Norway’s Christian Democrats want to give 16-year-olds the right to vote in local elections

YoungPhoto: Eliott Reyna / Unsplash

The Christian Democrats (KrF)’s program committee is in favor of holding municipal, regional, and national elections at the same time every four years. 

Furthermore, the committee wants to give 16-year-olds in Norway the right to vote in local elections.

In its proposal for a new party program, the committee unanimously proposed the following: 

1. The parliamentary elections, county council elections, and municipal elections should be held at the same time, every four years.

2. Voting rights should be given to 16-year-olds in local and county council elections.

If the party decides to support the proposal of lowering the voting age in local elections during its national meeting in the spring, KrF will change its position on this issue.

A stronger democracy

Today, parliamentary elections are held separately from local and county council elections. 

The next parliamentary elections will be held in the autumn of 2021, while the previous local elections were held last autumn. 

Both national and local elections are held every four years.

KrF deputy leader and state secretary Ingelin Noresjø, a member of the program committee, supports unifying the elections.

Sve believes it would lead to more predictable political governance, lower costs, and better turnout. 

“We think it would lead to a better democratic process. Municipal and county council elections have become a temperature gauge for national processes,” she told news bureau NTB.

Lowering the voting age

The right to vote for 16-year-olds is a recurring theme in the Norwegian political debate.

For KrF, the desire to lower the voting age by two years follows the party’s wish to unify the elections. 

In Norway, a person who turns 17 immediately after an election is not given the opportunity to vote until he or she is 21 years. 

“KrF fears one may get less interest from young people to participate in public debates and democracy if, in practice, they do not get to vote until long after they turn 18,” the proposal warned.

KrF’s program work is led by central board member and State Secretary Erik Lunde. 

The first draft of the program will be presented in November. 

The final version of the program for the 2021–2025 period will be adopted in April next year.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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