Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Half Votes For Minors?

If every voter has their date of birth registered on an electronic electoral roll, should teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 be given half a vote and some influence over the nations politics?

"Why?" you may ask:

  1. Encouraging involvement in politics is a central principle of Interactive Democracy.
  2. Avoiding disenfranchised minorities within the country seems to me to be sensible to reinforce the authority of the law.
  3. Encouraging responsibility amongst teenagers is a good thing.
I should point out that 16 year olds have some serious responsibilities as the law stands today... and surely we are educating our children to think for themselves! Perhaps the risk of teachers and parents unduly influencing the votes of teenagers will be somewhat mitigated by their rebellious attitude and ,naturally, they would be protected from manipulation and coercion, just like everyone else.

The best way forward may be to measure the results by age group before full voting rights are granted. Then Interactive Democracy would facilitate a full debate and vote on this issue.

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