Should fourteen year-olds have the right to vote

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jerrym
Should fourteen year-olds have the right to vote

Should fourteen year olds have the right to vote? 

Strangely, political parties in Canada allow people to join them at 14 or 16. In other words, you can help someone get elected as young as 14, but you have no choice in the election winner him or herself.

I ask this question in part because of climate change. The girl who started the most effective and broad-based climate change movement, Greta Thunberg, was only fifteen when she started. Many of the leaders of this movement are even younger. They feel disenfranchised because they have no say in choosing the political leadership in elections that draft governmental policies, although they are the ones who are clearly going to suffer the most from climate change because their life expectancy means that they have so much time left in a globally warming world. Unhindered by the worries of keeping a job, in most cases they are not blinded to the dangers global warming presents to everyone and have organized to protest against the short-sighted policies of economic growth at all costs in far greater percentages than older generations. Often they have been the ones pulling their parents and grandparents to climate change rallies. 

They also see the ever growing inequality in society and feel it themselves as they are much more likely to be part of the precariat, the socal class whose future is defined by economic, social, and environmental unpredictablility and insecurity, than previous generations, and thus are often much more able to see it in social outcasts, such as the unemployed, underemployed, and indigenous people,  and to support them in their protests. 

In the United States, and to a some extent in large Canadian cities, they are often the most outspoken and strongest voices about gun control. When you spend more time in school practicing active shooter drills than fire drills for over a decade, unlike previous generations, it gives you a different perspective on the issue. 

The expansion of the voter population to include those who do not own property, women, indigenous people and other minorities, as well as prisoners, over the last 150 years has not only increased the diversity of political thought, it has helped many people from these groups improve both their lives and society. 

The main argument against giving people under the age of 18 the vote is that they are not mature enough to deal with the responsibility. Considering the response of baby boomers and other 'adult' generations to climate change and growing social inequality over the last thirty years, one could argue that many of them do not appear to be mature enough to deal with these issues.

In 1968, I couldn't vote because I was 20, one year under the voting age. It was the Vietnam War that helped change the voting age because of the argument that if you are old enough to die fighting a war, you should be old enough to vote.

I would argue if you are old enough to understand that you face death from climate change and want to reduce the risk, which is much more likley for global youth than dying in the Vietnam War than global youth in the 1960s and 1970s, then you should have the right to vote on this and other issues. 

voice of the damned

Strangely, political parties in Canada allow people to join them at 14 or 16. In other words, you can help someone get elected as young as 14, but you have no choice in the election winner him or herself.

Many political parties also require that people pay a membership fee in order to join, and some even stipulate that you can be denied membership for expressing heterodox views.

Not that I'm necessarily against lowering the voting age, just that I don't know if we can automatically extrapolate from the rules of privately-run political parties to the rules of general elections.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I would lower the voting age to 16, which is what the NDP campaigned on. According to what I've read on the subject, 16 is the age at which most people are considered capable of making an informed choice about who to vote for.

jerrym

Copied from Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A modest proposal:

How about we give each person who votes in elections globally one vote for every year they have in life expectancy.

Weight the votes based on how much skin they have in the game.

Seriously, we have a crisis of common knowledge.

There was this conflict that has long existed between formal learning, access to data and experience in terms of respect.

In the past tings were stable enough that experience became often the most sought after and reliable source of knowledge. But the changing planet has rendered this thinking obsolete when it comes to how to deal with the environment -- which is pretty much how to deal with everything. What was okay to do and think 40 years ago is not now. Now, we need to listen to younger people who rely less on what was taught long ago or experience based on unsustainable practices. Younger people are more likely to turn to science in part because they know they don't have the experience. Now this is a good thing. Older people still turn to their experience first and that leads to very bad decisions today.

jerrym

Copied from Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

Michael Moriarity wrote:

An excellent idea, Sean, but I think we need to be even more radical. Only people between the ages of 16 and 42 should be allowed to vote. I am an outlier in my age cohort (early boomers) in that I generally agree with the policies young people support, but I would gladly give up my vote to allow the younger half of the population to do what it takes to avoid the imminent collapse of civilization as we know it.

jerrym

The UK election shows a difference in voting patterns between those aged 18-24 and those over 65 that is staggering. 

If only 18-24 year olds had the vote the Cons would have won only 4 (that's right!) seats while Labour would win 544 out of 650 and the SNP would have won 58 of 59 Scottish seats. 

On the other hand if voting was up to only 65+ voters would have given the Cons would have won 562 seats and Labour 51 seats. 

I believe that this enormous difference in views points to the need to include voters as young as 14 in the electorate because their perspectives are so different. It is obvious that older voters do not see social justice issues as important as young voters do. Older voters, despite their alleged maturity and wisdom, are showing no sign of protecting youth from climate change, despite all the scientific evidence and warnings of the imminent collapse of global systems due to global warming. Young people greater concern for groups that are discriminated on the basis of race, gender, and sexual identity while many older voters never question any of the values that they grew up with. 

 

Jeremy Corbyn would have been swept into Downing Street as Prime Minister with a 544-seat landslide victory if only under-24s were allowed to vote in this month's general election, it was revealed today.

The 'youthquake' Labour needed, but never materialised, would have won them 341 more seats than the 203 they actually took in December, analysis by Election Maps UK has found. 

