What do you think of mature teenagers
Why kids should choose
To what age should the right to vote be lowered? And why this age?
Sebastian: As the German Children's Fund, we are committed to lowering the general voting age in a first step to 16 years and in a second step to 14 years.
We consider voting age 14 to be the correct voting age limit. Young people of this age are able to wisely and conscientiously weigh up voting decisions and their consequences. So it is plain and simple wrong to claim that young people lack the necessary spiritual maturity.
Why is it only fair that 14-year-olds can already vote?
Sebastian: Political elections are important for having a say in our democracy. Article 20 of our Basic Law says: "All state authority comes from the people." It is exercised by all people in elections and votes. And the people undoubtedly also include children and young people. Once they are old enough, they must not be deprived of the right to vote - simply because it is a right to which they are entitled. The children and young people are the future of our society and our democracy. You have to learn how to participate from an early age. In addition, children and young people are affected the longest by all political decisions that are made today. Dealing with climate change should be mentioned here. But also topics such as national debt, pensions and the shaping of the working world of the future have to be shaped with young people.
Then why are some politicians against it?
Sebastian: To be honest: I don't understand how one can be against it. Of course, arguments are made that mainly parties like the Greens or the Left would have an advantage because young people are more likely to vote on the left. In the end, the new votes would only make up a very small percentage. Some also say that young people are not yet mature enough, but we refuted that earlier. Some also say that young people should be allowed to have a carefree childhood and that they should not be burdened with politics yet. But that's nonsense, because nobody forces you to deal with politics! If you want to do it, you do it, if you don't want to, you don't. To be honest, I believe that many politicians are only against it because they might then have to try a little more. You would then have to make more effort to reach children and young people. And ask yourself uncomfortable questions about the future, for example, when you meet critical young people.
Some politicians are demanding that parents get extra votes for their children. Parents can then vote for their children, this is called family suffrage. Would that be a first step?
Sebastian: We disagree here, but we appreciate the arguments and commitment of these politicians for this cause. The Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk is of the opinion that the right to vote should only be exercised by the person whose vote is concerned - that is, only by the young people themselves. It's not nice when, as a 16-year-old, your own mother can vote for you and you also have to fear that they might vote a completely different party than you would do it yourself!
Many children are already interested in politics. Do you think interest would increase if children were allowed to vote?
Sebastian: I think so for sure! One would have to let the children and young people have a say earlier, then there would also be more interest in social issues. Because it's very simple: when you notice that you can make a difference through your own actions, that's also fun, then you also have ideas and want to get involved.
What about children who are not interested in politics and are also not familiar with it? Should the topic find a place in school lessons?
Sebastian: Nobody is forced to be interested in politics! So if you don't want that, you are free to do something else with your time. That is also the case with adults, so many do not vote. It would of course be better if more people were interested in elections. To a certain extent this is also related to how and on which topics politics are made. In any case, there should be a lot more politics discussed in school and more participation should be possible for the students. We have to get to a point where in school you don't just talk about democracy, you also work democratically.
What is your opinion on the subject?
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