Voters will decide whether 16 year-old Swiss youth can vote in Basel elections. Parliament voted clearly with 62 versus 39 in favor of such a motion and passed it on to the government. If passed, the sixteen year-ols would be allowed to vote on cantonal issues, but they would not be allowed to nominate themselves for public office. A goal of the move is to brdige differences and issues between generations by actively involving young people in the democratic process while still in secondary school.
One could raise many issues concerning the “maturity” of adolescents, but just look around at the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush mess that older people created for 300,000,000 people. It is difficult to imagine youth being more incompetent than what passes for “maturity” in the Bush administration. We suspect the normal range of intelligence in voting will be displayed by adolescents since they are not that far different than their elders.