And Boris Johnson's Tories would only have got just four seats in that 'sea of red' scenario because Mr Corbyn would win almost every seat in England and Wales. 

The SNP would have secured 58 of the 59 seats in Scotland, while the Lib Demswould have taken 22 seats - up from 11, handing Labour a majority of 438.

 

Labour would have won almost every seat in England if under-24s were the only voters in the December general election, Election Maps UK has found

Labour would have won almost every seat in England if under-24s were the only voters in the December general election, Election Maps UK has found.

But the Tories would have taken 562 seats and Labour only 51 if pensioners were the only voters

But the Tories would have taken 562 seats and Labour only 51 if pensioners were the only voters.

In the four key age groups areas, this is how Parliament would have looked: 

  • If only 18-24 year-olds could vote: LAB: 544 seats (56%) SNP: 58 (5%) LDM: 22 (11%) CON: 4 (21%) GRN: 1 (4%) PLC: 1 (0.5%) IND: 1. Labour Majority of 438.
  • if only 25-49 year-olds could vote: LAB: 310 seats (43%) CON: 240 (34%) SNP: 56 (5%) LDM: 21 (13%) PLC: 3 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (3%). Labour 16 short of a Majority
  • If only 50-64 year-olds could vote: CON: 421 seats (50%) LAB: 149 (17%) SNP: 47 (4%) LDM: 9 (12%) PLC: 4 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (3%). Conservative Majority of 192.
  • If only over 65 year-olds could vote: CON: 562 seats (64%) LAB: 51 (17%) LDM: 10 (11%) SNP: 5 (3%) PLC: 2 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (2%). Conservative Majority of 474.

On December 12 the Tories won 365 seats - 162 more seats than Labour who lost 59 seats and were down to 203 MPs, giving Boris Johnson a majority of 80. ...

This was despite Labour having a manifesto pledge to reduce the minimum voting age from 18 to 16 and urging youngsters to come out and vote in force.

Daily Standard 18-24 year old voting vs 65+ voting

jerrym

Yes some 14 year olds aren't not mature but neither are all 70 year olds mature.

Greta Thunberg started the most effective climate action campaign at the age of 15 and many of its leaders are even younger than her.

Malala Yousafzai started her campaign for educating girls and women in Pakistan at the age of 12 and ended up winning the Nobel Prize.

In Chile it was 14-18 year olds who led the protests that has forced the government to agree to a referendum on a new constitution. With 82% support for a new constitution and only the three richest suburbs of Santiago not supporting it, the referendum looks extremely likely to pass. 

Despite left-wing governments being elected twice since the overthrow of Pinochet, the constitution stayed the same and the military still had significant power. Older voters, still feeling intimidated from memories of the dictatorship, only started demanding major change and then came out in large numbers when the youth showed that protests could shake the government's resolve to keep things the same. Al Jazeera is reporting that 14 year olds will be allowed to vote on the new constitution because the government realized the protests would not stop unless they were included in the voting for the new constitution, which if it should last, will impact their lives more than anyone else because of their life expectancy. 

This is more evidence that voting should start at 14, although unlike Michael Moriarty I don't believe you can have an upper voting age limit and still have a democracy. 

 Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Monday signed off on a referendum to be held on a new Constitution, which he vowed would generate a “solid, compassionate and legitimate framework” that would help reunify the country after nine weeks of intense protest over inequality and elitism.

Pinera said the plebiscite, which was approved by Congress last week and is to be held next year, would kickstart a process of “broad and effective citizen participation.”

“It is of the utmost importance to recover the value of unity, of dialogue, of agreements, especially with those who think differently,” he added.

Chileans will on April 26 decide whether they want a new Constitution and if they do, whether the body that draws up the new document should be a popularly elected assembly or one mixed with current lawmakers.

The country’s current Constitution dates back to Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 military dictatorship and, critics say, fails to guarantee proper healthcare, education and citizen participation in government.

The scrapping of the old Constitution emerged as one of the main demands of protesters who have mobilized across the country over the two months.

A poll by Cadem last month suggested that 82% of Chileans believe the country needs a new Constitution and 60% want it drawn up by a popularly elected assembly, compared with 35% who want a mix with politicians.

The president said he hoped the new Constitution “should serve to leave behind the violence and divisions that we have seen resurface with pain and sadness during these days.”

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0006251790?fp=fe85855eced6152e25...

Douglas Fir Premier

jerrym wrote:

Copied from Canada and global warming: a state of denial 2

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A modest proposal:

How about we give each person who votes in elections globally one vote for every year they have in life expectancy.

Weight the votes based on how much skin they have in the game.

Presumably this would just be based on national averages, and not tailored to individual voters, correct? Otherwise, it would be quite discriminatory and would further marginalize people living in poverty, people with disabilities and other known health conditions, etc. 

cco

Clearly, what we need is a system that only lets people who agree with me vote. The closer to my beliefs their opinions are, the more votes they get.

bekayne

cco wrote:
Clearly, what we need is a system that only lets people who agree with me vote. The closer to my beliefs their opinions are, the more votes they get.

I think we've made a breakthrough.

Webgear

If the voting age was dropped to 16 or 14, there would be a requirement to change the Young Offender Act. 

 

pietro_bcc

I don't believe the voting age should be lowered. I used to be in favor of lowering the age to 16, but then I thought about it rather than just accept the commonly held progressive point of view.

