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Druidus

Children's Suffrage?

Should minors (people younger than 18) be allowed to vote?   78 members have voted

  1. 1. Should minors (people younger than 18) be allowed to vote?

    • Yes and I am a minor.
      14
    • Yes and I am not a minor.
      6
    • No and I am a minor.
      14
    • No and I am not a minor.
      44

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103 posts in this topic

If you say yes please sign my petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/voteall/petition.html

Ok, the meat of my post:

The Condition of Children

The largest category of poor in the Unites States are children. There are more than 14 and a half million children in the United States who live in poverty, while more than 5 million children live in families with less than half the poverty line income. Too young to carry their own cause, these children often suffer out of the limelight and in silence. These figures seem implausible in a nation of such enormous wealth.

Why have we allowed such poverty to persist among such a precious resource as our children? It certainly isn't because we don't know what to do. Child welfare policies and programs that could end child poverty have been available during the last several decades. This isn't rocket science. Nor is it the cost of these policies and programs which stops us. As the Children's Defense Fund has pointed out, we could end child poverty for less than three percent of all federal spending.

There is a collective will to end child poverty and support for the expenditure required, even in a time of massive federal government budget deficits. It isn't the money that stops us. What prevents us from ending child poverty? The fundamental problem is that our political system fails to provide a mechanism that lets the interests of children to be represented. In modern democratic societies like the United States, political power derives from the vote. Those who can vote are able to assure that their needs and interests are protected. Yet, children are unable to vote.

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Imagine

One could imagine the consequences for any particular group if they lost their right to vote. Their interests would depend on the good will and sympathy of others. Perhaps their rights would be protected by the courts. But in very real terms, their interests and needs would rapidly fall in importance among elected officials.

One could imagine, for example, about what would happen to seniors, if a law was passed ending the right to vote for those over 65 years of age. It wouldn't take long for the Social Security System to be raided. Seniors would find Medicare and Medicaid being gutted. The condition for senior citizens would rapidly decline. In no time at all, seniors might find themselves in the same situation as children. Seniors would lose their political power and become dependent on the good will and sympathy of others who have their own compelling interests.

One in five children in North America live in poverty. The enormous wealth of these countries makes this fact almost incomprehensible. Nevertheless, children have seen their needs placed at the back of the national agenda. Several years ago all of the major political parties in Canada agreed to an idea called Canada 2000. Accordingly, the goal was to unite and work together in a non-partisan basis so that by the year 2000 poverty among children would be eliminated. To date, very little action has followed these words. The goal was a noble gesture that has failed to produce any real programs or policies. As with so many other pronouncements on behalf of children, they end up, over the long haul, to be empty promises. Too many other concerns surface that have more powerful voting blocks and constituencies behind them. Lacking political power, the concerns of children are set to the side. If we ever hope to end widespread poverty among children, then we need to think about ways to insure that the interests and needs of children are represented. We need to think what, until now, has been unthinkable.

Until children have representation in the democratic political system, their needs will be neglected. Progress toward gaining children the right to representation will take time. Efforts to lower the voting age will require a constitutional amendment in the United States. However, until we recognize the centrality of the child's right to vote, progress will be episodic and short lived.

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Enfranchising Children

We need to consider giving children the right to vote at age 16 (or even 14 after they have developed the required formal thought processes) or the right to assign their proxy. Obviously before they develop the cognitive skills and emotional maturity necessary for making difficult political judgments, children cannot be expected to vote. Perhaps these children should have their right to vote exercised by proxy. We could assign their proxy to their principal care giver. If children were given the franchise, then their interests and needs would receive attention equal to other groups in democratic society. To restore our obligation to children will require imaginative solutions that today seem unthinkable. It wasn't that many years ago when blacks were denied to right to vote. Women received the franchise with the 19th Amendment in 1920. Perhaps we can experiment with giving children the right to vote. Until children have the right to vote, we may simply continue a cycle of concern and neglect of children's issues that has failed to produce substantial progress.

