Faded jeans, black sweatshirt, long hair and earring: Victor Pailhac looks more like skateboarders at Place de la République in Paris than a political professional. However, at just 19 years old, this philosophy student at the Sorbonne is at the head of the “Daring for ecology” list for regional people in Ile-de-France.
Like him, very young candidates determined to face the ballot box have decided to stand in the regional and departmental elections, which will take place on June 20 and 27. According to a study carried out by Harris Interactive, the average age of participants in departmental schools in 2015 was 51 years old. The young candidates of the “Covid generation” will therefore have to face opponents who are sometimes double their age.
“There is a distaste for politics among young people, because they are not represented”, explains Victor Pailhac, member of the Ecological Revolution for the Living (REV), the ecological and anti-species party founded in 2018 by the journalist and essayist Aymeric Caron. “Victor is part of this generation which does not want to resolve to accept what is imposed on him and thinks that it can change society”, greets the former columnist of the show “We are not lying”, who continues to regularly call his foal as the poll approaches.
The 2015 regional elections were marked by very high abstention rates. At the time, only 34% of 18-24 year olds had come to vote, according to a study conducted by OpinionWay.
You should not be fooled by his still very youthful face. Victor Pailhac has a rather well structured mind for his age. “The Covid-19 is above all an ecological crisis and very few people make the link between the pandemic and the overexploitation of nature”, he observes. Originally from Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), the young man regrets that the post-pandemic environmental rebound has not been there. “I believed in it at the beginning, but I believe in it less and less. “ The student, drummer in his spare time, advocates a complete change of the economic model “Liberal” of the Francilienne region. Opposition to hunting, the defense of the living and free public transport are also on the agenda of the list he leads to the regionals.
In the canton of Mont-de-Marsan-1, Nabil Hedar, 19, has launched himself in the race for the Landes county council, an election “Too little known”, according to him. “The average age on the board is far too high”, denounces the Montois, who claims to feel left. He took a year off to be able to devote himself to his political and associative activities. With his partner, Laure Cadinot, they lead a campaign without a party. “The pandemic has reinforced my idea of a protective country, especially vis-à-vis young people”, explains the young candidate who tries to speak like a minister.
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