Vote at 16, really? – Time

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The political authorities are decidedly very divided concerning the right to vote at 16 years. Indeed, it was 98 votes in favor and 86 votes against that the National Council approved the parliamentary initiative of the green Sibel Arslan last September. This week, the Committee on Political Institutions of the Council of States ratified it with a single voice of difference (7 votes against 6). Let us recall that the age of 18 currently in force at the federal level dates from 1991, whereas it had been set at 20 from 1848. Knowing that the Swiss people will have to vote on this constitutional amendment, what should we think about it? ?

You just have to vote in numbers

One of the arguments invoked refers to an electorate decidedly too old, resulting in political decisions dictated by the elders. Based on the 2019 elections, the average voter is around 55 years old. This high figure is obviously the result of the age pyramid in Switzerland, but above all of a low participation rate among young people. It was only 33% among 18-34 year olds in 2019 while 65-74 year olds spoke at 62%. Consequently, this average would only drop by one year if 16-17 year olds had a say in the matter, and the argument to fight against a gerontocracy therefore does not hold water. If young people want to be more influential, they just have to take the trouble to vote in numbers. All the more so as they are in no way excluded from political life! Each party offers a youth section, the work of the youth parliament is published and commented on, the lobbies concerned with major current affairs are aimed a great deal at pupils and students, causing demonstrations and strikes …