Would I be comfortable with a 16 year old having the right to get married? Or a 16 year old going to fight in a war? I personally wouldn't because I believe that they are not mature enough to make such a decision (same with a 14 year old.) If I don't think they're mature enough for that, why would they be mature enough to decide the future of our country?

As for political parties they set their own rules so its more or less irrelevant to me, that's a decision for their membership to make, they can give 10 year olds the vote if they want to.

Sean in Ottawa

I do not think the idea of weighting votes is the same as adding younger people to the vote. Both are debatable and have both advantages and disadvantages.

There are no disadvantges for the people voting today to listen more to the views of the people coming after them but no way to enforce this.

Both ideas (younger and weighted voting) are very controversial and would change the results. I wrote my "modest proposal" not so much seriously as to point out that older people have a different vision of what is at stake for them personally and have less at stake personally for the longer term than those who have realistic chances of living then.

There is no political mechanism to give only the people who are going to be affected by long-term environmental policies the right to make those long term decisions. Consistently the views of the people who have a realistic chance of being around 50 or so years from now are being overruled by those who have no chance of being here then.

There is a political battle going on between the generations that are in political, economic and social power today and the generations who actually will live with the decisions made with the power today.

Yes, I would gladly give up my vote for others on this point because I trust the younger generations more with the values I hold than older generations. Others would not be so willing.

Since decisions are justiciable, I wonder if there will come a time when courts will allow class action suits from younger generations based on these decisions. Obvious problems with that idea exist as well.

Pondering

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Given extensive polling on to support a generational divide on climate change, I have to ask what evidence do you have of this?

This divide is showing up not only between parties but within them as well.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Given extensive polling on to support a generational divide on climate change, I have to ask what evidence do you have of this?

This divide is showing up not only between parties but within them as well.

Certainly younger generations feel more strongly and are more progressive but that is nothing new.  They will be no more successful than any other generation just by having people of their generation in power. The problem is the people that have a hold on power are money types or controlled by money types. Blaming "the older generation" suggests that once the younger generation takes over all will be well. It's another form of divide and conquer. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Given extensive polling on to support a generational divide on climate change, I have to ask what evidence do you have of this?

This divide is showing up not only between parties but within them as well.

Certainly younger generations feel more strongly and are more progressive but that is nothing new.  They will be no more successful than any other generation just by having people of their generation in power. The problem is the people that have a hold on power are money types or controlled by money types. Blaming "the older generation" suggests that once the younger generation takes over all will be well. It's another form of divide and conquer. 

I disagree that this is something like previous generation gaps as you suggest. Climate change is very much a debate among older generations but not as much among the young. Other opinions may change but this would not be likely to as the effects become clear. This is one of those generational changes.

All will not be well becuase the older generations have left them in a sorry state but certainly as the situation becomes clear we will not move back to old policies.

voice of the damned

pietro_bcc wrote:

I don't believe the voting age should be lowered. I used to be in favor of lowering the age to 16, but then I thought about it rather than just accept the commonly held progressive point of view.

Would I be comfortable with a 16 year old having the right to get married? Or a 16 year old going to fight in a war? I personally wouldn't because I believe that they are not mature enough to make such a decision (same with a 14 year old.) If I don't think they're mature enough for that, why would they be mature enough to decide the future of our country?

As for political parties they set their own rules so its more or less irrelevant to me, that's a decision for their membership to make, they can give 10 year olds the vote if they want to.

re: political parties, as I said earlier, it isn't as if tbey grant an inalienable right to all 16 year olds(or for that matter all 40 year olds), to waltz into a convention and cast their vote. The fact that in most cases the 16-year-old has to buy a membership in order to vote likely indicates that the party is mostly getting a) the 16-year olds who care enough about politics to sacrifice the money, or b) the 16 year olds whose parents have paid for them, because they expect the children to follow a particular ideological line.

IOW, not exactly a suitable model for how a democracy is supposed to work.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Given extensive polling on to support a generational divide on climate change, I have to ask what evidence do you have of this?

This divide is showing up not only between parties but within them as well.

Certainly younger generations feel more strongly and are more progressive but that is nothing new.  They will be no more successful than any other generation just by having people of their generation in power. The problem is the people that have a hold on power are money types or controlled by money types. Blaming "the older generation" suggests that once the younger generation takes over all will be well. It's another form of divide and conquer. 

I disagree that this is something like previous generation gaps as you suggest. Climate change is very much a debate among older generations but not as much among the young. Other opinions may change but this would not be likely to as the effects become clear. This is one of those generational changes.

All will not be well becuase the older generations have left them in a sorry state but certainly as the situation becomes clear we will not move back to old policies.

I don't believe there is any significant debate about climate change. The establishment, insurance companies, banks, oil companies, all agree that it is happening and something must be done. Barriers to flooding are being built. 

There are Sanders and Trumps in every generation. Do you think the anti-war hippies changed their minds as they got older?  

This is a challenge unlike any other we have faced but that doesn't change human nature. Most people do accept that radical climate change is happening and something must be done but they don't want to give up their lifestyles. They want technological solutions. 

Because of what has happened to her Greta may end up making a living as a climate activist but if she doesn't eventually she will have to get a job. She will have neither the time nor the money to sail across the ocean which did absolutely nothing to impact climate change or political decisions. 

