Voting Age?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mpw, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. mpw Guest

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    #1
    Seeing as how the voting age here, Jersey, has just been brought down to 16years old (Yay), I thought I'd ask what voting ages were around the world and your views on them, should they be higher lower etc.
     
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #2
    How the heck did it get lowered to 16 and why? That's far too young to make decisions about municipal issues and to elect the people that will run the government. I bet they didn't lower the age of consent when they did that though, so at 16 and 17 these same people given the ability to vote can't make medical or sexual choices for themselves by law.

    Too funny. If maturity wasn't the criterion for establishing the age, why'd they stop at 16? Why not 14?
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    Please. There are as many 16 year olds who are capable of making those types of decisions as there are 18 year olds who are not. Age is not the only criteria.
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #4
    18 to vote in the States.

    Yes, I have beef with that age. <semi OT rant> By 16, you're allowed to drive... that's some hefty responsibility. And on the flip side of that, you're not allowed to consume/ purchase/ posses alcohol until 21. None of that makes much sense to me. If we're deemed "responsible enough" by 18 to vote and potentially alter laws that pertain to hundreds if not thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people-- why can't we have the right to lawfully purchase alcohol? Bump the minimum age of driving to 18, whatever, that's not convenient for a lot of folks and it'd surely irritate a lot of teens, but that at least would make more sense. </rant>


    Swarmlord, your post is confusing to me. If the age of consent is 16 or 17, it makes perfect sense to me that folks can vote at that age then. Example, if the law deems you able to marry and/ or have sex (which could likely lead to pregnancy), then surely the law should deem you as capable of voting as birthing and raising another human?


    As for your most current post (#5), age is simply not an accurate measure of maturity all the time. You can sure as hell bet that there are some 40+ year olds I cringe at knowing they vote, and I'm sure that there are teenagers whom are likely mature enough, and knowledgeable in current events/ affairs to vote as well or better than those who are legally able to.
     
  5. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #5
    So, how do they prevent the 16 year olds that aren't from those that can before they get to the voting booth? That's the trouble with making age a criterion for doing anything.

    By the way, I was 16 once and thought I knew everything then also. It's only when you turn 30 that you realize how little you knew back then.
     
  6. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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    #6
    To be fair only the mature one's with an actual interest in politics are going to vote in the first place.
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #7
    How do you prevent 18 year olds from doing that? 21 year olds? 30 year olds?

    And I agree. I call it the Dumbass Theory of Life. Every 5 years you look back and realize what a dumbass you were when you were younger.
     
  8. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #8
    Age of consent is still 18 to my knowledge.
     
  9. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #9
    The general assumption is the older the person is, the less likely they are to be a complete dumbass. There's always a percentage that slip through no matter how high the threshold is raised.:cool:
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #10
    The last presidential election showed that percentage to be quite high. :cool:
     
  11. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #11
    Do you really think that electing Lurch and Terr-aaaa-sa would have been indicative of higher intelligence? Please...:rolleyes:
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    #12
    mpw lives in "Old" Jersey on this side of the Atlantic, where the age of consent is already 16.

    I'm all for it. Most 16 year olds won't bother, but there will be a minority who do understand enough of the issues to make a considered choice. I do think it's far more important to try and get the turnout in elections up by actually fielding half decent candidates with real policies though. There's no point adding voters to the electorate when half of those already eligible are disillusioned with the entire process.
     
  13. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #13
    Not in Jersey it isn't.

    I think having a range of voter ages is a good thing. The 70 plus group are going to be just as biased and will vote only with their interests in mind. Same with other groups. I wonder what percentage of 16 year olds vote? However responsibility is a good thing. Something that's been taken away from young Americans.
     
  14. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Excellent post. I know a 70+ man that votes with only a single thought in mind: which candidate will provide him the best social security benefits? He looks at no other factors and doesn't give a crap about anything but his retirement check.

    I agree that responsibility is a good thing for teens and so many young Americans are "protected" from any responsibility until after they graduate from college.

    Hopefully in Jersey, 16 year olds were given the right to vote for the right reasons, but I would guess it was politically motivated in that one party felt they would get more votes by allowing younger people to vote. I admit that I know very little about the political system on your side of the pond.
     
