Making 16-year-olds eligible to vote in all elections is a step in the right direction for many reasons.
AD was the first political party in Malta to make this proposal as we have always believed that younger people should have a say in what will be their future. Our democracy needs to evolve and broaden participation. The extension of voting rights to more young voters is a continuation of that process.
If younger people can contribute to the economy and our society they can surely be allowed to influence the way our democracy is shaped. Especially when you consider that they will be the ones to be affected for a longer period of time with any political decision.
Some might argue that 16-year-olds are not to be trusted with voting rights since they are not mature enough and could fall victims to tribal politics. Of course, life experience at that age is fairly limited and some might be influenced by our regressive political climate. However that is a common problem found in all age groups, isn’t it?!
We can help to overcome this issue by investing in the education of our future generations by putting a greater emphasis on the formation of students’ political consciousness. Teaching and debates about our political system are to be introduced across the curriculum.
If we take these sensible steps, we will develop a younger generation of Maltese people that are well-informed and can engage in political discussions on a higher level. The earlier we engage young people in politics the greater the chance that we will widen and rejuvenate participation in our democracy.
Give 16-year-olds the chance to stand up and be counted.
AD Spokesperson for Youth and Sports