It might be argued that providing women with the right to vote has not really led to fundamental changes or improvements for women. Unquestionably, progress for women has been too slow. But it would be hard to imagine what the situation of women would have been (or would become) without the right to vote. It would be unthinkable to even imagine a situation where women were denied the right to vote.

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Conclusion

Government establishes the rules the community will abide by in deciding how resources (such as the Gross Domestic Product) will be distributed. In a society where special interest politics shape governmental interests, those groups able to fund the campaigns of elected officials will see their interests protected and legislation which is favorable to protecting and improving their interests enacted. Likewise, those groups who are unable to make substantial contributions to the campaigns of elected officials will see their interests go unprotected. Further, those groups, such as the poor, who have historically recorded low voter turnout will be especially vulnerable. And most of all, those who do not vote (i.e., children) are unlikely to have their interests protected and will likely fare poorly in competition with others in the arena of political decision-making.

We can lay the foundation for ending widespread poverty among children only by empowering the children themselves. This will require giving children the right to representation. The mechanism for achieving this representation will require creative and innovative problem solving, but we can do it. What we need to do is give up some of our own power so that children can have what we already enjoy. It won't cost us any money. It won't add to the federal deficit. But it will add to the political and moral wealth of the nation. We ought to be able to enter the next millennium with our children having equal representation in our political institutions.

-http://www.childwelfare.com/kids/kidsvote.htm

Why is it that mentally disabled and/or senile people can vote but those under 18 can't? With minors being allowed to vote, we will finally have a voice in present day society. Germany is starting this already. They are considering parents being given a proxy vote, for each child they have. The vote comes from the child, for the childs interests (well supposedly). The next step is for children of all ages being allowed to vote without needing a proxy voter.

Don't worry about 2 year olds and the such voting randomly. They have to express an interest in voting to be able to. And besides, it's already been proven that a larger percentage of votes go to whatever is at the top on avereage.

Politicians will finally consider that children have problems and that solving them will draw more votes in for them.

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It is my hypothesis that the majority of people over 18 will vote no while minors will vote yes. It coincides with women's suffrage. The majority of men said no, whil the majority of females said yes. We fought for all colours of man to be allowed to vote, and we fought for all women to be allowed to vote, even against much prejudice. We will see the same prejudice now, again. Novel ideas incite fear, based on ignorance and bias.

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But don't you think that there's a fundamental difference between racially equal sufferage among adults, to take one of your examples, and giving 8 year olds sufferage ?

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from what i've seen, the majority of people below the age of 18 don't know the difference between an orange and desk. there are exceptions, of course, but i think that majority of minors voting will prove that their opinions do not, in fact, matter a bit.

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To be honest with you i would say the vast majority of people under 18 are basicall to inexperienced to be given a vote. Unless youve lived in the real world you dont understand the real world. Its also a problem that i have with most students as wll over 18 or not. BTW i am also a student however i havent always been.

That is not to say that all over 18's are mature enough either.

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The reason minors are considered minors and in most parts of the world so attempt to give them additional protection under the law is that they haven't the experience or capacity to make decisions and judgement calls at an adult level.

Some, no doubt will mature at a faster rate and be responcible to do so at 16... others develop late an maybe still living in the basement relying on mommy to make all the major decisions when they are 30.... but individual cases don't fit in a catch-all law. Society takes a stance at where it is believed the majority are capable of adult level decisions and responcibility (Typicaly 18, or in some places I believe 21)

Now I don't know about you but I take the political enfranchisement pretty seriously and consider it an ADULT responcibility requiring a mature and considered decision making process.

Ergo, not the province of minors!

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Yes but only the minors with the actual desire to vote will. If a child is understanding of the voting process and has clear opinions of what he or she wants than they should get a vote. Mentally disabled people and senile people are allowed and they probably are even less able to choose than a minor...

