Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Voting from birth?

This morning on the BBC, there was an interview with a group in Germany that are campaigning to lower the voting age to -- well, birth, basically. The idea would be to allow kids to vote as soon as they felt themselves competent. Looking around on the Web, I find that the idea has been around for a few years.

My initial reaction was that this was amusing, but rather goofy -- that it's entirely ridiculous on its face. And yet, there is a part of me that rages against the growing infantilization of how modern society treats kids (and, indeed, adults), and a feeling that we do ourselves a damage by not teaching them real responsibility at a young age. The right to vote is the most serious responsibility we give to our citizens: important, and not trivial to do well. Humans learn best by doing, and I do wonder if the best way to teach people that voting is important, and should be taken seriously, is to let them actually *do* it from youth.

So I find myself of curiously mixed minds here. Part of me thinks the idea is fairly preposterous, and would dumb government down. Another part of me thinks that it could, instead, smarten our citizens up. Really, I suspect that a mix of the two would be true. Opinions?
Tags: politics

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