Pushing for a more progressive society

Last Updated : 3/28/2015 8:55:21 AM

With a spring hunting referendum looming in just few weeks' time, a discussion has emerged on whether sixteen year-olds should be allowed to vote or not. Rather simultaneously, representatives in Parliament pushed forward the proposal to bring down the age of consent.


Pulse has been at the forefront of both issues, being among the first to come out completely in favour of the concept of enfranchising sixteen year olds. In a policy document issued in October 2013, Pulse was clear that local councils should simply constitute the first step. National elections (including referenda) and European Parliament elections were to follow should we truly believe in the right of young people to vote.


Unfortunately, the argument brought forward by opponents of this proposal mostly bases itself on a subjective measure of maturity. Looking back at our political history, one can see that such very argument was used as an attempt to undermine progressive measures such as the enfranchisement of women and even the lowering of voting age from twenty-one to eighteen.


In January, Pulse was the first organisation to state its position in favour of the lowering of the age of consent from eighteen to sixteen, basing itself not only on telling statistics, but on the stories of suffering and fear which hundreds of responsible young couples had to endure. Malta currently stands with Turkey and Vatican State in having one of the oldest ages of consent in Europe. Furthermore, Pulse stressed its concern that while sixteen and seventeen year-olds are allowed to marry, open a bank account, and are considered to be fully criminally liable, they run the risk of penalty of law should they have a consensual sexual relation.


Pulse believes that trust in our youths should be reflected widely. The organisation shall be pursuing its core values and beliefs in pushing for a more progressive society which instils trust, not fear in our upcoming generation.