Even once her generation is voting they will remain a small portion of the voting public for a long time. 

With the exception of dingbats there is no debate concerning the existence of climate change or even that some portion of it is manmade. The debate now is how to deal with it. Even the Conservative Party acknowledges climate change. They just promote market-based solutions. 

I'm convinced about climate change but I am not giving up my apartment for it nor will I share it with 5 other people to shrink my footprint. I won't change my diet either. I don't have a car but if I could afford one I would at the very least rent one or take ubers and taxis a lot more. 

The physical evidence of climate change can't be denied. What has all the Greta rah rah actually accomplished? What has it changed? 

Looking to her generation for salvation is misdirection. It will be decades before they have much power and by then they will be constrained by the same limitations that impact us all. 

We have to present concrete solutions that don't involve wearing hair shirts.

kropotkin1951

jerrym wrote:

The UK election shows a difference in voting patterns between those aged 18-24 and those over 65 that is staggering. 

If only 18-24 year olds had the vote the Cons would have won only 4 (that's right!) seats while Labour would win 544 out of 650 and the SNP would have won 58 of 59 Scottish seats. 

On the other hand if voting was up to only 65+ voters would have given the Cons would have won 562 seats and Labour 51 seats. 

I believe that this enormous difference in views points to the need to include voters as young as 14 in the electorate because their perspectives are so different. It is obvious that older voters do not see social justice issues as important as young voters do. Older voters, despite their alleged maturity and wisdom, are showing no sign of protecting youth from climate change, despite all the scientific evidence and warnings of the imminent collapse of global systems due to global warming. Young people greater concern for groups that are discriminated on the basis of race, gender, and sexual identity while many older voters never question any of the values that they grew up with. 

 

Jeremy Corbyn would have been swept into Downing Street as Prime Minister with a 544-seat landslide victory if only under-24s were allowed to vote in this month's general election, it was revealed today.

The 'youthquake' Labour needed, but never materialised, would have won them 341 more seats than the 203 they actually took in December, analysis by Election Maps UK has found. 

And Boris Johnson's Tories would only have got just four seats in that 'sea of red' scenario because Mr Corbyn would win almost every seat in England and Wales. 

The SNP would have secured 58 of the 59 seats in Scotland, while the Lib Demswould have taken 22 seats - up from 11, handing Labour a majority of 438.

 

Labour would have won almost every seat in England if under-24s were the only voters in the December general election, Election Maps UK has found

Labour would have won almost every seat in England if under-24s were the only voters in the December general election, Election Maps UK has found.

But the Tories would have taken 562 seats and Labour only 51 if pensioners were the only voters

But the Tories would have taken 562 seats and Labour only 51 if pensioners were the only voters.

In the four key age groups areas, this is how Parliament would have looked: 

  • If only 18-24 year-olds could vote: LAB: 544 seats (56%) SNP: 58 (5%) LDM: 22 (11%) CON: 4 (21%) GRN: 1 (4%) PLC: 1 (0.5%) IND: 1. Labour Majority of 438.
  • if only 25-49 year-olds could vote: LAB: 310 seats (43%) CON: 240 (34%) SNP: 56 (5%) LDM: 21 (13%) PLC: 3 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (3%). Labour 16 short of a Majority
  • If only 50-64 year-olds could vote: CON: 421 seats (50%) LAB: 149 (17%) SNP: 47 (4%) LDM: 9 (12%) PLC: 4 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (3%). Conservative Majority of 192.
  • If only over 65 year-olds could vote: CON: 562 seats (64%) LAB: 51 (17%) LDM: 10 (11%) SNP: 5 (3%) PLC: 2 (0.5%) GRN: 1 (2%). Conservative Majority of 474.

On December 12 the Tories won 365 seats - 162 more seats than Labour who lost 59 seats and were down to 203 MPs, giving Boris Johnson a majority of 80. ...

This was despite Labour having a manifesto pledge to reduce the minimum voting age from 18 to 16 and urging youngsters to come out and vote in force.

Daily Standard 18-24 year old voting vs 65+ voting

I didn't hear the phrase until about '67 but I agreed at 16 that you can't  trust anyone over thirty. Maybe give the vote to 14 to 30 year olds but you have to be at least 30 to hold an elected office. Let the kids determine which elders have the best vision for the future.

Weinberg tells the story like this:

I was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter, and he was making me very angry. It seemed to me his questions were implying that we were being directed behind the scenes by Communists or some other sinister group. I told him we had a saying in the movement that we don't trust anybody over 30. It was a way of telling the guy to back off, that nobody was pulling our strings.[24]

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

While their is some generational divide on climate change it is much more a matter of class, education and power not age.  

I think voting age is tied to reaching the age of majority. If 14 why not 13? If 13, why not 12? How young would you deem too young?

Given extensive polling on to support a generational divide on climate change, I have to ask what evidence do you have of this?

This divide is showing up not only between parties but within them as well.

Certainly younger generations feel more strongly and are more progressive but that is nothing new.  They will be no more successful than any other generation just by having people of their generation in power. The problem is the people that have a hold on power are money types or controlled by money types. Blaming "the older generation" suggests that once the younger generation takes over all will be well. It's another form of divide and conquer. 

