Government party wants to allow 16-year-olds to vote

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Norway’s Socialist Left party (SV), one of three parties making up the country’s left-center government coalition, wants 16-year-olds to be able to vote both in national and local elections.

Snorre Valen, a Member of Parliament for SV, confirmed to newspaper Dagsavisen this week that SV wants to lower the voting age to 16 and that he will put forth a new constitutional proposal to allow it.

The proposal is unlikely to be approved, however. Valen needs a two-thirds majority and only one other small party in Parliament, Venstre, has publicly supported giving 16-year-olds the right to vote. Venstre leader Trine Skei Grande had said during a political debate in 2010 that “youth who pay tax and can be imprisoned should also be given the possibility to influence politics.”

Labour, which leads the government coalition, hasn’t made a decision on the issue nor has the third government party, the small Center Party, taken a stand. The conservative parties in opposition are expected to oppose lowering the voting age when a proposal is put forward.

Views and News staff