The Instigator
Gaterdebater
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
KyronTheWise
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Children in America Age 12 + Should be Allowed to Vote

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 325 times Debate No: 81202
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Gaterdebater

Pro

Children should be allowed to vote because they are American citizens. Since they are actively taking History in school, they will be able to know what effects the leader might have. People think that children would get brainwashed and manipulated to vote, and although that might be the case, I do have different views about some things than my parents. Children ages 12+ are not too young that they won't understand and they should be given the responsibility and honor to vote.
KyronTheWise

Con

I will be taking the Con side. I hope for this to be an enlightening debate.
(I will save rebuttals for round 2)
I argue that placing the voting age at 12 is too low, for a number of reasons.

First: Maturity.
Typically, a person is still developing, mentally and physically at this time. The ages of 11-12 is the average time for an individual to enter the developmental phase known as puberty (Source: http://www.nhs.uk...). During this phase, a hormonal cocktail is introduced to the individual, and drastic changes occur. While the most obvious are the physical changes, the ones relevant to this discussion are the mental effects of puberty. It is during this time that an individual typically attempts to "leave the nest" and define themselves as an unique individual. It is around the age of 17-18 that this phase typically comes to completion. As for how this is relevant, before, and during some of puberty, an individual sources much of their opinions from their parents, or other equivalent. If such individuals were allowed to vote, they would typically hold the same position as their parent. In effect, they would simply be a force multiplier for their parent's vote. In a democratic system, this would mean that the individual who has the most children would have the most voting power.

Second: Lack of wisdom
As a person experiences their life, they begin to be able to predict the effects of actions. If I give a raise to a particular subordinate, not only will those at the same level possibly be envious of the treatment, or negative in their opinion of my evaluation abilities, but those who already held a paygrade of the level that the subordinate has just been raised to may also feel threatened by the presence of a newcomer. Of course, I'm not simply capable of performing this examination of potential side-effects by nature, but rather, by my experiences with the environment. The same holds with voting. When selecting who you cast your vote for, you have to evaluate a complexity of platforms, and judge both the validity of the platforms, and the likelyhood that they will be carried out. Going further, you need to judge the potential effects of the cantidate's aims on the nation in a ever-changing political climate, both national and international. To bring this around to the topic at hand, to say that a child would be capable of having the same evaluation skills, is unreasonable.

Third: Lack of self-understanding:
What is voting? It is the declaration of your desires for how the government should behave. If I were to vote for a Republican, it might show my desire for the Republican way of structuring a government, or possibly even my negative desire for how any other party handles government (In this case, I may not approve of the Reupublicans, but I most definitely disagree with everyone else more [Not actual opinion of myself, simply an example]). Now, what is it that you want from the government? For a CEO, it might be the loosening of regulations on big business, as he is aware of how certain regulations are hurting his profit margins. For a graduate student, it might be the changes in tuition that are steadily driving them into debt. What would child before or going through puberty want? Well, in the case of puberty, sometimes even the person themselves does not know, as they are jumping from one thing to another trying to find themselves. One week it might be the legalization of marijuana, another it might be the complete rejection of authority. Also, the child prior to and in puberty likely has never experienced the direct effects of some of the issues that emerge as platforms during the election. Taxes, to a child, are a grown-up thing, as children don't fill out their own tax forms. Homosexual rights? A pre-pubescent's mind isn't even geared to understand sex, let alone concepts such as LGBT. To say that a child can fully understand the concepts being debated by candidates is unrealistic. To say that they understand their own desires on topics that they don't comprehend? Impossible.

I await my opponent's rebuttal of my points. I still find that given these particular points (There are likely more, but I am approaching the character limit), there is no valid reason to lower the voting age to 12 (I am assuming we are talking about US voting age), as the only outcomes would either be a force multiplier for the parents, or an influx of confused voters.
Debate Round No. 1
Gaterdebater

Pro

While kids are obviously not the ones most mature, they are actively learning in school. Most adults, once they get a job, they don't learn half as much as kids in school.
Also, this will benefit our schools as if kids are to begin to vote, schools will want to teach them more about how our government works.
Although children do not pay taxes, kids at this age will be able to understand how the taxes effect the community and what the taxes are for.
Children do not always have the same opinion as their parents! If they are voting for the same person, could it not be because they have the same views as them?
Also, this is not forcing kids to vote. If they do not want to vote, they do not have to.
By giving kids an early responsibility, this will train them into becoming more responsible adults and develop better leadership.
KyronTheWise

Con

KyronTheWise forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Gaterdebater

Pro

Gaterdebater forfeited this round.
KyronTheWise

Con

KyronTheWise forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Gaterdebater

Pro

Gaterdebater forfeited this round.
KyronTheWise

Con

KyronTheWise forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Gaterdebater

Pro

Gaterdebater forfeited this round.
KyronTheWise

Con

KyronTheWise forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by KyronTheWise 1 year ago
KyronTheWise
Apologies, I got distracted by coursework, and completely forgot about the debate. I'll just give thte debate to you, for failing to respond in a timely manner. However, let me make some parting points.

First point: Adults don't learn more at that point, sure, because they have already gone through the scholastic system, and picked up that information. They aren't spontaneously becoming stupider after school.

Second point: In a perfect society, perhaps. This is not a perfect society. As it is, schools are already piling in topics to learn. Pushing out those topics, some of which are keystones to more advanced topics, would not happen.

Third point: even if this were true, which I don't believe it is, that doesn't answer the other topics that come up in an election. What about capital punishment? Gun rights? Homosexual rights?

I'm not saying that they HAVE to have the same opinion, just that it is incredibly likely that their opinion will be shaped mostly by their parents at that point.

Fourth point: This is irrelevant. At no point was children being forced to vote brought up. However, while on the topic, what if the children's parents coerce them into voting?

Fifth point: I would like to know how letting children vote makes them more responsible, as this was never clarified just HOW that works. Further, how in the world does voting make you better for leadership roles? Leadership skills have nothing to do with checking a box on a piece of paper or screen.

My late rebuttals for section 1:
Taking history classes does not magically create smart voters. It teaches you what has happened in the past, yes, and maybe teaches you the governmental setup. It does not teach you current issues, or help you come to a personal understanding of said CURRENT issues.

Again, sorry for not posting in a timely manner. Good luck with future debates!
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