Sports TRIBUNE. "The right to vote at 16 is a democratic emergency"

21:10  01 october  2020
21:10  01 october  2020 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  TRIBUNE. « Le droit de vote à 16 ans est une urgence démocratique » © Copyright 2020, L'Obs

In our country, plagued by democratic doubt, which constantly oscillates between the choice of the strong method, a kind of enlightened control and that of the increasingly frequent association of citizens in public decision-making, I have chosen my camp: I am supporting, with others, the advent of a “citizens' ministry”. I mean by that, that we can no longer consider the management of the city, in the generic sense of the term, without the citizen participation of all and young people in particular.

The right to vote from 16 years old? Deputies launch a petition

We can no longer "rule against the people", as I said a few days before the movement of "yellow vests" started. Nor can we only manufacture top-down vertical decisions, however well-founded, like the management of the Covid crisis, because we no longer have the right to dictate the conditions of daily life of 67 million French people from Paris. France is a deconcentrated, decentralized Republic installed on the five continents of the globe. Certainly, Paris is still this "beacon" in the world in terms of thought, we hope, but "Paris" in the common French language is above all a handful of people who know and recognize each other and continue. for decades of settling, thanks to a devoted administration, the least of our actions. This is no longer bearable for the majority of French people. It is above all totally counterproductive when we know the aspiration of many territorial decision-makers to take charge of themselves by adapting to the best of local interests the orientations decided by the national representation, which it is not a question here of putting back in question ; counterproductive, again, when we also know the capacity of territories to invent solutions that make up the quality of life in our country.

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The important thing therefore and even the essential is to create the conditions for participation, the criteria for differentiation, the new institutional framework for a renewed democracy, an "augmented" democracy as the president of the Cese says. which I support in its process of reforming its assembly, which I hope will become the Chamber of Citizens.

Encourage engagement and citizenship

In our "Citizens, Really!" "[ PDF ] I have proposed the milestones that we believe will shape the path to this" agoraphilic "Republic.

There are first of all urgent decisions to be taken, on condition, of course, that they reflect a strong aspiration among a majority of our fellow citizens, through a reform of our Constitution which places the citizen at the heart of the public decision, which places him in a way "at the table of government". We cannot live sustainably in a permanent state of emergency, governed by a health defense council; the panoply of measures to be taken is wide, but let's start by bringing to life the brand new ministries in charge of Relations with Parliament and Citizen Participation and of Citizenship by equipping them with effective tools: precede any major decision by a consultation, encourage citizens' conventions because they locate the level of acceptance by our compatriots of the reforms, better represent diversity through the drawing of lots, guaranteeing the presence of the younger generations and all socio-economic levels, allow expression through direct referrals through petitions, link the territory of Ceser (Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council), and, whenever possible, through digital platforms, provide information in real time on the reality of the results obtained by public action and the elected officials who carry it.

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Then there is, and above all, the degree of commitment and citizenship to which we wish to bring the whole of French society and each of us who make it up. For several months now, I have been carrying out a radical project: to enable young people, even before they come of age, to approach civic life on the same level, to participate in the decisions that shape their daily life, to enter into the debate from the age of schooling, to dialogue serenely with the family about the future of the country. For this, new rights must be won for our young people, even though some are considering giving them criminal responsibility from the age of 13 , without compensation. I propose one, among a set of new rights: the introduction of the right to vote at 16, precisely at the time when citizenship is forged and in order to avoid the formidable "democratic air hole" which now affects 18-30 years old, largely absent from democratic consultations for twenty years.

What would be the conditions? It is a question of opening the debate and that is why I proposed a few weeks ago to the President of the Republic to organize a new Citizens' Convention at the Cese, dedicated to the future of youth. It is a democratic emergency, a vital requirement for the future.

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