the debate on the right to vote at 16 on the Assembly table

The deputy François Jolivet has just tabled a bill to “broaden the scope of possibilities for young people” and make it a theme of the presidential election.

Right to vote, driving license and criminal majority at 16 years old. These are the three measures of a bill, which has just been tabled in the National Assembly by the deputy François Jolivet (LREM). By this bill “acting trust in youth“, the deputy “wishes to broaden the range of possibilities for young people aged sixteen and seventeen, through a genuine pact of trust“. He even hopes “open this debate within the framework of the presidential election».

A question already addressed in the entourage of the president. In an interview given to L’Opinion on October 13, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, also explained that he wanted “put this idea in the debate for the presidential».

On the left, some did not hesitate to immediately denounce a form of hypocrisy. Clémence Guetté, coordinator of the rebellious France program, speaks of a “political opportunism“. The President of the Republic is indeed very popular among young people, according to the latest polls. The Secretary of State nevertheless estimated that this lowering of the voting age could not occur before 2022, but that it should be put “in the debate of the campaign”.

A common proposition on the left

The subject is taken up little by little. During a debate organized at Free noon on youth and Europe, MEP Irène Tolleret (LREM) also spoke in favor of a “right to vote at 16“. The walking MEP recalls this week that “these young people have a political conscience, a capacity for mobilization. Why not give them the right to vote?».

In March, a forum, signed by 100 elected officials from different political parties, called for the establishment of the right to vote from 16 years old in municipal elections. But the right to vote for young people is above all a measure carried for a long time by the left. It is found in the programs of Yannick Jadot, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and Anne Hidalgo.

Eligibility at 16?

The Socialist Party candidate, Anne Hidalgo, wants to go further. In an interview with Franceinfo this Monday morning, the mayor of Paris goes so far as to suggest “that young people should also be allowed to be eligible“. She considers in particular that the right to vote from 16 years would make it possible to “realize what it means to be dependent on others“, and some “fragility of democracy».

Debates in Parliament, however, risk rekindling some wounds. In September 2020, a petition from the former Ecologie Démocratie Solidarité (EDS) parliamentary group gathered 3,000 signatures to increase the right to vote to 16 years. Yannick Jadot and Jean-Luc Mélenchon were among the signatories. Torpedoed by the majority, the initiative flopped, and the group was dissolved the following month for lack of a sufficient number of parliamentarians.


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