• Votes at 16 at Watford Girls Grammar
    Article: Sep 23, 2014
    By Sal Brinton

    In his Labour Conference speech today Ed Miliband has just decided that 16 year olds are mature enough to vote. A mere 25 years behind the Lib Dems, who debated it in the mid 90s, and have been consistently proposing it ever since. Better late than never.

    It was clear hearing from Lib Dem friends involved in hustings and question time sessions in schools and colleges throughout Scotland over the last couple of years that 16-18 year olds took their right to vote in the Independence Referendum very seriously, wanted information, debated the issues and their turnout was high.

  • Article: Sep 20, 2014
    By Sal Brinton

    I am seeking election as party president because I believe in our liberal values, however I also recognise that there are things that need changing in the party. I have four decades experience of liberalism, and a track record of delivering change, working at all levels within the party.

    I joined the Liberals forty years ago because they were - and the Liberal Democrats remain - the only truly liberal party, where we believe in the power of the individual to make their own choices, whilst ensuring that there is a safety net to help those who cannot manage without support. Core to that is the party's stance on education, training, freedom and tolerance, alongside a principle of not allowing the State or others to dictate to people what they may or may not do. I don't just want to talk about policy, I want to deliver change, both for the party and for the UK. We are the most internally democratic party in the UK, but it doesn't always feel like it. Despite delivering our core promises in Government (including personal tax allowance increase, pension triple lock, pupil premium, and ending child detention) some members are feeling isolated from policy making.