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Varysblackfyre321

Should we lower the age of adulthood in the US to be 16?

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27 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I don’t support giving parents proxy to vote for their children but “breeders”?

When somebody puts forward an idea that effectively disenfranchises you it tends to make you a bit irritable, so yeah that's the choice of words I'll use on this particular occasion.

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5 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

No, it would only reduce a disproportionate disadvantage. It is unsurprising that the left would frame the issue in the religious/ideological context, the right-wing would make the same argument with a classist spin (OMG, the breeder-underclass, too stupid for birth control and now they get a voting privilege). But it's basically just defense of a privileged status quo.

If we accept that children are citizens and have rights, then why should their vote not count? Just because their parents have to vote for them if they are too young? I mean, okay, you could say: if you are not able to cast a ballot by yourself, you should be excluded from voting, but there's no reason to make age a barrier to full citizenship because any cut-off is entirely arbitrary. We could just as well say that anyone beyond the age of say 70 should be excluded from the vote.

The terror of the (some) childless (OMG, the breeders are coming!!!) is comical, it reminds me of the 19th century argument against giving the landless the right to vote or women, because obviously women were way to emotional for a responsible ballot, and well, the proletarian masses are too easily agitated. It's just the defence of their privileged position.

Wrt to the OP: The argument that because the brain is still developing you should not be allowed to vote is IMO ridiculous, it's basically a variant of the IQ-argument that If your mental facilities are not quite there, you cannot be allowed to vote. The logical step from there is the implementation of IQ-tests to certify full citizen rights. And what could possibly go wrong with that?

Parents voting for their children is assinine.  Maybe employers should get a 3/5ths vote for each of their employees as well?  This situation some patrician bullshit right here you're spewing. 

You're making a pretty absurd leap from "children are citizens" to "why shouldn't they vote?". Fuck it, let's let them drive cars at age 3 and get married at age 6.  

Sorry you got triggered by the word "breeders" 

Edited by larrytheimp

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4 minutes ago, Lord Dracarys said:

When somebody puts forward an idea that effectively disenfranchises you it tends to make you a bit irritable, so yeah that's the choice of words I'll use on this particular occasion.

I mean I'm not too keen on the term either, but for you conservative sorts of people (as ol gimlet eye likes to say), just remember that the childless among us are much less culpable for resource depletion and global warming than the rest of ya's parental types.

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1 minute ago, larrytheimp said:

 I mean I'm not too keen on the term either, but for you conservative sorts of people (as ol gimlet eye likes to say), just remember that the childless among us are much less culpable for resource depletion and global warming than the rest of ya's parental types.

Man I've never been characterized as a conservative before, that's novel. Do you have a source for that conclusion on resource consumption? I was under the distinct impression that having kids increased your carbon footprint. 

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1 minute ago, Lord Dracarys said:

Man I've never been characterized as a conservative before, that's novel. Do you have a source for that conclusion on resource consumption? I was under the distinct impression that having kids increased your carbon footprint. 

No, I wasn't calling you conservative.  I was quoting your post as a reference for what I was talking about.

 

Read what I said again about the childless.  I'm agreeing with you.

Edited by larrytheimp

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3 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

No, I wasn't calling you conservative.  I was quoting your post as a reference for what I was talking about.

 

Read what I said again about the childless.  I'm agreeing with you.

You are right. I only saw my post quoted so was a little confused. I apologize for the misunderstanding on my side.

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26 minutes ago, Lord Dracarys said:

When somebody puts forward an idea that effectively disenfranchises you it tends to make you a bit irritable, so yeah that's the choice of words I'll use on this particular occasion.

Again, I don’t support this, but, in other contexts people hold proxies for their kids all the time, so, while I can see where you are coming from labling all parents as “breeders” is a tad harsh.

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6 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Parents voting for their children is assinine.  Maybe employers should get a 3/5ths vote for each of their employees as well?  This situation some patrician bullshit right here you're spewing.  

You're making a pretty absurd leap from "children are citizens" to "why shouldn't they vote?". Fuck it, let's let them drive cars at age 3 and get married at age 6.   

Sorry you got triggered by the word "breeders" 

Apology accepted, I'm also sorry you got triggered by my post.

Now to the substance of your post: Parents are legal guardians for their children (at least over here, maybe not in the US?), so who else should cast their ballot if they cannot? Parents excercise the rights of their children in their name all the time.

But this is already the second step, i.e. if we agree that children should have a vote, how do we implement it. I'm not so sure we agree on the first step though, which is: should children have a say in how our society is governed. You say the leap is absurd, but you don't really say why. The real question (IMO) is who get to decide. Now, you seem to be saying that we should exclude part of the population based on age, others (not you) say that this should be so that their vote doesn't lose its relative weight which is IMO a pretty weak argument, because it basically argues that historical privilege is inherently right.

