5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy
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The age limit giving the right to vote in all elections and referenda is set at 18 years. There is no other special legislation for any specific group.
There are no exact statistics about the turnout of young people in the elections and not many studies deal with this subject in detail. Czech voting and statistical legislation does not allow the age of the voters to be collected centrally. However, thanks to the data collected through surveys it is clear that youth participation (of those aged 18-29) in elections is lower (47-52%) compared to the general population (58-64.5%).
|General Participation in %||58||64.5||62.6||59.5|
|18 - 29 years||49||47||52||51|
|30 - 39 years||53||64||58||53|
|40 - 49 years||64||70||67||61|
|50 - 59 years||58||68||63||63|
|60 - 69 years||63||77||69||69|
|70 years and above||65||71||75||66|
The reasons young people give are also different from the general population: (in order of importance)
1. Holidays, away from home, free time;
2. No interest in politics, no understanding of politics;
3. Too much work.
|Main reasons for absenting in elections in Chamber of Deputies 2013 according to age groups|
|Illness, health, too old||Days off, away from home, free time||Too much work||No interest in politics, I do not understand politics||Distrust, dissatisfaction, voting does not make sense|
|18 - 29 years||5||45||28||38||16|
|30 - 39 years||11||21||22||25||20|
|40 - 49 years||13||26||28||18||14|
|50 - 59 years||13||2||16||8||22|
|60 years and above||58||6||6||11||28|
There is no special legislation dealing with young people as members of political parties. Party youth wings are registered as ordinary NGOs and no major party counts more than several hundred members. The majority of these NGOs are members of the national youth council.
The age limit for the right to stand as a candidate in the parliamentary elections is set at 21 years. To stand for the Senate and President, it is 40 years. For the municipal and regional election, the limit is 18 years. There is no other special legislation for any specific group, no provisions regarding any quota exist.
After the 2017 election, the average age of parliamentarians in the House of Deputies is 47.5 years, which is a decrease of almost than 2.5 years compared to the state in 2010. Only 10 MPs out of 200 younger than 30 were elected in 2017, which means just 5%.
Analyzing the data of the Czech Statistical office about age groups and elections. We can observe some trends:
- More young people, especially in the category 25 - 30 years, run for the election.
- voters do not trust young candidates as much as in the early 1990s and in relative percentages and share in the population, young people are less elected then earlier. The positive trend is only by young women, which are elected more often but still not as adequately as it would be with an equal share in society.
- Young people in elected positions are mostly on the local level, in Parliament, they are more or less still an exception.
- Election 2017 to the House of Deputies shown that there is a significant difference between the voting preferences of younger generations and older ones. As the participation of young people in election is lower then the average, most representatives reflect the political preferences of older generations.