经济学人:青年与民主:早投票 多选举(02)

The usual threshold of 18 means that young people’s first chance to vote often coincides with finishing compulsory education and leaving home.

投票门槛通常为十八岁,这意味着年轻人第一次拥有投票机会时往往正好完成义务教育并离开家门。

Away from their parents, they have no established voters to emulate and little connection to their new communities.

由于远离父母,他们投票时不能跟随老选民,并且他们与新社区之间也没有多强的纽带。

As they move around, they may remain off the electoral roll.

随着他们四处奔波,他们也许会一直都不去投票。

Sixteen-year-olds, by contrast, can easily be added to it and introduced to civic life at home and school.

相反,十六岁的青少年可以很容易地注册进入投票名单,并在家庭或学校接受公民生活教育。

They can pick up the voting habit by accompanying their parents to polling stations.

通过陪同父母前往投票站,这些小选民可以养成投票习惯。

In Scotland, where 16- and 17-year-olds were eligible to vote in the independence referendum in 2014, an impressive three-quarters of those who registered turned out on the day, compared with 54% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

在苏格兰,十六七岁的公民有资格在2014年的独立公投中投票,在注册者中有四分之三的人在投票当天完成投票,这个比率令人印象深刻。十八至二十四岁的注册者投票率为54%。

In 2007 Austria became the only rich country where 16-year-olds could vote in all elections.

在2007年,奥地利成为发达国家中唯一一个十六岁公民可以在所有选举中投票的国家。

Encouragingly, turnout rates for under-18s are markedly higher than for 19- to 25-year-olds.

令人鼓舞的是,十八岁以下的公民投票率明显要高于十九至二十五岁的人。

Merely lowering the voting age is not enough, however.

然而,仅仅是降低法定投票年龄是不够的。

Youth participation in Scotland might have been still higher if more schools had helped register pupils.

如果更多学校帮助注册未成年选民,苏格兰青年参与程度可能还会更高。

Governments also need to work harder at keeping electoral rolls current.

政府还需要努力时时更新选举名单。

Some are experimenting with automatic updates whenever a citizen notifies a public body of a change of address.

有些人尝试在公民通知公共机构自己的地址变更时进行信息自动更新。

Civics lessons can be improved.

公民教育课也还有改进空间。

Courses that promote open debate and give pupils a vote in aspects of their school lives are more likely to boost political commitment later in life than those that present dry facts about the mechanics of government.

那些鼓励公开辩论、鼓励未成年人就学校生活事宜发起投票的课程,比干巴巴地讲解政府机制的课程更有可能促进学生在以后的生活中承担政治义务。

A lower voting age would strengthen the voice of the young and signal that their opinions matter.

投票年龄的降低将加强年轻人的声音,并向他们表明他们的观点是受到重视的。

It is they, after all, who will bear the brunt of climate change and service the debt that paid for benefits, such as pensions and health care, of today’s elderly.

毕竟是年轻人们将忍受气候变化的冲击并且偿还那些利益所支付的债务,比如老年人的退休金以及医疗保健费用。

Voting at 16 would make it easier to initiate new citizens in civic life.

在16岁的时候参与投票更易于让这些新公民开启公民生活。

Above all, it would help guarantee the supply of young voters needed to preserve the vitality of democracy.

最重要的是,这将有助于源源不断提供年轻选民,他们是保持民主的活力所必需的。

Catch them early, and they will grow into better citizens.

早早开始吸引他们投票,他们就会长成更好的公民。

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