I disagree that this is something like previous generation gaps as you suggest. Climate change is very much a debate among older generations but not as much among the young. Other opinions may change but this would not be likely to as the effects become clear. This is one of those generational changes.

All will not be well becuase the older generations have left them in a sorry state but certainly as the situation becomes clear we will not move back to old policies.

I don't believe there is any significant debate about climate change. The establishment, insurance companies, banks, oil companies, all agree that it is happening and something must be done. Barriers to flooding are being built. 

There are Sanders and Trumps in every generation. Do you think the anti-war hippies changed their minds as they got older?  

This is a challenge unlike any other we have faced but that doesn't change human nature. Most people do accept that radical climate change is happening and something must be done but they don't want to give up their lifestyles. They want technological solutions. 

Because of what has happened to her Greta may end up making a living as a climate activist but if she doesn't eventually she will have to get a job. She will have neither the time nor the money to sail across the ocean which did absolutely nothing to impact climate change or political decisions. 

Even once her generation is voting they will remain a small portion of the voting public for a long time. 

With the exception of dingbats there is no debate concerning the existence of climate change or even that some portion of it is manmade. The debate now is how to deal with it. Even the Conservative Party acknowledges climate change. They just promote market-based solutions. 

I'm convinced about climate change but I am not giving up my apartment for it nor will I share it with 5 other people to shrink my footprint. I won't change my diet either. I don't have a car but if I could afford one I would at the very least rent one or take ubers and taxis a lot more. 

The physical evidence of climate change can't be denied. What has all the Greta rah rah actually accomplished? What has it changed? 

Looking to her generation for salvation is misdirection. It will be decades before they have much power and by then they will be constrained by the same limitations that impact us all. 

We have to present concrete solutions that don't involve wearing hair shirts.

Sorry Pondering but be careful of the risk to the climate if all these straw men catch on fire. You missed the point and introduced multiple secondary issues.

There is a profound difference between the climate opinions of younger people who have to deal with the planet and older people who do not. Check out any of 100s of polls on the topic. Sure there are Trumps and Sanders in every generation but they do not dominate all generations and there is a clear difference.

jerrym

The responses to my proposal to add 14 year olds and up the vote focus on climate change. However I also noted how the young, such as Malala in Pakistan, have led the fight for eduction, especially of young girls, and the demand to address income inequality in Chile. The young are often able to see issues from a perspective not often held by those older than them. The decision of the Chilean government to include those aged 14 and up in the growing constitution is a recognition that it was the youth who initiated the protests that the adults then joined and that brought about the 82% support in a p0ll in favour of a referendum on a new constitution.

A non-political study of medical students illustrates why youth can bring a new perspective that is not simply based on rebellion against the establishment. The study found that first year students often questioned the medical system in terms of fee-for-service and the problems this creates in patient care while the same students, after being trained for years within the system, are much more likely to accept it warts and all. 

Many argue that including a diversity of incomes, races, sexuality identities, etc. strengthens democracy. I believe including young people in the electorate, often before they become part of the job market that tends to focus one's mind narrowly on income and immediate working and living conditions, would add another perspective that would help society as a whole reach better decisions.

bekayne

Related image

jerrym

bekayne wrote:

Related image

Nothing that I wrote involved excluding anyone from voting, but it is easy to trivalize arguments by distorting what others said. 

bekayne

jerrym wrote:

bekayne wrote:

Related image

Nothing that I wrote involved excluding anyone from voting, but it is easy to trivalize arguments by distorting what others said. 

Sorry, that was not my intent. It's just that in the film the voting age is lowered to 14.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmeTftBlOVY

Pondering

The question of how young is too young is being ignored. If 14, why not 13? Why not 10? 8? What about no line at all? You can vote as soon as you can figure out how to? 

One could say you want young people to vote before they become adults and change their minds about what they would support. 

Didn't Hitler propagandize youth? 

Douglas Fir Premier

Pondering wrote:

Didn't Hitler propagandize youth? 

Did he? I've heard he was anti-smoking.

Pondering

My point is that 14 year olds are not tried in adult court because we don't consider them mature enough. They are too easily influenced. Adults can also be influenced. I have never felt more mature on my birthday than the day before but at 18 I suddenly become an adult. We have no scientific studies proving when someone is mature enough to vote or to drive. 

I am not necessarily against 14 year olds voting.  I just don't think the reason should be because they would vote my way.

I think 18 is used because that is when we typically start holding people fully responsible for their behavior.

If we are going to say 14 is old enough, then why not 13? 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

My point is that 14 year olds are not tried in adult court because we don't consider them mature enough. They are too easily influenced. Adults can also be influenced. I have never felt more mature on my birthday than the day before but at 18 I suddenly become an adult. We have no scientific studies proving when someone is mature enough to vote or to drive. 

I am not necessarily against 14 year olds voting.  I just don't think the reason should be because they would vote my way.

I think 18 is used because that is when we typically start holding people fully responsible for their behavior.

If we are going to say 14 is old enough, then why not 13? 

I think in the past decisions made did not affect the future as directly as they do today. The fact that a new generation alive today is having decisions made against their interests and they alone will be the ones (and those after them) that live with these decisions is the reason this is coming up.

I do not know where the dividing line should be. Some are more mature than others but this does not stop at 18. Why stop at 18 if you will not go to 14?

