TO Sebastian Aliome
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Ethan, Emma, Lorette, Esteban, Sarah, Roman, Eric, Mael… have one thing in common. They are high school students and take part in the Sciences Po seminar at Georges Brassens High School in Neuchâtel-en-Bray.
How do young people feel aboutPresident elections ? Do they believe in the men and women who rule us? What are their fears? How do they see the future? We chatted with them.
News: What did this seminar bring to you in relation to politics?
High school students:
“It’s important to get to know the world around you a little better,” Ethan immediately admits. And add: “I wanted to be able to participate in family debates. But I’ll admit, I’m a little down. Albane also finds many positive things about participating in this Sciences Po workshop: “I’m more interested in current affairs, I read more. The exchange between us allows us to rise to the positions of politicians.” For Emma, this is also a plus: “Teaching in the specialty. This allows us to deepen our knowledge of political science, and this is very interesting.”
How do you perceive the election campaign?
High school students:
Sarah can vote. But when we met a few days ago, she hadn’t made up her mind yet. “Everything goes by very quickly and the same themes always come back.” Topics discussed during debates or meetings are the real deal, according to Esteban: “I don’t think it’s flying high. The topics covered are of little concern to us. Nothing about youth and almost nothing about ecology. We are only talking about immigration. But the main topics, we do not deal with them. For his part, Ethan believes that “the economy is always at the center of the discourse, for example, to the detriment of health.”
How do you think the war in Ukraine affects the campaign?
High school students: Fiona is interested in analyzing the positions of different candidates. “Everyone expresses his point of view. We see differences. In this way, we can better understand the human side or not of each other. This war inevitably affects the countryside simply because France presides over Europe.” Esteban continues: “Whether in debates or at meetings, speeches reveal positions. It’s interesting because you see the contrast of points of view. I think it undermines the campaign a bit anyway.”
Do you trust our politicians?
High school students: Romane was the first to express her opinion on this issue: “During the pandemic, we trusted the government. But we may doubt some options. In general, I think that the entire population cannot trust one person.” And Eric continues: “I don’t trust politicians too much. When they give us money, they take it elsewhere.” For Ethan, the problem lies elsewhere: “The politician who is elected will be elected because of his charisma, demeanor and his oratory skills. It would be better for the program.”
And you want to participate?
High school students: Around the age of 17 or 18, the high school students we met are interested in politics. And not only nationally. However, obligations are scary. Ethan explains why: “I would like to go into politics. However, I am afraid that the environment will change me and my state of mind will no longer be the same.” It is violence that scares Emma: “I would also like to participate. But as soon as a person does not have such an idea, we risk being attacked or insulted directly or on social networks. Mael interrupts, “I think anonymity on the Internet encourages violence.” An observation shared by Roman and Lou, who add, “And it’s often very poor in terms of argument.”
Do you think we talk about youth enough?
High school students: “So no way,” the students unanimously answer. Lou is not shy about saying, “They must have met three high school students in their lives. How to understand us? Lorette continues: “There are no politicians of our generation. So they can’t put themselves in our place. We’ve stayed too long in the old days. No program takes into account our well-being. I come home at 7 pm. I have 35 hours of classes per week, not counting personal work.Many young people our age feel bad about themselves.
Romane agrees: “We have too much work and not enough time for fun. Does our life have meaning? Politicians don’t want to know how we’re doing. Another student, Dora Johanna, puts forward the idea: “Young people should be more represented at the national level, as well as at the regional, departmental and even city levels. To do this, it would be necessary to create a youth council in all communities.
From a political point of view, what are your wishes for the future?
High school students: Esteban gives a simple definition: “What if we started by listening to people. : youth, pensioners, workers … Politics is the promotion of ideas, their implementation and the application of one’s program. That alone would be good.” Matilda, for her part, evokes appeasement: “Politics is designed to make people recover. Their role is to ensure peace in our society so that no one is in need and that we are free.” Esteban then continues: “We could organize a majority vote, that is, eliminate a candidate as we go. Or we could vote for proposals and not for a candidate. Moreover, France lacks a referendum and, above all, lacks a counterforce.”
Lorette has the last word: “There are people who can vote but don’t. I’m going to go and vote as soon as I can, because if we don’t, we have nothing to complain about.
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