Earlier today we wrote about how 16-year-olds are almost certainly going to be voting in the next general elections.
Without delving too far into the positive or negative merits of the whole thing, it’s interesting to note how completely different would-be voters view the world… after all the youngest would have been been born from in 2002.
1. They were 2 years old when Malta joined the EU
Having joined in 2004, they could barely walk at a time when most of us were celebrating (or mourning) Malta’s accession into the European Union. This means they’ve lived their whole lives understanding, and reaping the benefits from being part of ‘something bigger’.
2. Some weren’t born when Ira sang 7th Wonder
Representing Malta in May 2002, around half the 16-year-old voters weren’t around when we had our first pseudo-victory. Also, to them Claudette Pace is just an MP, not a Eurovision veteran.
They also only got to be present for two seasons of Friends, and know Beyonce post Destiny’s Child.
3. They only know Alfred Sant as an MEP
They definitely don’t remember him as a Prime Minister (because they weren’t around back then) and unless they were extremely socially-aware toddlers back in their day, they don’t remember him as Leader of the Opposition.
4. They were only 10 when Malta got divorce, and 12 when civil unions became a thing
This makes them old enough to remember the decision, but in reality they grew up with a lot of civil rights being less ‘taboo’ than they were in the past.
5. They grew up with Obama in the Whitehouse
Being just 7 years old when he was first elected, they’ve grown up with a black, democratic and pseudo-liberal President of the United States – and all in all a pretty cool guy.
They were also born the year after 9/11. They weren’t around when it happened, and they don’t remember the initial repercussions felt all across the globe.
That being said they grew up in a world affected by a tragedy they have no memory of.
6. They’re more connected than ever before
Having grown up with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and so on, this generation of would-be young voters are possibly the most tech savvy, and globally aware of us all.
Sure it may be a bit too much information to process, and they might spend some time on ask.fm rather than the New York Times, but they’re still absorbing a lot more information than many did in the past.
7. They’ve (consciously) spent equal time under Nationalist and Labour administration
Although on paper they were alive for a lot more PN time, when it comes to being aware of what’s going on in the world, they’ve spent approximately equal time being led by either party.
8. They were born in the year the first refugee boats arrived to Malta
So technically they don’t know an island where this debate wasn’t a hot-button issue, and this problem wasn’t one that needed to be solved.