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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 降低年龄门槛鼓励年轻人投票

2017年11月29日11:18 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 降低年龄门槛鼓励年轻人投票图1

Youth and Democracy——Vote early, Vote often

青年与民主:早投票,多选举

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16?

为什么选举年龄应该降低至16岁?

How young is too young?

到底几岁才算太年轻?

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Rich democracies give different answers, depending on the context: in New Jersey you can buy alcohol at 21 and cigarettes at 19, join the army at 17, have sex at 16 and be tried in court as an adult at 14.

发达的民主国家给出了不同的答案,取决于事项的不同:在新泽西州,年龄达到21岁可以买酒,19岁可以买烟,17岁可以参军,16岁可以有性生活,14岁就可以被当作成年人出庭受审。

Such thresholds vary wildly from place to place.

类似这样的门槛不同地方有较大差异。

Belgian youngsters can get sozzled legally at 16.

比利时的年轻人在16岁就可以合法饮酒。

But on one thing most aGREe: only when you have turned 18 can you vote.

但是在一件事上大多数国家都是一致的:只有年满18岁才有选举权。

When campaigners suggest lowering the voting age, the riposte is that 16- and 17-year-olds are too immature.

当人们宣传建议降低投票年龄时,反对的人说16、7岁的年轻人还太不成熟。

This misses the real danger: that growing numbers of young people may not vote at all.

这会使人们忽视真正的危险:越来越多的年轻人可能根本不再去投票。

The trend across the West is disturbing.

整个西方的这种趋势很令人不安。

Turnout of American voters under 25 at presidential elections fell from 50% in 1972 to 38% in 2012; among over-65s it rose from 64% to 70% (data for the 2016 election are not yet available).

25岁以下的美国选民参与总统选举的投票比例从1972年的50%降到2012年的38%;超过65岁的选民的投票比例由64%增长到70%(2016年的选举数据还未公布)。

For congressional races, the under-25 vote was a dire 17% in 2014.

2014年的国会议员选举,25岁以下的选民的投票比例只占寥寥17%。

A similar pattern is repeated across the rich world.

类似的模式正在发达国家不断重现。

Young people’s disenchantment with the ballot box matters because voting is a habit: those who do not take to it young may never start.

年轻人对民主投票的觉醒至关重要,因为投票是一种习惯,那些没有投票习惯的年轻人或许永远不会开始投票。

That could lead to ever-lower participation rates in decades to come, draining the legitimacy of governments in a vicious spiral in which poor turnout feeds scepticism towards democracy, and vice versa.

这样会使参与度逐年走低,使政府的合法性陷入恶性循环,因为低投票率会滋生对于民主的怀疑,反过来这种怀疑又造成低投票率。

The disillusionment has many causes. The young tend to see voting as a choice rather than a duty (or, indeed, a privilege).

这种幻灭的产生有多种原因。年轻人往往将投票视为一种选择而非义务(或者说,这事实上是一种特权)。

The politically active tend to campaign on single issues rather than for a particular party.

政治活动家倾向于就单一问题进行宣传,而不是为某一特定的政党进行宣传。

Politicians increasingly woo older voters—not only because they are more likely to vote but also because they make up a growing share of the electorate.

政客们越来越多地拉拢年长的投票者,因为年长选民不仅更有可能投票,而且人数在选区中占的比例越来越大。

Many young people see elections stacked against them.

很多年轻人都觉得选举对他们不利。

It is no surprise, then, that many of them turn away from voting.

所以毫无意外的很多年轻人都不去投票。

Some countries make voting compulsory, which increases turnout rates.

一些国家施行强制投票制以增加投票率。

But that does not deal with the underlying disillusionment.

但是对选举的期待终会破灭,强制的做法对此无能为力。

Governments need to find ways to rekindle the passion, rather than continue to ignore its absence.

政府需要找到新方法重新点燃选民的热情,而不是继续不顾选民低沉的士气。

A good step would be to lower the voting age to 16, ensuring that new voters get off to the best possible start

一个有益的做法是把投票年龄降低到16岁,这能确保新选民能在最好的状态下开始投票。

This would be no arbitrary change.

这并非是未经深思熟虑而做出的改变。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 降低年龄门槛鼓励年轻人投票图2

The usual threshold of 18 means that young people’s first chance to vote often coincides with finishing compulsory education and leaving home.

投票门槛通常为十八岁,这意味着年轻人第一次拥有投票机会时往往正好完成义务教育并离开家门。

Away from their parents, they have no established voters to emulate and little connection to their new communities.

由于远离父母,他们投票时不能跟随老选民,并且他们与新社区之间也没有多强的纽带。

As they move around, they may remain off the electoral roll.

随着他们四处奔波,他们也许会一直都不去投票。

Sixteen-year-olds, by contrast, can easily be added to it and introduced to civic life at home and school.

相反,十六岁的青少年可以很容易地注册进入投票名单,并在家庭或学校接受公民生活教育。

They can pick up the voting habit by accompanying their parents to polling stations.

通过陪同父母前往投票站,这些小选民可以养成投票习惯。

In Scotland, where 16- and 17-year-olds were eligible to vote in the independence referendum in 2014, an impressive three-quarters of those who registered turned out on the day, compared with 54% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

在苏格兰,十六七岁的公民有资格在2014年的独立公投中投票,在注册者中有四分之三的人在投票当天完成投票,这个比率令人印象深刻。十八至二十四岁的注册者投票率为54%。

In 2007 Austria became the only rich country where 16-year-olds could vote in all elections.

在2007年,奥地利成为发达国家中唯一一个十六岁公民可以在所有选举中投票的国家。

Encouragingly, turnout rates for under-18s are markedly higher than for 19- to 25-year-olds.

令人鼓舞的是,十八岁以下的公民投票率明显要高于十九至二十五岁的人。

Merely lowering the voting age is not enough, however.

然而,仅仅是降低法定投票年龄是不够的。

Youth participation in Scotland might have been still higher if more schools had helped register pupils.

如果更多学校帮助注册未成年选民,苏格兰青年参与程度可能还会更高。

Governments also need to work harder at keeping electoral rolls current.

政府还需要努力时时更新选举名单。

Some are experimenting with automatic updates whenever a citizen notifies a public body of a change of address.

有些人尝试在公民通知公共机构自己的地址变更时进行信息自动更新。

Civics lessons can be improved.

公民教育课也还有改进空间。

Courses that promote open debate and give pupils a vote in aspects of their school lives are more likely to boost political commitment later in life than those that present dry facts about the mechanics of government.

那些鼓励公开辩论、鼓励未成年人就学校生活事宜发起投票的课程,比干巴巴地讲解政府机制的课程更有可能促进学生在以后的生活中承担政治义务。

A lower voting age would strengthen the voice of the young and signal that their opinions matter.

投票年龄的降低将加强年轻人的声音,并向他们表明他们的观点是受到重视的。

It is they, after all, who will bear the brunt of climate change and service the debt that paid for benefits, such as pensions and health care, of today’s elderly.

毕竟是年轻人们将忍受气候变化的冲击并且偿还那些利益所支付的债务,比如老年人的退休金以及医疗保健费用。

Voting at 16 would make it easier to initiate new citizens in civic life.

在16岁的时候参与投票更易于让这些新公民开启公民生活。

Above all, it would help guarantee the supply of young voters needed to preserve the vitality of democracy.

最重要的是,这将有助于源源不断提供年轻选民,他们是保持民主的活力所必需的。

Catch them early, and they will grow into better citizens.

早早开始吸引他们投票,他们就会长成更好的公民。

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