
This year’s UK Youth Parliament’s sitting will have marked the 7th year that MYP’s have debated on the green benches of the House of Commons. The sitting heralds the start of UK Parliament Week, an annual festival of events intended to connect communities across the UK with their democracy. This year’s Make Your Mark ballot to decide the topics of the Youth Parliament’s debate in the House of Commons, received a record number of ballots, reaching 978,216 young people. This cemented Make Your Mark as the biggest youth consultation of its kind in UK history, with almost two million young people aged 11-18 taking part in the last two years.
The debates where broadcast on BBC Parliament.
Members of Youth Parliament voted to campaign on votes at 16 and a curriculum for life (devolved England issue only) in 2017 with 112,687 young people across the UK voting to lower the voting age to 16 as their top priority in the recent Make Your Mark ballot.
Votes at 16 has been a campaign for the UK Youth Parliament for several years and there were passionate speeches made for the campaign in the House of Commons Chamber.