Over the past couple of days we’ve seen a few news stories circulating about the potential lowering of the voting age from 18, to 16. Acting on promises made during his electoral campaign, Joseph Muscat has already implemented ‘Vote-16’ at local council level.
But now, as pressure mounts to introduce it for Malta’s next general election, sources high up in the government tell Lovin Malta that it’s “extremely unlikely it won’t happen”.
Here’s a few reasons why:
1. It’s got backing from all sides of the spectrum
Both independent MPs (i.e. Marlene Farrugia) and Nationalist ones (including Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil) have pushed for this to become a reality.
2. It’s already happened at the last local council elections
And there was no fire, brimstone or cataclysmic effect. The government had even expressed interest in extending this to MEP elections.
3. Labour’s youth segment (FŻL) have come out in favour of it
They released a statement earlier stating that they are ‘proud to form part of this legacy’.
The Nationalist Party’s youth division (MŻPN) have also previously spoken in favour of this a while back.
4. It’s been a pressing issue for Youth NGOs (locally and internationally)
The European Youth Forum (Europe’s largest umbrella organisation) has been pushing for this to happen for a long time, and Maltese youth groups have long responded to this call.
5. The Government won’t oppose it
They are asking for more time for public consultation to ensure it all runs smoothly, but according to high-ranking sources there’s little to no chance anyone in government will directly oppose its progress.
6. We’d be the 3rd EU country, and 10th nation worldwide, to allow it
And being at the forefront of such things is not a chance our government likes to miss.
The article has been amended to add MŻPN’s position on the issue.