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Lowering the Voting Age, To 16, specifically
baftaboo
post Sep 4 2009, 03:45 PM
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Because you can't argue with facts:
  • 80% of 16-17 year-olds work at some point before graduating, with no voice in the development of the labor laws they work under.
  • Teenagers pay over $10 billion in sales tax each year, and have no say in how it's spent.
  • Youth spend about 1170 hours (~49 days) a year in an educational system that is pretty obviously imperfect, with no voice re: fixing the shit that goes on there.
  • Teenagers are often tried as adults in courts around the country (the number of youth in adult prisons grew by 47% during from 1990 to 1995) and are denied the pretty basic adult right to vote.

Oh, I've got a million of them. I'm arguing here that the legal voting age should be lowered to sixteen (the numbers above pertain specifically to the U.S., but the same basic arguments apply pretty much anywhere else). That age seems pretty reasonable, and oh-so-conveniently coincides with the age most U.S. teens are eligible to drive, but I'm open to arguments for a lower one. Anyway, discuss.

Also, I'd like to hear the opinions of teens that this hypothetical change would affect. Would you exercise the right if you were given it?
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TMG
post Sep 4 2009, 04:12 PM
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The only thing that worries me is the horrible political ignorance that 90% of teens show. Most teens either blindly agree with or equally blindly rebel against the views of their parents, with little actual thought to the issues. It's very unlikely that many would educate themselves for the sake of voting, either.
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Space Flower
post Sep 4 2009, 04:36 PM
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As TMG says, the voice of the adolescent is often foolish and uneducated. Do you really think that many teenagers have the foresight to know how they need to be taught? Because they really don't. I'm willing to bet that any sort of good intentions with a change like this would be swept under the current as all sorts of trash is passed as law.

If you have the time to voice your opinion at all times, you should be listening to the voices around you in this country and learning from what goes on, and formulate your ideas based on thoughts and experiences. Accept that you are young. Two years is really not a long time in our lives. In fact, I would be more supportive of a higher voting age than anything else. People should be more adaptive and learning with their ideals instead of voting based on half-baked beliefs that have only festered on the charisma of others, and acting with the arrogant belief that they are right.

The egotistical way of forcing one's ideals on others echoes on throughout time. Men cannot comprehend the mental agony of living with a conception of their worst, most defiling, most impure memory, so why do they continue to feign knowledge of what is best for a woman and her child?
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Ellis
post Sep 5 2009, 12:18 AM
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I would have said yes at one point in time, when I was younger, however, I really don't think it would be too good of an idea - as TMG said, most youth are really ignorant with respect to political issues (hell, a lot of older people are too, though, so I suppose you could make a case just as well that it should be more selective than just age? idk).
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baftaboo
post Sep 5 2009, 09:48 AM
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QUOTE(TMG @ Sep 4 2009, 05:12 PM) *
The only thing that worries me is the horrible political ignorance that 90% of teens show. Most teens either blindly agree with or equally blindly rebel against the views of their parents, with little actual thought to the issues.

QUOTE(Cassandra Wong @ Sep 5 2009, 01:18 AM) *
hell, a lot of older people are too, though

SaS summed up my argument pretty neatly in his aside. Ignorance has never been a justification for taking away someone's democratic rights, and the requirements for having a political opinion have never been overwhelming (in the U.S., any adult with a sixth grade education can vote). In fact, a U.S. survey on knowledge of government and politics returned the following figures:
  • 74% of adults age 18-80 could name the vice president.
  • 66% understood the meaning of "judicial review"
  • 34% knew the two-thirds veto override requirement
  • 57% could adequately explain political party ideology
Forty-three percent of U.S. adults know what the political parties they support even want, and every one of them is allowed to vote. If you were to poll my high school, at least, I guarantee the numbers you get back would be a lot more promising. So how can you argue that teenagers are too ignorant to vote?

You could, I suppose, argue that there should be voting requirements based on political knowledge, to keep out the idiots, or something. But then, why shouldn't those same knowledge requirements be extended to under-18s? Or, why would an age requirement even be necessary in such a system?

QUOTE(TMG @ Sep 4 2009, 05:12 PM) *
It's very unlikely that many would educate themselves for the sake of voting, either.