If we can agree that restrictions upon the right to vote on the basis of class, race, gender etc. are unjust, the question is: why is the discrimination on the base of age just? Now, we can argue that perfect justice doesn't exist and that for practical reasons we have to accept certain restrictions and/or discrimination. That's probably a fair argument, but so far I've not seen it and IMO it means that we have to work on reducing those restricitions rather than declaring them eternal right, because it serves us well in our position.

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16 minutes ago, Alarich II said:

Apology accepted, I'm also sorry you got triggered by my post.

Now to the substance of your post: Parents are legal guardians for their children (at least over here, maybe not in the US?), so who else should cast their ballot if they cannot? Parents excercise the rights of their children in their name all the time.

But this is already the second step, i.e. if we agree that children should have a vote, how do we implement it. I'm not so sure we agree on the first step though, which is: should children have a say in how our society is governed. You say the leap is absurd, but you don't really say why. The real question (IMO) is who get to decide. Now, you seem to be saying that we should exclude part of the population based on age, others (not you) say that this should be so that their vote doesn't lose its relative weight which is IMO a pretty weak argument, because it basically argues that historical privilege is inherently right.

If we can agree that restrictions upon the right to vote on the basis of class, race, gender etc. are unjust, the question is: why is the discrimination on the base of age just? Now, we can argue that perfect justice doesn't exist and that for practical reasons we have to accept certain restrictions and/or discrimination. That's probably a fair argument, but so far I've not seen it and IMO it means that we have to work on reducing those restricitions rather than declaring them eternal right, because it serves us well in our position.

Well yeah, my whole post was based on the premise that children shouldn't vote.  This isn't some weird situation that defies logic.  Children can't consent to sex or make their own medical decisions either. Why should they be allowed to vote?  

The rest is just a bunch of nonsense that tries to resemble vague arguments on why a child could potentially vote.

Edited by larrytheimp

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1.  I don't think that suffrage should be expanded further to younger children - children do not have all of the responsibilities of citizens (as pointed out above) and therefore should not have all of the rights (including voting).  While 18 is somewhat arbitrary, it does line up nicely with other legal indicia of adulthood, including the draft, marriages, ability to conclude contracts, etc.  

2.  Furthermore, I do not believe young children have the cognitive ability to make informed voting decisions (Ormond will have to tell me the age when it might be possible).  I strenuously object to the idea, however, that as a parent I should get more votes based on the fact that I happened to reproduce.  It's just so yucky on so many different levels (and some of the stuff above really takes me back to the 19th century in a really not so nice way).   

3.  So, while a 16 year old may have crossed some invisible cognitive threshold, for lots of reasons we do not treat that 16 year old as an adult, and voting seems to fit in that bucket.  

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6 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Really?  I was hugely different at 16 than I am now.  I was hugely different at 25 than I was at 16 or now.  Life is change.  Are most folks really that static?

I was pretty much a fuckin' moron at 16 (though some might say, I still am. LOL), to be honest about it. I pretty much didn't start to get my shit together until about 20 or so. Not saying there aren't some really mature 16 year olds out there, but just those four years made a big difference.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

1.  I don't think that suffrage should be expanded further to younger children - children do not have all of the responsibilities of citizens (as pointed out above) and therefore should not have all of the rights (including voting).  While 18 is somewhat arbitrary, it does line up nicely with other legal indicia of adulthood, including the draft, marriages, ability to conclude contracts, etc.   

I pretty much agree with this. It just seems to me that a certain age you get all the rights and responsibilities/burdens of an adult. Sixteen just seems too young to me.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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3 hours ago, Alarich II said:

If we accept that children are citizens and have rights, then why should their vote not count? Just because their parents have to vote for them if they are too young?

Yes.  A proxy vote is not a vote.  This is pretty basic, and not worth arguing.

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Everyone should be concerned about people who are totally qualified to vote and have been denied their voting rights by rethugs like First Peoples and African Americans, not white 16 year olds who are so smart they wear blackface and call it school spirit and harass their elders and betters.

Moreover if 16 year olds are qualified as adults to vote, I don't have to support them either.  And I can marry them, eff them, do whatever I want to them, because they are adults so there (unless it is men from middle eastern countries who marry 10 year old girls -- we don't like that, not because the girls are 10 years old but because those men are Muslims, presumabley..

Edited by Zorral

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6 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

It sounds like you are proposing to lower the age of suffrage to 16, not necessarily the age of adulthood.  E.g. juvenile versus adult courts of law, age of consent, eligibility for military draft, eligibility to sign legal contracts & take on debt & directly own material property, end of foster care/ward of state, etc, etc.