If I had to pick myself I think I would be anywhere between 14 and 16. 18 is too old and 13 too young - in my opinion as a general rule even though there are people past 18 who are not able to and those younger than 13 who are.

The idea that they would be influenced by others was advanced when it came to Women's sufferage and when voting was dropped from 21 to 18. It was bogus because the fact that people are influenced is not in itself a bad thing. That they can then make their own decision is the point. Sure kids of 14 would be influenced by parents but they also have the capacity to weigh that. I think when given the responsiblility to research and think for themselves most kids would do better than many adults. The reason is because kids aspire to make adult decisions. 

And let's ask ourselves the question of how bad it is if a kid is influenced by a person they trust who is taking account of their interest. How bad is that? If parents of kids in some cases got more influence than people without kids at least those parents can be argued to have more stake in the future. And at the end of the day the vote is private. thie kid listens and does what they want  as they should. As the rest of us do.

Pondering

We are being affected by climate change now and have been for a long time. 

What reasoning applies to 14 that does not apply to 13? 

Why not as soon as someone is able to vote they should be allowed to?  No age limit. If you can get yourself to a polling station and correctly mark the ballot rather than  ruining it then why shouldn't you be allowed to vote? I'm not defending that proposition. 

There has to be more reason than just "I think 14 is old enough".  Might as well just throw dice in the air. 

We say children reach the age of reason at 7. 

I didn't have a clear idea of how government even worked when I was 14. I thought I knew we elected the PM and MPs and that there were political parties who argued about stuff I didn't care about. I had no idea what the senate was about. 

I've known 14 year olds I think are far more mature than 18 and 18 year olds that are more mature than 25 year olds.  I've known 10 year olds that are more mature than 18 year olds. 

Federal voting used to be 21, provincial 18. I think 21 was wrong because you can join the military at 18.  In my opinion if you are old enough to die on behalf of your country you are old enough to choose who leads it. 

I am all for the age of consent being 16 with the exception of romeo/juliet 5 year age span because I believe that age gives adults an unfair advantage in swaying the decisions of significantly younger teens. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

We are being affected by climate change now and have been for a long time. 

What reasoning applies to 14 that does not apply to 13? 

Why not as soon as someone is able to vote they should be allowed to?  No age limit. If you can get yourself to a polling station and correctly mark the ballot rather than  ruining it then why shouldn't you be allowed to vote? I'm not defending that proposition. 

There has to be more reason than just "I think 14 is old enough".  Might as well just throw dice in the air. 

We say children reach the age of reason at 7. 

I didn't have a clear idea of how government even worked when I was 14. I thought I knew we elected the PM and MPs and that there were political parties who argued about stuff I didn't care about. I had no idea what the senate was about. 

I've known 14 year olds I think are far more mature than 18 and 18 year olds that are more mature than 25 year olds.  I've known 10 year olds that are more mature than 18 year olds. 

Federal voting used to be 21, provincial 18. I think 21 was wrong because you can join the military at 18.  In my opinion if you are old enough to die on behalf of your country you are old enough to choose who leads it. 

I am all for the age of consent being 16 with the exception of romeo/juliet 5 year age span because I believe that age gives adults an unfair advantage in swaying the decisions of significantly younger teens. 

We are throwing the dice in the air at any boundary as you put it -- at 18 why not 17 at 16 why not 15. I merely said I think that 14 -16 is reasonable: kids at that age are often thinking to the future, they are learning aboutt he world, they are contemplating economics including the cost of education, theya re engaging with the environment to some degree. 

So I have no problem with a line being drawn from 14 to 16 knowing that wherever you draw it is fuzzy. I am stating that I think 18 is too late to draw that line in my opinion but we all know it is arbitrary.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

We are throwing the dice in the air at any boundary as you put it -- at 18 why not 17 at 16 why not 15. I merely said I think that 14 -16 is reasonable: kids at that age are often thinking to the future, they are learning aboutt he world, they are contemplating economics including the cost of education, theya re engaging with the environment to some degree. 

So I have no problem with a line being drawn from 14 to 16 knowing that wherever you draw it is fuzzy. I am stating that I think 18 is too late to draw that line in my opinion but we all know it is arbitrary.

I'm being serious when I say why can't people vote from the time they are able to. It takes a minimum of ability to vote. You have to know to mark the ballot correctly without ruining it. You have to decide who to vote for, be able to read. Voting is done in absolute privacy so no one knows how an individual voted. 

Perhaps the younger people were permitted to vote the younger they would become informed. 

On second thought, isn't 14 still too young for content limited to mature audiences? At 14 I don't think I was emotionally mature enough to fully know about the evils of the world nor did I want to. I was still very naive at that age.

I have always been left of centre but that is largely because my family is casually left of centre. 

I would say 10,11 and 12 are definitely too young. 13 also seems too tender an age. A graduated system would be interesting. At 18 everyone can vote. Prior to 18 the individual must meet some low threshold of basic knowledge of our system of government and the parties/candidates.  

The provincial age could be 14, the federal 16, and administered through the schools where anyone within those ages could register to vote.

It just seems to me we should be applying some sort of logic beyond throwing the dice to picking an age and introduction to something so important as voting. I really hope kids are better educated about our system of government today than I was as a young person. 

voice of the damned

I would say 10,11 and 12 are definitely too young. 13 also seems too tender an age. A graduated system would be interesting. At 18 everyone can vote. Prior to 18 the individual must meet some low threshold of basic knowledge of our system of government and the parties/candidates.  