I couldn't disagree with you more. Most of the people at my high school will take any opportunity to talk politics, with whoever will listen. A Washington Post survey found that 73% of 12-17 year-olds were "very interested" or "fairly interested" in politics. Giving youth the opportunity to actually have their voice heard will only increase their interest and, it ought to follow, their political education. Again, though, most adults aren't much interested in forming opinions based on actual facts and figures, but the populist rhetoric that makes up ~80% of politics and political coverage. My dad, for example, still thinks that "death panels" are a valid argument against health care reform. Clearly, these people aren't going much out of their way to get informed.

Again, I apologize if my arguments seem awfully U.S.-centric, but I think the fundamentals of my reasoning are pretty global.
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Ellis
post Sep 5 2009, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE(baftaboo @ Sep 5 2009, 10:48 AM) *
Again, I apologize if my arguments seem awfully U.S.-centric, but I think the fundamentals of my reasoning are pretty global.

We had a bit of a political "crisis" last winter, it really brought out how little people know about our own system as well. I remember reading poll results at the time stating that the vast majority of people think we elect our Prime Minister. Hah.

Point being that people here are just as ignorant as anywhere else, really.
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Ted, Blue God of FETO
post Sep 5 2009, 06:17 PM
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Teens don't think logically. Or at least haven't fully developed the parts of there brains that think logically. At least this is something I read a long time ago. I can't expect you to take my word on that but I can't seem to find a good source saying such. I can however find other stuff showing that teens can't see different veiwpoints and simple excerpts of research that show that young people have problems thinking logically. If you want to research this yourself, just google "teenagers incapable of logical thinking" and you'll get some interesting stuff.

All that hooplah aside, I can't really accept the idea of children voting. Rubs me the wrong way *hey, I stated my "facts" I'll readily admit I'm giving poor reasons now* As is, I'd ballpark 70ish percent of young people we'll say college students 24 and under don't vote. Due to Obama being black, that might have scewed results for the last presidential election, but for say house/senate elections, I'd bet the number would still be piss poor.

As for ignorance being a reason for taking away your democratic rights which I think you said, I believe that that is the exact reason why we have an electoral college for the presidential election and it's not decided by popular vote. In the old days Jefferson and co was like "people are effing dumb, lets have the intellectually elite do the major voting." having said that I will not argue the morality of that, just stating facts.

Hmm, what else to write? Most young people know more about the political system simply because they are LEARNING it while adults are you know, working to feed/house/pay for college of the aforementioned young folk. A lot of the general educational stuff you learn in high school, you end up forgetting because they get outprioritized by the hectecness of adult life especially in America. Has to do with the obsession with things and money and blah blah blah. Hence why many more young folk get educated in business as opposed to political science. Wall street pays(payed?) more money than house member. And the politicans are backed by corporations who steer there goals hence why the democratic party is so blah right now. Republicans are the party for corporations but democratics are also backed by the big businesses hence why they don't seem to be the progressive party that they out too be. Party goals conflicting with the wants of their backers. That went way off topic >_> Bleh, heres 2 links I mentioned.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1653...nt-of-view.html This is a theory based on what TMG said.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/n452722728247717/ This is like, really brief uniformative shit but you'll get the idea.

Like I said, just google what I said google and you'll get a ton of shit to read.
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Beemo
post Sep 5 2009, 10:30 PM
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QUOTE(Ted, Blue God of FETO @ Sep 5 2009, 04:17 PM) *
Teens don't think logically. Or at least haven't fully developed the parts of there brains that think logically. At least this is something I read a long time ago. I can't expect you to take my word on that but I can't seem to find a good source saying such. I can however find other stuff showing that teens can't see different veiwpoints and simple excerpts of research that show that young people have problems thinking logically. If you want to research this yourself, just google "teenagers incapable of logical thinking" and you'll get some interesting stuff.


Ugh, this is why I stopped doing forum debate for so long... "just Google it, bro."  Here's the thing about this.  While it is true that teens brains' aren't fully developed, they are developed ENOUGH to make informed, logical decisions.  And even then if your brain is "fully developed," that doesn't have any impact making an objective decision like who YOU FEEL would be better suited to the office of President of the United States.



QUOTE(Ted, Blue God of FETO @ Sep 5 2009, 04:17 PM) *
All that hooplah aside, I can't really accept the idea of children voting. Rubs me the wrong way *hey, I stated my "facts" I'll readily admit I'm giving poor reasons now* As is, I'd ballpark 70ish percent of young people we'll say college students 24 and under don't vote. Due to Obama being black, that might have scewed results for the last presidential election, but for say house/senate elections, I'd bet the number would still be piss poor.



