Juliette: “The decisions that are made do affect the lives of young Swiss citizens”
I support the movement of allowing 16-year-olds to vote in Switzerland. I feel that in 2021 young people are more mature and educated than they were in the past, and since many young people today are excited about politics, they want to be involved in the decision making process. For me it would be important to look at details of both sides when forming an opinion, and to make an informed decision before voting. Whether it is 16- or 18-year- olds who vote, I think that everyone needs to consider supporting and opposing views and opinions, and not just vote for what your parents or friends like, so that you make an independent and informed vote.
It’s true that young people are in school and therefore don’t pay the taxes that support decisions that are made, however the decisions that are made do affect the lives of young Swiss citizens, and will for a long time to come. Some older people may think that young Swiss youth will only vote for short-term interests, however many young people today are interested in long-term issues such as global warming, world hunger and world peace. Similar to how young people choose their educational path, being allowed to vote will help Swiss youth to play an active role in their political future as well.
Making a change and getting people involved can be difficult, however it is important for many different voices to be heard, and today’s population is younger, so this will allow for more voices to be heard. It also makes you more invested and engaged in your country concerning the decisions that are made if you know that your vote will count.
When I am older, I might return to Switzerland to live permanently, and if I am able to vote now, I can be part of what the country will be like when I am done with school, and the Switzerland that my children will know. I consider allowing 16-year-olds the right to vote an important part of having an educated and engaged voting base added to the current voices who are heard.
*2005, lives in New York with her Swiss/American family. She attends high school and enjoys being politically involved, having philosophical discussions, and discovering new ideas.
The portraits of all 16 young people interviewed
- Anne: “I have the vote, so I want to use it”
- Jason: “I am a keen, effective, quick-witted debater”
- Johanna: “We could use our voice to do more against climate change”
- Kimmo: “I would like to sail around the world”
- Juliette: “The decisions that are made do affect the lives of young Swiss citizens”
- Lionel: “We need to create spaces for young people.”
- Yves: “I give my all playing football”
- Moritz: “I take responsibility for my decisions”
- Malin: “Missing a few hours of classroom time is a trifling matter in view of the climate crisis we face”
- Cléo: “Swiss politics? It’s a huge muddle for such a little country.”
- Olivia: “I want to add my voice to the fight against inequality”
- Noelia: “Sitting around at home is not really my thing”
- Lisa: “After all, it is our future at stake”
- Dejwana: “Switzerland? It’s better than Lebanon, where we struggled to be accepted”
- Elena: “I always try to form my own opinion”
- Valérie: “We should start with the little things in our own lives first”