No matter how low the threshold was, it would still be an open invitiation to endless screaming matches among those who think the required knowledge was excluding their favorite issues.

"How come voters are required to know the Minister Of Justice, but not Defense? Buncha goddam hippie peaceniks wrote this test, I'll betcha."

Mutatis mutandis for any ideological tendency you'd care to name.

And if you think the arguments about debate-inclusion are asinine, wait'll you have every fringe-party in existence suing to get included on the list of parties considered important enough to be on the test.

Badriya

Regarding the voting age, I can only speak of the two provinces I am familiar with, Ontario and New Brunswick.  In ON there is a mandatory course in civics in grade 10. (The Ford government was going to abolish it, but backtracked.) In NB the electoral reform commission recommended the implementation of a mandatory civics course, also in grade 1o.  Students in grade 10 are typically 15-16.  The argument is that students would have a civics course in grade 10 and apply it in the next elections.  

voice of the damned

Badriya wrote:

Regarding the voting age, I can only speak of the two provinces I am familiar with, Ontario and New Brunswick.  In ON there is a mandatory course in civics in grade 10. (The Ford government was going to abolish it, but backtracked.) In NB the electoral reform commission recommended the implementation of a mandatory civics course, also in grade 1o.  Students in grade 10 are typically 15-16.  The argument is that students would have a civics course in grade 10 and apply it in the next elections.  

So, one kid who learned a lot in the civics course can vote, while another kid who didn't learn that much, can't?

Lawyers are gonna have a field day challenging the constitutionality of that, and that's not even getting into questions like "Just how neutral are the contents of this civics course, anyway?"   

voice of the damned

^ Also, since education is a provincial responsibility in Canada, how can you standardize the curriculum to prepare kids across the country for voting in the same federal election?

Pondering

When I say minimal I mean minimal. As in, must know we have a house of commons. We elect MPs who each represent one riding. No more than an average teen could memorize in an hour on voting day. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

When I say minimal I mean minimal. As in, must know we have a house of commons. We elect MPs who each represent one riding. No more than an average teen could memorize in an hour on voting day. 

I like the idea of a small test of awareness - basic - to show that the person is aware of basic things. 

The other question though is one of capacity -- adults when they lack capacity can name another. Should this be with kids? Or should we have kids with capacity from say 14 to say up to 18 and then adults who can have someone else manage their vote if they lack capacity?

I think a compromise here on knowledge could answer the opposition to younger voting.

I agree the basics of civics: what the House is, what the PM is, who you vote for, able to name some of the things the winner of the election can do (so know a little of the powers of that jurisdiction).

If they understand enough about the process and the types of decisions representatives can make then let them vote.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

When I say minimal I mean minimal. As in, must know we have a house of commons. We elect MPs who each represent one riding. No more than an average teen could memorize in an hour on voting day. 

If it's gonna be that minimal, then you might as well just lower the voting age to 14(or whatever) for everybody, no tests involved.

 

 

 

voice of the damned

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

When I say minimal I mean minimal. As in, must know we have a house of commons. We elect MPs who each represent one riding. No more than an average teen could memorize in an hour on voting day. 

I like the idea of a small test of awareness - basic - to show that the person is aware of basic things. 

The other question though is one of capacity -- adults when they lack capacity can name another. Should this be with kids? Or should we have kids with capacity from say 14 to say up to 18 and then adults who can have someone else manage their vote if they lack capacity?

I think a compromise here on knowledge could answer the opposition to younger voting.

I agree the basics of civics: what the House is, what the PM is, who you vote for, able to name some of the things the winner of the election can do (so know a little of the powers of that jurisdiction).

If they understand enough about the process and the types of decisions representatives can make then let them vote.

But why should kids have to demonstrate this knowledge in order to cast a ballot, but adults can just walk in and vote?

 

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

When I say minimal I mean minimal. As in, must know we have a house of commons. We elect MPs who each represent one riding. No more than an average teen could memorize in an hour on voting day. 

I like the idea of a small test of awareness - basic - to show that the person is aware of basic things. 

The other question though is one of capacity -- adults when they lack capacity can name another. Should this be with kids? Or should we have kids with capacity from say 14 to say up to 18 and then adults who can have someone else manage their vote if they lack capacity?

I think a compromise here on knowledge could answer the opposition to younger voting.

I agree the basics of civics: what the House is, what the PM is, who you vote for, able to name some of the things the winner of the election can do (so know a little of the powers of that jurisdiction).

If they understand enough about the process and the types of decisions representatives can make then let them vote.

But why should kids have to demonstrate this knowledge in order to cast a ballot, but adults can just walk in and vote?

 

As a means to adjust the age range. Why should seniors get driving tests more often?

I think this might be a practica compromise that could win support for kids voting and prove that they can know enough to do so. Could be dropped once the point is made.

voice of the damned

As a means to adjust the age range. Why should seniors get driving tests more often?

Driving is a privilege. Voting  is a right.

Now, yes, we are already withholding certain rights based on age. But it seems to me a little more problematic to say that a right DOES exist for a certain age range, but then throw in exceptions for people who failed a test.

voice of the damned

^ IOW...

Under the current system, there is a right to vote over the age of 18, and no permission whatsoever for voting under 18.