So tell me if I'm getting this right.  Young people shouldn't vote because it makes you uncomfortable?  And you seem to be ignoring the fact that the most active people in the political process are senior citizens.  So where does that leave all those between the ages of 18 and 55?  In the same boat as everybody else.  Voting trends have shown a significant decline in participation over many, many years now.  And the current generation is one of the most politically active in quite a while.  While young people may not be allowed to vote, they have a very strong showing in volunteer positions, including campaign volunteers.  Similar to consumer sovereignty, by volunteering their services to specific campaigns, aren't those people essentially voting anyway?  If they didn't have a good reason to support the candidates that they do, then they wouldn't do it in the first place.  You certainly can't say the same for voters.


QUOTE(Ted, Blue God of FETO @ Sep 5 2009, 04:17 PM) *
As for ignorance being a reason for taking away your democratic rights which I think you said, I believe that that is the exact reason why we have an electoral college for the presidential election and it's not decided by popular vote. In the old days Jefferson and co was like "people are effing dumb, lets have the intellectually elite do the major voting." having said that I will not argue the morality of that, just stating facts.



Yeah, that's basically true.  However, as time goes by, people are becoming more and more educated, and people are coming to the consensus that the Electoral College is obselete.  The people that the founders were afraid of throwing a wrench int he works were by no means children, so this doesn't apply here anyway.  In fact, students who are currently engaged in education have exhibited better attention and memory skills than people who were in school years ago.  

And nowadays, the electoral votes correspond to the popular votes OF THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES essentially 99.9% of the time, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, so this is kind of a moot point from the start.  (IMG:style_emoticons/blue/xD.gif)

QUOTE(Ted, Blue God of FETO @ Sep 5 2009, 04:17 PM) *
Hmm, what else to write? Most young people know more about the political system simply because they are LEARNING it while adults are you know, working to feed/house/pay for college of the aforementioned young folk. A lot of the general educational stuff you learn in high school, you end up forgetting because they get outprioritized by the hectecness of adult life especially in America. Has to do with the obsession with things and money and blah blah blah. Hence why many more young folk get educated in business as opposed to political science. Wall street pays(payed?) more money than house member. And the politicans are backed by corporations who steer there goals hence why the democratic party is so blah right now. Republicans are the party for corporations but democratics are also backed by the big businesses hence why they don't seem to be the progressive party that they out too be. Party goals conflicting with the wants of their backers. That went way off topic >_> Bleh, heres 2 links I mentioned.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1653...nt-of-view.html This is a theory based on what TMG said.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/n452722728247717/ This is like, really brief uniformative shit but you'll get the idea.

Like I said, just google what I said google and you'll get a ton of shit to read.


Doesn't apply.  There are so many things wrong with this, but that's for another day...
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Space Flower
post Sep 5 2009, 11:24 PM
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No, really, I recognize that teenagers are learning. Seriously though, why now? Develop your ideals. No one is always right, so instead of aggression with the belief that you're ready now, you should reflect on yourself so that you may be more ready when the time comes. Haste makes waste. Have some tea, and maybe some patience while you're waiting.

It's the same as with many age limits. There are many thirteen-year-olds who are responsible to handle a car, but the sheer number of kids who are the exact opposite are overwhelming.
Is patience not an enviable trait these days? It's healthy to be stoic and pensive instead of aggressive and impulsive.
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baftaboo
post Sep 6 2009, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE(Space Flower @ Sep 6 2009, 12:24 AM) *
No, really, I recognize that teenagers are learning. Seriously though, why now?

See my first post for the answer to your question. I did anticipate that people would want to know the why behind my argument.

QUOTE(Space Flower @ Sep 6 2009, 12:24 AM) *
No one is always right, so instead of aggression with the belief that you're ready now, you should reflect on yourself so that you may be more ready when the time comes. Haste makes waste. Have some tea, and maybe some patience while you're waiting.

It's the same as with many age limits. There are many thirteen-year-olds who are responsible to handle a car, but the sheer number of kids who are the exact opposite are overwhelming.
Is patience not an enviable trait these days? It's healthy to be stoic and pensive instead of aggressive and impulsive.

I'm kind of flummoxed by the condescension you display towards a group of people you apparently belong to. Anyway, it's not about waiting oh-so-patiently for the day when your voice will be heard. The price of not having a say in the democratic process is having other people make your decisions for you. How is it "aggressive" or "impulsive" to want to have a say regarding issues that affect your own life? Which arguments have displayed either of these characteristics?