The point is only people who want to make changes will vote. Why would a politician look after the needs of children right now? There isn't a real reason. But if they can vote, then indeed, they must try to please the minors.

You cannot arbitrarily choose an age and say that people are only ready to vote at that age. You can drive before you can vote. You have to hand over money to the government, before you can vote. Why should any of my money go to the government, if I can't choose what is done with that money? Perhaps the best way to choose who can vote and who can't, is to have an exam on politics, that shows whether or not you understand it. If you do you can vote, if you don't then you can't. There would be a new test every year.

Then the children who do vote will at least know what's going on. They will have to have an interest in politics to even want to attempt the test.

Age, sex, sexuality, race, all those can be discriminated against. This is a form of discrimination. Just because you are younger doesn't mean you are stupid. I follow politics very closely and so do a lot of my friends. Just because we are young, doesn't mean we shouldn't have a voice.

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Yes but only the minors with the actual desire to vote will.

or, ya know, the ones that intentionally want to mess with the electoral process. but that's just a relaistic thought there grin2.gif

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As I said, they would still have to pass that exam...

Also, don't you think that adults do that too? I know lots of adults who would try to screw the electoral systems.

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Children always has been the easy target of exploitation.

That is because they are dependent, they can't their own living.

Since they make no money, they are poor as well.

Parents are to provide economic support for their own children.

And yet, are you saying that you would give additional power to

those who fail to do their job?

Those proxy vote will be again exploited by those parents.

One of the serious flaw in the law is the reduction of tax or even welfare

with many dependents, mainly their own children.

I mean someone can have 10 children and sit home relaxing,

while someone with no children works all day and see like half of his earning

taken as tax.

Children poverty is a problem inherited from their parents.

There are series of requirements for adoption to ensure adopted

children's well-being. But are there any for own children?

Instead of putting out fire, we should prevent it from happening.

Limit on number of children, and maybe charge for additional child

if they want to have more, to reduce the problem of over population as well.

"Why is it that mentally disabled and/or senile people can vote

but those under 18 can't?" <- you are just mocking them, do you think

they will vote on their own with free will and decision?

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No, I don't think they should...

Children aren't given the right to vote because they're inexperienced and impressionable. Giving them the right to vote, even with an exam, wouldn't be allowing for a more representational vote, it would be providing more votes to whoever their parents voted for, irrespective of political agendas and policies.

There's nothing wrong with the age being 18...there needs to be a line drawn between being PC, and being ridiculous. I certainly know for a fact I'd rather not see the future of my country placed in the hands of a bunch of 10 year olds, who'd be running down to their local pole center to vote for the British National Party, because they were copying their teacher, who happened to be a closet Nazi.

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Then perhaps for all issues dealing with minors, minors should vote. I suppose you also wouldn't want people who do vote for the British Reform Party to vote either? If you had the power, would you take away there voting rights, simply because they don't vote like you? Did you know that about 80% (can't recall the exact number) of adults vote for the same party their parents did? I don't think the addition of children who are able to write such an exam will cause problems with such amazing voting methods in place already... rolleyes.gif

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i've decided to vote for the group with the most convincing commercial, since no matter who's in office in canada, they won't actually help us westerners. except the marijuana party. but i don't trust a bunch of stoners with the country.

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No child should be able to vote, they are too susceptible to peer pressure and can't yet totally think for themselves. We have enough trouble with people who vote strictly according to party lines already. Could you imagine the shape we'd be in when we give political power to a bunch of 13 year olds who are simply following the clique?

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Its seems to me like we all agree it doesnt work either way eh? rolleyes.gif

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If you had the power, would you take away there voting rights, simply because they don't vote like you?

There's a difference between people who vote for stupid or extremist parties because it's their choice, and a group of kids voting for stupid or exremist parties because they've been led to believe that they should do so, and lack a thorough understanding of politics.

