The Instigator
TuracoPersa
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
WilliamGaspar54
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Children should be allowed to vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
WilliamGaspar54
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 502 times Debate No: 87567
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

TuracoPersa

Pro

I believe that any citizen who wants to vote should be allowed to, including children who are old enough to read a candidate's name. Because the principle of a democracy is one-person-one-vote, if children are to be excluded the burden of proof rests on my opponent.

Excluding children undermines democracy, because children are a social class like any other, with their own needs and interests. If they are not represented they will be exploited, and they are exploited immensely. Issues like education, adoption, foster care, after-school programs, curfew, and many more affect children more than any other group, and yet they are the only group that has no say. It is easy for adults in these fields to say they have children's best interests at heart, but they are never required to prove this is so, and they could just as easily be mistaken about what children really want and need.

I will anticipate one counterargument, that children shouldn't be allowed to vote because they are ignorant. I would say that a large majority of voting adults are ignorant, and we let them vote anyway, while a good number of children are well informed and yet not allowed to vote. Furthermore, children are usually better informed on child-related topics such as education, etc. than the average adult. If we are to justify excluding children, we must have a better reason than ignorance.
WilliamGaspar54

Con

Children have not yet learned the entire principles of democracy, and are not fully aware of the consequences of a candidate's actions, they don't know about the national debt, or the deficit gap, or about the views of a candidate. They might pick one based solely on his looks, or about his views on public education. Furthermore, kids don't pay taxes, so how are they entitled to a serious vote? They can't get jury duty, or be arrested for voting fraud, so how can they be held accountable for their actions if they tried to mess with votes?
Debate Round No. 1
TuracoPersa

Pro

1. You say that children are not fully aware of this or that. But a large majority of voting adults do not understand what politicians do, or the national debt or the deficit gap. A large majority of adults pick candidates based on looks or charisma or what party they belong to. Most of the rest pick candidates based on some few issues that the voter is passionate about. So what you're saying is, kids might vote exactly the way most adults vote. Scary maybe, but that's the system we have, and we still have no basis on which to treat children differently from adults.

2. You say that kids don't pay taxes. I assume you mean things like income tax and property tax. Well, adults don't have to pay income tax if they're not working, and they don't have to pay property tax if they don't own property. But even if they do neither of these things, they still get to vote.

3. You say that kids can't be arrested. No, but they can be punished in other ways, like having their voting license suspended.
WilliamGaspar54

Con

I reference Lukas8 in the comments when authoritarian parents will pick the child's vote for them, and also, children are highly impressionable, if one of their friends votes for Candidate whatever, then they will too. And to your statement about most adults not knowing the process, it's not a matter that they don't know, it's simply because they are not old enough, their brains are not fully developed, they're impressionable, they might have parents who choose their choices for them, etc.
Debate Round No. 2
TuracoPersa

Pro

That is a real problem, if authoritarian parents pick the child's vote for them. It was also a problem for women, back when women's suffrage was a hot topic. Authoritarian husbands would pick their wives's votes. I don't believe the solution to such a problem is to prohibit children from voting, but rather to empower children to be more independent and protect them from coercion. The first step, as has already been done for women, is to condemn child coercion and exploitation wherever we see it happen.

If you want to deny the vote to people whose brains are underdeveloped, would you also like to deny it to the mentally handicapped? Maybe we shouldn't let anyone over 80 vote either. But why stop there? Since we don't want impressionable people voting, let's take the vote away from church-going Christians, because they usually vote the way their pastor tells them to. There are plenty of minority groups for us to oppress.
WilliamGaspar54

Con

That's not really a logical analogy, those people are adults, they are capable of making rational decisions without the guidance of others. If children were allowed to vote, they might vote for a completely illogical candidate, i.e. Batman, or Deez Nuts. Children don't have a sense of seriousness when it comes to this sort of thing. They won't take the voting process seriously.
Debate Round No. 3
TuracoPersa

Pro

The notion that children can't take anything seriously is a myth. Nobody -- children or adults -- take anything seriously if they do not have any real responsibility. Children in our society are not given any responsibility. Adults make all their decisions for them and so there is no need for children to think. The only place they have real responsibility is with schoolwork and tests, and they are intensely serious when it comes to these.

Today around the world there are many so-called democratic schools. In these schools, all decisions, including the hiring and firing of staff, are made by vote, and children get the same votes as staff. All the children take these votes very seriously. An example of such a school is the Sudbury Valley School. As Peter Gray describes Sudbury's voting process [1]:

"He gives an example. "A number of years ago, there was a new teenage student who was coming to school in a black leather jacket with a swastika on it. And so, because it was offensive, it led to a desire to make a rule in the school meeting saying that you could not display a swastika on your clothing in the school." The proposed rule provoked a discussion over the limits of free speech that was, in Gray's view, "worthy of the Supreme Court."

"Students quickly hit on the fact that there was a tension between limiting speech and the democratic values of the school. "There were all sorts of people taking part, mostly teenagers and staff, but every once in a while a young kid would say something too. And those who weren't talking were listening, rapt, learning about history, about Nazism, about why wearing a swastika might be exceptional, why it might be different, say, than wearing a hammer and sickle." The meeting ultimately decided to pass the rule, and it led in time to a larger rule prohibiting hate speech at the school, and distinguishing between hate speech and regular speech."

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com...
WilliamGaspar54

Con

WilliamGaspar54 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
TuracoPersa

Pro

Thank you Con for a rousing debate. I think we've about covered everything.
WilliamGaspar54

Con

WilliamGaspar54 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by matt8800 11 months ago
matt8800
If kids could vote, we might end up with Santa Clause or cake as president.
Posted by TuracoPersa 11 months ago
TuracoPersa
@liltankjj I meant that Trump is popular because he's a celebrity.
Posted by liltankjj 11 months ago
liltankjj
@TuracoPersa: You act as though Trump is irresponsible? If this isn't what you meant please clarify.
Posted by liltankjj 11 months ago
liltankjj
Children are far too young too exactly know what they want. They change like the wind and are actually expected to be irrisponsible. Additionally, The BOP should fall on Pro for challenging the status quo.
Posted by TuracoPersa 11 months ago
TuracoPersa
@Lukas8 but when adults vote, you get Trump for President.

@Defro I mean all children of all ages. But I should say voting should be a voluntary act; babies would be unlikely to volunteer to vote because A) they can't talk and B) they don't know what voting is.
Posted by U.n 11 months ago
U.n
@Lukas, what's wrong with Beiber for president?
Posted by Lukas8 11 months ago
Lukas8
I'm a child myself and I disagree. If you allow children to vote then two things could happen:
1. Justin Bieber will become the PM of Canada or
2. Authoritarian parents will force children to vote for a candidate that the parent wants.

Anyway, Good luck.
Posted by Defro 11 months ago
Defro
can you specify from what age children should be allowed to vote? Or are you arguing for all children?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CJames 11 months ago
CJames
TuracoPersaWilliamGaspar54Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros arguments were, questionable to say the least. Though pro did make his arguments easier to read, con had more rational, thought based arguments on his side.