We say that we have universal suffrage, and barriers based on wealth, colour and gender have all been torn down. Yet children, who are affected by the decisions of governments, have no voice in deciding who should govern the country. Are they too ignorant, too lacking in intelligence? If so, why don’t we apply those criteria to adults?
All the Yes points:
- Children are citizens like everyone else and voting does not have a qualification prerequisite.
- Children may not understand politics well, but neither do most voters
- The education system will be improved.
All the No points:
- Children are not emotionally secure enough to vote
- This will effectively lead to more votes to parents
- It should be lowered not scrapped all together
Children are citizens like everyone else and voting does not have a qualification prerequisite.
[[http://www.education.com/magazine/article/middle_school_mental_development/]] Voting is a no-brain-er; either you like a party or you don’t. Extensive research to make an informed decision is optional and ultimately politicians on both sides do not have very different policies. Children can easily pick up on where views on an issue differ and decide on who they like better. Talking to your children about elections and viewpoints across the board then giving the child his/her choice-vote can be a very nice family activity, can be educational and should instill into a child the idea that s/he is important enough to make decisions on who and what should rule his/her country. [[http://www.personalgrowthplanet.com/otherarticles/childrenselfworth.htm]]
Little girls are better served thinking about smart politics than skinny models.
Not all parents have the time to work with children in this exercise.
Childen may feel like they are under a lot of pressure and they might also get so excited about getting to vote that their school work will suffer.
Parents will get their kids to vote for the party of their choice.
Children may not understand politics well, but neither do most voters
To understand all the important topics and cast a well educated vote, you have to either work in politics or study it to the point of obsession. Most people do not have time for this and in most cases learn very little about politics. Children have quite a lot of free time and could quite easily learn more about current politics than most people if they wanted to.
The education system will be improved.
Minors are more likely to support spending on education, and local budgets will pass more often
Children are not emotionally secure enough to vote
Children are vulnerable. They hold a privileged position in society as we need to protect them. Childhood is about having fun and we should promote that rather than putting responsibility onto children as to voting. Statistics show that children these days do suffer from feeling too pressured from school work [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/child_development/primary_moods.shtml]], we should not add to this by allowing them to vote.
Hang on; voting is not work. Voting is an expression of self-worth via the knowledge that your opinion counts. [[http://books.google.com/books?id=yEfmf-NJohMC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=voting+self+worth&source=bl&ots=d3FwC2uKjx&sig=e7T5OrNrxKrbVefiOeIdPz-exvY&hl=en&ei=fxHpTPfXKISPswbn28G2Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=voting%20self%20worth&f=false]]
Children today complain of drudgery, a loss of self worth generated from ever-increasing pressure to achieve academically and otherwise. The grade/trophy is valued not the child. [[http://www.helium.com/items/1201053-tips-for-developing-self-worth-in-children]] A child’s self worth is nurtured by trusting the child to make decisions and giving him/her a certain amount of space to work independently on certain things.
What critics of the current state of pressure-cooker schools rave on about and against is the constant demand for superlative performance in comparison to peers ( This includes pressure on both teachers,students and not necessarily just children [[http://www.mejfm.com/journal/July05/PDFs/Burnout.pdf]]
). This is a losing battle for students because only a few people can get first positions and even these cannot insure a perfect record for being on top in everything.
Voting cannot be included in this category because it is in great part, a subjective exercise that nobody has to answer for. There is no right or wrong vote; you don’t get marks or medals for voting.
This will effectively lead to more votes to parents
A persons views on society and how it should be run is based on their parents. This is because during childhood, the only experience with society that the child has had has been influenced or arranged by their parents. Consequently, if we allow children to vote, all we are doing is giving parents more than their own vote. Parents will be able to influence their child’s vote, even if not directly.
This can also be said then of most 18-21 year olds. Often the only experience they have had with society is through their parents. 50% of youths now go to university [[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jan/21/record-new-students-ucas%5D%5D. This extends the time upon which a person is reliant on their parents (even more so than usual because of rocketing tuition costs). Whilst the students may sort out their own finances, the forms have to be filled in by parents and the parents are always there as a back drop. Therefore, if we argue that children should not vote due to parental influence, then we should also seek to raise the voting age to over 21.
Counterargument: This issue can also be resolved with the inclusion of anonymous voting: Casting one’s ballot in a booth closed off from impertinent eyes. While there are official means by which to avoid double-counting; the public need not know which member of the public, voted for whom or what party.
While children are impressionable; so are the rest of us and even children rebel against parents (reference: public tantrum for ice cream or candy) time and again. Children are not yes-men.
It should be lowered not scrapped all together
In my school when the elections came up they held a mock election and you voted for the party you would vote for had you been old enough we where at an age where everything was very clichy and if you didn’t vote for the right party you weren’t in the group, therefore think the age should be lowered to 15/16 that way people are past that point aswell it gives you more freedoms when your 16 as these days all you can do when your 16 is have sex legally and most people do it illegally anyway
children would be no longer able to concentrate on their studies and will be indulge in politics which would rather badly affect their behavior in colleges