Debate 2- Politics

The debate topic for Sunday of National Youth Assembly 2010 was Politics. With such an broad topic, it was great to be able to really pick out the particular areas of the topic that the delegates were really passionate about and bring them into the debate.

We started, once again, with a “Blether about politics”. We were addressed by Shona Fisher and Alison Bennett who both work for the Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office. (If you click on this link you will be able to sign up to the SCPO’s email updates). The SCPO was created to build relationships between churches and Parliament and enable them to engage in political process. They are able to help feed the different churches’ views on issues to Parliament and help build relationships between them and Parliamentary representatives. Shona and Alison gave the Assembly an idea of the work the SCPO has been involved in and encouraged the Assembly to think about why it may be important for the Church to be involved in politics. The delegates really appreciated the input from Shona and Alison to our debate and were really grateful that they took the time to stay for the chat amongst delegates in their small groups.

What was really interesting was that there were delegates who said they had no interest in politics whatsoever and were a little apprehensive about being able to contribute to the discussion and debate. However, it was really great to see these people find out that there were areas they were interested in and affected by. What did become clear was that the delegates seemed keen for the Church to be involved in Politics and to be adding to political process and it was evident that they, the delegates, were wanting to be part of it all too.

The big debate after our long lunch sessions saw the delegates come together to debate the collection of statements made by the various small groups. Once again, the whole deliverance shall be posted up here soon. Issues that were debated included:

–  The NYA building relationships with the Scottish Youth Parliament.

– Whether or not the UK voting age should be 16

– Forming links with the SCPO in order to educate young people about politics

– Youth Unemployment

– Minimum alcohol pricing (This issue was particularly interesting as it was raised again during Monday’s debate!)

– Budget cuts to local projects and youth groups

There were lots more and they will become clearer as the deliverance is put up here but it was really interesting to see how involved the Church are with politics already and looking at ways they can become more involved. It was also great to see people learning about this aspect of Church and really seeing it take an active role in our society.

What was clear, from hearing from the delegates ,was that there are a huge number of them wanting to see young people be more interested and more involved in politics. It was great to hear their enthusiasm and particularly their enthusiasm for looking at ways for the Church to be more active and looking for ways they can be involved in that process and conversation.

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~ by Lynsey on September 8, 2010.

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