Under the proposed "test" system, there would be a right to vote over the age of 18, and a restricted privilege to vote for those between 14 and 17.  

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

^ IOW...

Under the current system, there is a right to vote over the age of 18, and no permission whatsoever for voting under 18.

Under the proposed "test" system, there would be a right to vote over the age of 18, and a restricted privilege to vote for those between 14 and 17.  

There is no proposed test system. It is offered as an idea to answer objection to opening the vote. I think opening the vote is more important than avoiding a test and that a test could allow it to be accepted.

This is not a question of argument over whether in an ideal world we would have a test. In an ideal world we would already have support for lower ages of voting. these are compromises.

We cannot have a test of older people without removing the right to vote who already have it now. 

But I acknowledge all of this as a series of potential compromises since we cannot have what I actually would prefer.

My opinion would also allow the following but it would never take off:

All people should have the right to vote. Period. If you lack capacity then you can name someone or if too young to be able to your parents could do it. I think that voting on behalf of a child is not as big an obstacle as denying the vote on behalf of a child. A parent does have someing at stake when they think about the future of that child and make many decisions on the child's behalf. I do not actually have a problem with a parent voting for a baby. I realize that is more controversial than what is proposed here. I can defend it though.

I agreed to the test as an arguement to address the people who would say they are too young. I add that since adults do not have a test they are unable to say that young people who pass a test should not vote. I see such a test as being for a period of time to prove this capacity and that it could be abandonned once the point was proven. This is not about fairness: this is about a group now told they are too young to have capacity wanting the vote being compared to those who already have it.

The test has many advantages apart from allowing the extension. Without a test I think it might be lowered to 16 but there would be no support to go further - say to 14 or perhaps to any age that could pass the test. Secondly, it encourages an organized agreed curriculum requirement for students that I think is healthy. It is a means to an end that has no other means.

I prefer the simplle no age requirement: vote if you can and have someone else vote for you if you cannot. I do not care if you are no longer mentally able due to age or if you are a baby. Arguably an old person without mental ability has less at stake here than a baby who will eventually live with the decisions. 

does that explain my position better?

MegB

I'm sorry, but using the senior's driving test isn't a valid point for comparison. As we age we all lose some degree of cognitive function and our reflexes get slower, making some of us less safe drivers. The goal of the senior driving test is to determine who remains fit to drive. It's a safety issue. 

Regardless, I'm in favour of lowering the voting age to 16, no test required. A lot of young people have a more nuanced understanding of our political systems than a lot of adults who vote. Either everyone has to pass a test or no one does. If the former, we could expect to see an even more abysmal voter turnout, so I wouldn't support that.

My husband and I have raised five politically literate children, and in my experience 14 is too young. Kids worlds are already too complex and frightening in ways they weren't when we were growing up. Give them a couple more years without that extra layer of responsibility. And start their education in politics much earlier than grade 10. Teach critical thinking and political literacy from an early age, as soon as they are able to understand the concepts. That way when they turn 16 they'll be more than ready to make informed decisions.

Pondering

I agree with your point on 14 year olds. Having said that at what point is it no longer applicable? You say 16 on the basis of the children you have raised within your community. I wonder what most educators and physcologists think on the subject. 

I don't take your point on seniors and driving because it applies equally to the young. We require a level of maturity to drive that we deem the young incapable of on average even though some may be exceptional. I believe farm kids are allowed to drive machinery on farms at 14 or that was the case at some time.

Sean in Ottawa

MegB wrote:

I'm sorry, but using the senior's driving test isn't a valid point for comparison. As we age we all lose some degree of cognitive function and our reflexes get slower, making some of us less safe drivers. The goal of the senior driving test is to determine who remains fit to drive. It's a safety issue. 

As people grow they become more and more able to understand and have the knowledge and not uniformly. People age in ways that are not uniform. A test is the product of a recognition that aging and development are not uniform. the comparison is actually quite close.

kropotkin1951

Testing for competence in voters will lead to stripping most people with intellectual challenges from the list because they will not pass any test. I would argue that they have the right to vote because they are a citizen irrespective of their intellectual capability. Most 16 year olds and many 14 year olds would pass a test to vote while adults with disabilities would be rejected. I think that 16 is the best age. Kids are still in school so it can be part of civics education and it might start a lifetime habit of voting.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Testing for competence in voters will lead to stripping most people with intellectual challenges from the list because they will not pass any test. I would argue that they have the right to vote because they are a citizen irrespective of their intellectual capability. Most 16 year olds and many 14 year olds would pass a test to vote while adults with disabilities would be rejected. I think that 16 is the best age. Kids are still in school so it can be part of civics education and it might start a lifetime habit of voting.

Nobody advocating testing for adults.

I think we could discuss the concept of all poeple of any age meaning that parents could vote for their children until they could do so themselves. This is more consistent with the idea that those without capacity have others vote for them.

Why would a person who has dementia and will not live long or ever have capacity can still vote when a child who will gain capacity and retain a stake in the decisions cannot have someone vote for them?

I suggested agreement with the test as better than leaving the voting age at 18 or even 16 but I prefer anyone voting who can and wants to and otherwise the adults who care for them to help them until they can do it themselves. Presumably the adults should be thinking in the interest of the child at least as much as those voting for a person with dementia.