No idea who this is directed at, but since you're not the only one asking this question and I kinda instigated the thread, to clarify yes - what I am talking about is just lowering the voting age.  If this actually ever happened then yeah, how it would impact all these other factors would be very important to consider.  But since it's never actually gonna happen (at least in any foreseeable future in the US), for me this is a pure hypothetical on the isolated merits or demerits of 16-17 year olds voting.  

6 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

As to voting/suffrage at age 16, since the constitution as amended has already embraced universal suffrage, then I would suggest that the age be tied to the completion of universal public education

Kind of an ironic proposal considering youths can legally drop out of high school once they turn 16 in most of the US.

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3 minutes ago, DMC said:

Kind of an ironic proposal considering youths can legally drop out of high school once they turn 16 in most of the US.

They can, although universal public education remains available through 12th grade.

I was trying to develop an objective or at least internally consistent basis for the age threshold in voting.  One approach is to link it to the age threshold for full legal responsibility as an adult.  Another approach is to link to the age of deemed full basic education.  Anything else would be difficult to substantiate, even theoretically.

Any threshold based on neurological development would suggest women would begin voting earlier than men, which would be unconstitutional.  And most research shows that 18 year old brains are still significantly underdeveloped on weighing near term versus long term consequences -- not to mention lacking life experience and responsibility that would have occurred more by that age in earlier generations -- so it's difficult to justify keeping the voting age at 18 never mind going even younger.

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7 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I was trying to develop an objective or at least internally consistent basis for the age threshold in voting.  One approach is to link it to the age threshold for full legal responsibility as an adult.  Another approach is to link to the age of deemed full basic education.  Anything else would be difficult to substantiate, even theoretically.

I'm unclear why a theoretical standard needs to be established.  Are >18 year olds required to have a high school degree - or even a GED?  My only practical worry would be criminal justice - would certainly invite douchebag politicians, judges, and prosecutors to try more kids as adults.  Other than that, I don't see much of a problem with everything else remaining the same.

23 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

And most research shows that 18 year old brains are still significantly underdeveloped on weighing near term versus long term consequences -- not to mention lacking life experience and responsibility that would have occurred more by that age in earlier generations -- so it's difficult to justify keeping the voting age at 18 never mind going even younger.

Again, this is another "it's so bad don't make it worse!" argument that is not compelling to me.  Show me evidence that 16 year olds can't rise to the dumbass low bar of the current American electorate in voting behavior.

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UK perspective here.

I left school when I was 16 and was in full time employment.  I was earning enough to pay income tax.  yet I was too young to invest in a pension or any tax free saving schemes.  (the rules on this have changed now and pensions / tax free savings are open to all).   I felt this was inherently unfair, especially as there was lots of government spokespersons warning people need to start investing at a younger age and I was prevented from doing so.

I felt rather disenfranchised, I felt no-one represented me and I had no voice and this was all because I was too young to vote.  as it happened there was no elections between the time I started work and paying taxes and I turned 18 and thus could vote.

my experience then has made me believe we should have a set voting age (maybe keep at 18)  and allow younger people to vote if they have paid income tax that year.   There are very few children who earn enough to pay tax while still in school (child actors?) 

I believe that if you pay tax you should get some say on how their tax money is spent.

 

Lowering the voting age to 16 would help, but there would still be people paying taxes and not able to vote.

 

I know in the US you have a lot of people who have lost voting rights for whatever reason, and that is a far bigger problem.

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Zabz pretty much said all I wanted to say on the matter. Changing the voting age requires us to change a lot about how we think of rights and adulthood. Parents make decisions for their children all the time, their (parents) votes are just another manifestation of this.

Pebs does bring up an interesting point, however. I wouldn't be opposed to a conversation about making exceptions based on certain criteria. Not cognitive tests, etc, but actual measurable threshholds like income tax. As she said, it does raise interesting situations where, for instance, the Olseon twins might be qualified to vote at age 4. (having said that, I have no idea how finances for minors are treated under law - are they truly the child's or entrusted to the parents - but that's a tangent here) But then you just have parents who are able to 'hiring' their kids to give them income and ... like I said, a conversation could be had here, but it's tricky.

Edited by Gertrude

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Most of the discussion is around suffrage, but are we talking the age of adulthood in general? As in, you're no longer a child. You can sign contracts. You're your own guarantor. Parents have no further legal responsibility; child support/welfare payments stop, they can kick kids out of the house if they don't want you there. They can work full-time jobs without hitting child labor laws. I'm not sure what else. Military service?

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