The Italian Almanac


Vote at 16

An MP from the opposition Democratic Party (PD) has proposed lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 for municipal elections. ''I believe that giving 16-year-olds the right to vote in local elections will help fill the confidence gap between young people and political institutions,'' explained Luigi Bobba who presented the proposal to parliament. Lowering the voting age, he added, ''will also help rejuvenate the political class and bolster a civic sense among the young''.

''Sixteen-year-olds can already vote in Britain while in Austria 16 is the voting age for all elections, even on a national level,'' the MP said. Bobba, however, said he was in favor of a voting age of 16 only for municipal elections ''because municipal governments are the institutions which enjoy the greatest support and are closer to the people, above all young people''.

Giving the right to vote at 16 was also a way to foster democratic responsibility and combat absenteeism in national elections, which hit 30% in the 18-24 age bracket in the April elections, Bobba said.