The Government is publishing its one line bill today to get a December General election.However they didn’t want any amendments to be taken. In particular they are opposed to allowing EU nationals and 16 & 17-year-olds to vote.
A motion from Labour’s Stella Creasey torpedoed that approach when it was carried by 312–295 votes so allowing amendments to be taken this evening.
Threats and counter threats are now flying about. In particular it is being mooted that if either of these amendments were to be carried the Government might choose to withdraw the bill, thus ditching the General Election, rather than allowing these groups to vote.
Equally it is possible that, were these amendments to fail, the opposition would withdraw their support for the bill.
Given the issues at stake in this election it would be outrageous were the franchise not extended to cover these groups, who will be intimately affected by the outcome of the election.
As with the Governments desire to introduce the need for photo ID before people are allowed to vote, the Tories objective is clear in aiming to prevent significant groups from voting.
That’s not democracy.