The idea of voting in a democracy is that whoever ends up in power is the person who was chosen by the people. Not the person who was chosen by whoever managed to round up enough impressionable and easily moulded kids to vote the way they want them to, regardless of what the child may have chosen had they been more aware of the state of the country, and politics in general.

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well said thumbsup.gif

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Not the person who was chosen by whoever managed to round up enough impressionable and easily moulded kids to vote the way they want them to, regardless of what the child may have chosen had they been more aware of the state of the country, and politics in general.

you apparently have a very cheery view of politics. wink2.gif

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you apparently have a very cheery view of politics.

I said that's the idea of democracy, not that that's what actually happens tongue.gif

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laugh.gif lol good point

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i've decided to vote for the group with the most convincing commercial...

I think minors should be allowed to vote. At least, the commercials would be a lot more entertaining:

*Action filled anime sequence begins* ph34r.gif

Narrator: "Candidate Gontu, with his powers of deception and hot air wind, is no match for candidate Billoku, who has the strength of the combined youth spirits, and can blast holes into Gontu's shield of lies with his truth beams."

Then, there's the campaign speeches: "...and if I'm elected, I promise that every school grade will have a mandatory video game hour..."

On second thought, maybe not. whistling2.gif

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NO! And I am a minor. Minors will vote for whoever their friend oe whoever the want to. If minors voted it would be CRAZY! blink.gif

Oh yeah and I am a minor.

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NO! And I am a minor. Minors will vote for whoever their friend oe whoever the want to. If minors voted it would be CRAZY! blink.gif

Oh yeah and I am a minor.

Ya don't say? blink.gif

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Just to drop in my two cents worth.

Back when I was a kid, I thought that I should have a right to vote, because the ‘grown-ups' were messing things up pretty good at that time. Bay of Pigs was a big deal on the nightly news with how we messed up with Cuba. Viet Nam was in it’s infancy stages as far as we knew here in America.

As I grew older, Viet Nam was a real threat to me, as I was getting close to being of an age to be drafted. I didn’t understand the subtle world events that were happening around me.

As I have grown older and somewhat wiser, I have come to understand that the world is a very complicated place. The leaders I vote for, or in some cases, vote against, will affect the lives of not only my fellow countrymen (and women), but can also have international ripples. What I was taught in school, in no way prepared me for real world realities. I understood basic politics, and very little else.

After being in college a year, I knew that what I wanted as a child/teenager was in fact a poor childish idea. I was then, as are most youth are now, not equipped to understand this very complex planet and the subtle politics, religious overtones, cultural differences, racial inequality, that all can be affected by my vote. After graduating from college, before many on this forum were born, I began to think that instead of just giving juveniles the vote, educate them young. Give them the knowledge that they need so when they hit that magical age of being able to vote, they will know that there is more at stake then what they hear in a thirty second sound clip.

Without intending to offend anyone here in particular, some of the post I have read, show a lack of understanding when it comes to world events and historical lessons. Maybe if they invent a test for people to take to prove they understand what a responsibility voting really is, I might change my mind.

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What I was taught in school, in no way prepared me for real world realities. I understood basic politics, and very little else.

After being in college a year, I knew that what I wanted as a child/teenager was in fact a poor childish idea. I was then, as are most youth are now, not equipped to understand this very complex planet and the subtle politics, religious overtones, cultural differences, racial inequality, that all can be affected by my vote.

I am a minor. In fact, I am making this post from a school computer during my lunch break.

I can't honestly say that a single person I've come across in school today has seemed mature enough to vote. I'm including myself in this!

I like to think of myself as an intelligent and mature person, but when it comes down to it, all I know about pollitics has come from my friends, my dad, and my history teacher (He's opinionated). There is no way I have all the know how I'd need to make an informed decision. My opinion changes every time I hear someone else air their opinion. It gets soaked up and mixed around with all the other stuff I've heared people say.

There is no way they should let me vote! (scarily, they'll be letting me in October!).

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