Austrian government says 16 year olds should vote

Filed under: Teens, Media

16-year-olds in Austria can vote in some local races in that country - and the new coalition government there says that they should also be allowed to cast ballots in national elections.

Youth advocates say that teens are just as interested in politics than other age groups,and such a right would promote responsibility, while detractors say that 16-year olds are not mature enough to have a voice in national affairs.

A recent study showed that 59 percent of 16-18-year olds in Austria cast a ballot after local elections in 2005.

It's an interesting question. When I was 16, I think I was a lot less jaded and a lot more passionate than I am now. My fundamental belief system hasn't changed, but now I often wonder whether my vote will make a difference anyway...whereas, at 16 I was quite sure I could single handedly change the world. Ah, teenage certainty.

I don't know if there's a huge difference in maturity between age 16 and age 18 (the common voting age around the world) but where to draw the line makes for an interesting debate.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.