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Tony Paterson 在柏林撰写
星期五, 2008年9月26日



这个运动被设计来抵消由Alpine州的人口迅速老龄化产生的人口不平衡。去年奥地利65岁的人的数量超过15岁的人的数量。然而,评论家认为,由于提前举行选举,结果青少年没有足够的时间来准备自己。一些可能的选民-他们可以购买啤酒和葡萄酒,即使他们不会开车或服兵役 – 同意。

“我不同意和我年龄相仿的青少年被给予投票权的想法,” 昨天Julia Tauschek说,来自奥地利小镇Linz的16岁高中学生。“我们不足够的懂得政治,并且在学校也没有教授更多的政治。”

周日的比赛预计将是在保守人民党和社会民主党之间的脖子与脖子之间的斗争,和民意调查显示极右翼自由党和右翼民粹主义的赵某(变音)rg海德尔联盟奥地利可能最终会作为z国王制造者。紧张的比赛意味着政客们特别重视新一代的选民:“这可能是决定性的,因为这次每个投票都会被计数,” Laura Rodas说,27岁社会民主党的MP,他坚决支持下降投票年龄。“我认为我们应该给年轻人显示,政治是怎样改变世界的。”

奥地利右翼自由党已经走出途径呼吁年轻选民。党的常驻鞣39岁的领导者,Heinz基督徒出现在只有他的年龄的一半的爱好者所包围的集会中。在万维网上他描绘自己作为一种右翼Che Guevara,使用奥巴马的口号“是的,我们可以!”在政治会议上。

Christoph Hofinger,奥地利SORA研究所的总指挥,他进行社会学研究和分析,主张降低投票年龄是一个简单的反应真实弥补奥地利的人口的设计:“给16至17岁的人投票权帮着维护这一代的平衡”

这种观点对于如奥地利因斯布鲁克大学的Ferdinand Karlhofer一样的政治科学家来说是有争议的。他坚持认为,研究运行这个星期天的民意调查表明,选举几乎肯定会由50岁以上的选民决定的。

昨天,奥地利媒体对随机选择的16岁青少年的采访,结果显示好坏参半。来自Linz的在校女生Julia Tauschek解释道她的奥地利政治的知识仅限于她妈妈告诉她的一些,并在背景简报的政治考虑在两个小时的历史教训她的学校在本星期早些时候。这个星期早期,在她的学校,在两个小时的历史课程中做了政治的背景介绍。

Matthias Schrammel,16岁,是维也纳商务学校的一年级学生,说他期待着在周日投票,因为他希望“政治影响”。但他也抱怨说,他的许多同时代的人不了解情况,并可能最终“把十字架涂上自己喜爱的颜色”一旦进入投票亭。


RAEL'S COMMENT: I have been asking for this for more than 25 years.
Austria is a good example for the whole world.

Austria opens the polls to 16-year-olds
By Tony Paterson in Berlin
Friday, 26 September 2008

Austria becomes the first country in the European Union to grant its
16-year-olds the right to vote in a general election this weekend but
the move has provoked widespread controversy and criticism, even from
the teenagers heading for the ballot box for the first time.

The new law lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 was passed last year
by Austria's grand coalition government of conservatives and Social
Democrats. It was expected to be used for the first time in polls
scheduled for 2010, but the governing coalition was consumed by
infighting and collapsed in July. And 200,000 new Austrian voters aged
16 and 17, now have a chance to vote on Sunday.

The move is designed to offset what is seen as a demographic imbalance
caused by the Alpine state's rapidly ageing population. Last year
Austria's 65-year-olds exceeded the number of 15-year-olds in the
country. However, critics have argued that given the snap elections,
the youngsters have not had enough time to prepare themselves as a
result. And some of the would-be voters - who can purchase beer and
wine even though they cannot drive or do military service - concur.

"I don't agree with the idea of teenagers of my age being given the
right to vote," said Julia Tauschek, a 16-year-old high school pupil
from the Austrian town of Linz yesterday. "We simply don't know enough
about politics and we are not taught much about them at school

Sunday's contest is expected to be neck and neck battle between the
conservative People's Party and Social Democrats, and opinion polls
suggest far right Freedom Party and rightwing populist Jo(umlaut)rg
Haider's Alliance for Austria could end up as kingmakers. The tight
race means politicians have attached special importance to the new
generation of voters: "It could be decisive because every vote will
count this time," said Laura Rodas, 27, a Social Democrat MP who
firmly supports the drop in the voting age. "I think we should be
showing young people how politics can change the world."

Austria's rightist Freedom Party has gone out of its way to appeal to
young voters. The party's perma-tanned 39-year-old leader,
Heinz-Christian Strache appears at rallies surrounded by fans half his
age. He portrays himself as a sort of rightwing Che Guevara on his web
site and uses the Obama rallying cry "Yes we can!" at political

Christoph Hofinger, director of Austria's SORA institute for social
research and analysis insists that lowering the voting age is simply
designed to reflect the true make up of Austria's population: "Giving
16 and 17-year olds the right to vote helps to maintain the balance
between the generations."

That view is contested by Austrian political scientists like Ferdinand
Karlhofer of Innsbruck University. He maintains that research in the
run up to this Sunday's poll has shown that the election will almost
certainly be decided by voters aged 50 and over. "The idea that
teenagers will have a big influence is just wishful thinking," he

Austrian media interviews with a random selection of 16-year-olds
yesterday, produced very mixed results. Linz schoolgirl Julia Tauschek
complained that her knowledge of Austrian politics was limited to what
her mother had told her and to a background briefing on politics given
during a two-hour history lesson at her school earlier this week.

Matthias Schrammel 16, a first year pupil at a Vienna business school
said that he looked forward to voting on Sunday because he wanted to
"influence politics". But he also complained that many of his
contemporaries were ill informed and would probably end up "putting a
cross on their favourite colour" once inside the voting booth.
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