Children should be allowed to vote
Debate Rounds (5)
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.
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.
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.
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 :
"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."
WilliamGaspar54 forfeited this round.
WilliamGaspar54 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CJames 11 months ago
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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.
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