Two-thirds of youngsters are interested and involved in Swiss politics, but their discussions take place via other channels than those of adults, new research has found.
Adolescents and young adults are particularly interested in national and international politics and this interest grows as they get older, a new study called “Scoop it 2.0”, carried out by the umbrella organisation for the Swiss Youth Parliament and the University of Applied Sciences in Chur, has revealed.
Youngsters especially support the idea of lowering the voting age or having more space for their own political activities, it declared.
Most political discussions between young people take place among friends and family, but youngsters also use instant messaging networks like WhatsApp or social media Facebook or Twitter.
The report said adults don’t pay sufficient attention to the media used by this ‘digital native’ generation and often ignore their needs for political participation.
“Children and young people need suitable forms of participation” to be able to take part in political processes, it declared.
Despite young people’s interest, surveys in the past have shown that they often don’t participate in votes, citing a lack of time, formalities and the complexity of the voting issues. Running for a political office and party membership are also not very popular with young people.
The umbrella organisation for the Swiss Youth Parliament and the University of Applied Sciences in Chur questioned 3,400 people between the ages of 14 and 25 on their media usage behaviour, their interests and their needs for political participation.
swissinfo.ch and agencies