Reforming what cannot be reformed: Lowering the voting age to 18, does it matter?


It is expected that the number of registered voters for the elections in 2009 will reach 3,234,110 voters* distributed between 1,948,100 Muslim voters i.e. 60.24% of the voters and 1,286,010 Christian voters represent 39.76% of the voters. In case of the reduction of the voting age to 18 years old, the number of total voters would go up to 3,460,570 voters with Muslim voters representing 61.16% and Christian voters 38.84%.

Hence, the number of Muslim voters would increase by 168,300 i.e. 8.64%, while the number of Christian voters would increase by 58,160 voters i.e. 4.52%. There would be no major difference between the large confessions and within each category of Muslims and Christians, knowing that the percentage of increase in the Sunni community (8.71%) is very close to the percentage of increase in the Shia’a community (8.90%).

Among Christian communities, the increase is 4.92% for Maronites, 4.34% for Greek Orthodox and 4.38% for Greek Catholics. The increase is 12.64% for the A’alawi community, but it drops to 6.46% for the Druze community and to even less for other small Christian communities.

The voting age in some countries

Table 3

Country

Voting age

France

18

UK

18

USA

18

China

18

Japan

20

India

18

Pakistan

18

Syria

18

Iran

18

Turkey

18

Iraq

18

Tunisia

20

Jordan

18

Egypt

18

Cyprus

18

Israel

18

Kuwait

21

Russia

18

Brazil

16

Gabon

21

Cuba

16

Malaysia

21

Source: websites on the mentioned countries

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