You're right, no one is always right. But when legal adults are wrong (as they often will be) about issues that affect young people, why are youth not allowed to voice their own opinions?

QUOTE(Space Flower @ Sep 6 2009, 12:24 AM) *
Develop your ideals.

I have already, actually. It just so happens that my ideals include the right to voice my ideals.
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PhantasmKari
post Sep 6 2009, 11:34 AM
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While you can argue some 16-17 year old's are ready to vote, A vastly more intelligent and mature than a great deal many 18-30 year old's.

The majority of teenager's are not. Granted, Neither are the majority of adults. >.>;
And I can even think of a few kids 12 and under who understand politics better than most adults. I really can't say I'm all for it however. No offense to your school if it's different, But most public schools are often taught only Liberal ideology, And by taught, I mean brainwashed with it. And not even shown what true conservative value's are, Only that Conservatives are intolerant racist warmongering homophobes who don't care about anything other than lining their pockets(Which is pretty much the opposite of what conservatism is.). And on the reverse, Many Christian/Catholic schools are teaching little to nothing about Liberal ideals. Or are taught a twisted form of the conservative ideals. And if they are taught liberal ideals, They twist them to make all liberals sound like communists. Which with the exception of Far left politicians, Most liberals are far from.

On the reserve, It is inspiring to see the youth take an interest in the direction our country takes when they aren't being told how to think, And are taught instead to think for themselves.

So I guess I'm saying I'm neither for or against it xD I wouldn't be heartbroken if it got shot down, And I wouldn't be rejoicing if it passed. Ultimately, Not much would change.
The VAST majority of teen's would be like the vast majority of adults, They simply would not go out and vote anyway.
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Lysander
post Sep 6 2009, 02:27 PM
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From a legal standpoint, yeah, they should have the right to vote. DC should probably have some reps too. Under a democratic system, this should be the case. Well, it probably should. These issues exist in the realm of our governments plenary powers.

That's not my own personal view though. I don't even like the fact that some adults can vote and would prefer a system which required you to take a test to be allowed the privilege of voting (no matter the age...heck, if a 10 year old can pass, he/she can vote). Not my call though, so in this system adults, who have the power, will never allow those under the age of 18 the right to vote.

Similarly, in my system I would not allow the illiterate or politically ignorant to vote...so what's really fair? The current system is certainly more "fair" than what I'd like the system to be, since a test would exclude everyone who cannot read or who does not know anything about politics (these people still pay taxes though! We need them!), no matter the age bracket. Right now, only those with taxable income, age 16-17, are missing out on voting rights...so the current system is certainly more equitable and will always be more equitable than anything involving tests.

I missed voting last election by a few months, so I can understand wanting to vote, but I wouldn't count on it (there is no incentive...). If you really wanted to though, you could vote....you'd just have to be willing to accept the consequences (ie: forfeiting all future voting rights if caught).
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Insider2000
post Sep 10 2009, 06:35 PM
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Lowering the voting age?

*remembers the words of my sister's elder co-workers during the Obama vs Mccain election*

"I like Palin! She's fiesty! She'd be a great vice president."
"Bill Clinton ruined the economy, not George Bush!"
"Obama is going to bomb us all!"
"Obama has terrorist relatives."

I think no one should vote. That sounds good. (IMG:style_emoticons/blue/pissed.gif)

Not really. I'm just stating that even old people are ignorant and stupid too.


EDIT: Not supporting the lowering of the voting age though.
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post Sep 13 2009, 01:48 PM
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On July 1, 1971, the twenty-sixth amendment was passed, lowering the voting age in the United States from 21 to 18. As it turned out, 18 year olds wanted a voice in the government that was sending them off to Vietnam to fight and die for their country. You know the whole "no taxation without representation" bit that helped spark the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States? The same concept applies there, and as a matter of fact, if you take baftaboo's facts at face value, here as well.

People had the same misgivings when the voting age was lowered to 18. Were there fears founded? That's not for me to say, but it made the law a hell of a lot more logical and just.

Now, do I really support lowering the voting age? Unfortunately, I don't really have any strong opinions on the subject, but so far nobody seems to have completely understood baftaboo's points on his level.

And PhamtasmKarl, for the record, voter turnout in the United States 2008 Presidential Election was 58%. That's hardly the vast majority of adults not voting.
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post Jan 5 2010, 05:45 PM
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Until people live on their own and work on their own, they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Thus, I think voting age shouldn't be lowered. I think it should be raised to 25.

Yes, that would mean that I can no longer vote. I don't care.
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