  15. wonga1127 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Personally, I think it should be 16 all across the country. Voting turnouts indicate that only Americans that actually care actually vote. And getting 16 year olds that don't care to vote isn't going to be easy. I care, and I would vote every 2 years. And I would probably know more about the candidates and the campaigns than my parents do. Age is not a measure of maturity. And if you lower the voting age to 16, only the mature ones will likely vote.

    Plus, at 16, laws and policys created and passed by elected officials start to actually affect you. In Illinois, they raised the minimum practice driving hours from 50 to 100. Does anyone else think (regardless what they think about teenage drivers) that its a little unfair to have decisions made for me without my input?
     
  16. mpw thread starter Guest

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    #16
    Somebody, actually a fairly minor backbencher proposed it when nobody was looking and it seems to have just gone through without any kerfuffle!
    When I was sixteen, as I do now, I'd have answered that with "Bollocks", at 16years old plenty of people are mature enough to vote just as plenty of 30year olds aren't, yet they're all paying the same taxes.
    You're right, they lowered the age of consent about 6months ago. That is they lowered the age of homosexual consent to 16years old to bring it into line with the heterosexual age which has been 16years for ages. This was to bring the homosexual age of consent into line with the EU law on Human Rights as it had been lowered from 21years old to 18years old about 10years ago. As a bonus they legalised anal sex and threesomes, score!

    Because 16years old is the youngest that a person can hold full time employment and likely start to pay taxes etc.

    Obviously see above, oddly the age of majority is still 21years old. Which in theory means you can't enter, or at least be held to, a financial contract. In practice this doesn't mean much any more.

    Ours is a very odd system in that we don't have party politics as such, just 53 independent politicians, but the system is going through various interesting changes at the moment. It seems this was just thought to be a good idea in general, which of course it is which makes it even more surprising it got passed.
     
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #17
    Clearly thats a non issue for 18 year old, 20 year olds, heck even 50 year olds who don't really know what is going on...why should it be different 16 year olds?

    You might be saying a similar thing when your 50!
     
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #18
    As many others have already pointed out, age has nothing to do with it.

    Why not have a voting license? To receive a license you must pass a test that covers very basic questions regarding the organization of our government.

    E.g. Who elects the president? How many US Senators are there? How many voting members are in the House of Representatives? etc. etc.

    Anyone who could pass such a test, would surely deserve the right to vote, no matter their age.

    Of course, for this to work and be fair, it must be free and equally available to all citizens.


    ...And to those who would object to such a test, you'd probably be surprised to know that it's already being given in the US, but for some reason, US citizens who acquired their citizenship through birth are exempt. :confused:
     
  19. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

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    #19
    TMI! :D

    ~ CB
     
  20. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #20
    It always blows Spaniards away that in the states we can vote before we can legally drink. It always blows me away that I'm never carded for anything in Europe - I'm 30 and carded for everything when I'm back in the states.

    I think 16 is as valid as 18. If they are still in school and taking history or politics, a 16 year old might even make a better, informed choice than the average adult. As was hit on before, I think it would give them more responsibility -- and if everyone's worried about that, then I think the real problem lies with the education system and/or parents' roles in their kids' lives.
     
  21. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #21
    Voting is 18 in the U.S....I think it should stay there, however the drinking age and driving age should also be 18.

    21 to drink is absurd, and I think that adjusting the driving age from 16 to 18 and having a more rigorous educational requirement before you're allowed a license would prevent a lot of accidents.
     
  22. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #22
    Why? ..In fact, it's the only age limit that actually makes sense in America.
     
  23. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    #23
    Depends on the state. And it's not like anyone actually cares, I don't know that many 18 year old virgins in California, myself included, where the AOC is 18.

    I don't know. I find nothing wrong with a bit of wine, and I cook with it once in a while.. same goes to the lovely patron floating around somewhere...and the vodka.

    I find it a PITA I can't buy any though.
     
  24. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #24
    I totally agree. I know a few people in their 20's who shouldn't be allowed out never mind being able to vote ..... :eek:
     
  25. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

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    #25
    i would raise drinking age to 25, as well as the driving age to 18. most 16 year olds aren't ready to drive, and your brain doesn't develop fully until your mid 20's. don't want to intoxicate it with alcohol, do you?
     

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