Youth Parliament debates low Youth Participation in Electoral Process of Pakistan; attends training on public opinion surveys


March 30: Members of the 17th Youth Parliament Pakistan met on its second sitting of the second virtual session to explore the types of opinion research such as the political and social research, quantitative and qualitative research, sampling methods, data collection plan, data review, data analysis and report techniques through a training delivered by Mr. Tariq Junaid, Executive Director, IPOR. Afterwards, an interactive question & answer session was conducted with the Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs), shedding light on ethical disposal of data once its collected and analyzed for research purpose, reducing political infiltration in public opinion surveys, digitalizing or consolidating the data through institutions, conducting surveys with minorities like transgender who do not want to disclose their identities, inclusion of overseas Pakistanis in the and finding the most effective method to do sampling.

Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President, PILDAT in an exclusive and insightful presentation on Low Youth Voter Turnout in Pakistan said, “If the youth utilizes its voting rights and participates in the election more frequently then we can bring a democratic change in Pakistan.” He shared that the youth voter turnout had been declining over the past 8 elections. An eye-opening comparison of India’s and Pakistan’s youth voting trends was made by Mr. Mehboob after which he put forward key questions in front of the House such as why youth voter turnout is so low in Pakistan, what is different from the Indian scene, why there is a general indifference towards youth disinterest in electoral process and what can be done to enhance youth voter turnout in coming elections?.

Mr. Maroof Rafique of NA-179 Rahim Yar Khan-V, Chairperson, Youth Standing Committee on Electoral Process moved a Resolution on the promotion of youth participation in electoral process in Pakistan as defined under the Fundamental Rights of citizens under the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The resolution was then debated by the MYPs with focus on civic education being made a compulsory part of the curriculum, reserved seats for youth in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan, political parties allowing more and more youth to contest elections, empowering and incentivizing youth as advocates and ambassadors for promoting youth electoral participation in their constituencies & educational institutions etc.

After a general debate, 62 members of the Youth Parliament voted to refer the resolution to the Youth Standing Committee of Electoral System to prepare and lay their report in the house in the next session.

The Youth Parliament of Pakistan is a project of PILDAT and has been running for the past 17 years. The 17th YPP is supported by the Jang/Geo Group, Bank of Punjab, Interloop Limited, Islamabad Serena Hotel, FES Pakistan, University of Lahore and Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.