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Should we lower the legal drinking age in Quebec?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,878 times Debate No: 16550
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




I am against lowering the legal drinking age, implying alcohol consumption and/or purchase, in Quebec, which is 18.

As we all may know, minors (those under the age of 18 in Quebec) are undergoing a very important period of development. Teens are having a harsh mental evolution, which marks their passage from childhood to adulthood. Most of them undergo emotional evolution and hormonal changes. They already lack the judgment to anticipate the consequences of their actions - hence why teens do binge drinking so much - if their bit of judgment is further weakened by the effects of alcohol, they would be at a quasi-total loss of senses and commit and kind of things. Sex, fights, or even worse, death, and these are just a few examples. All this to say that drinking should not be something for minors. They haven't reached a certain level of responsibility and maturity yet. Here in Quebec, the age of drinking is already set to 18, the official age for a minor to become an adult. If this age is further lowered, it would imply that the government openly gives minors legal access to alcohol. This is not a smart move, and should not be adopted.

Furthermore, there is no point in lowering the drinking age from 18. Yes, it might reduce consumption among the pre-adults who find it "cool" and "rebellious" to commit an illegal act such as consuming beer before 18, but it would also be a drinking temptation for the pre-adults who weren't consuming illegally because they aren't rebellious and/or didn't want to go against law. Take the Netherlands for example, where the legal drinking age is set at 16. Studies show that 83% of youngsters whose age range from 13 to 16 consume alcohol on a regular basis. In Quebec, studies show that only a bit more than 60% of the teens of the same age group are consumers, and 60% of these consumers are occasional consumers who drink around once a month. Although there are obvious cultural differences between the two societies I've compared, such a big difference is necessarily partially caused by the different drinking age. In one way or another, consumption remains at a similar level no matter what we do to the legal drinking age. If our goal is to reduce consumption among young people, then other measures are necessarily required. But for this debate's sake, I believe the legal drinking itself accomplishes its task in a more efficient and appropriate way by remaining at 18, and not going lower.


I am the opponent, and I believe we SHOULD lower the legal drinking age in Quebec.

Hi, I love good gaming and am happy to share my opinion with you.

You have stated how the age around teenagers and young adults is an age where good decisions aren't always made. I believe you, proven or not. A good amount of people in that range of age are quite ignorant and stupid.

Nevertheless, I believe it should be their decisions. If people want to drink themselves to death, let them; what law is being broken? No matter the age, people have the capacity to avoid abusing drugs and alcohol.

What if people started stabbing each other with pens and pencils? Pens and pencils can be very deadly, as well as easily concealable, and lightweight. You can't outlaw pencils and pens just because people abuse them; just take care of the people who do illegal things with normal objects. People drink a beer or a glass of wine in the evening, and are just fine. The ones who get themselves drunk, and abuse their drinking and use of drugs can be punished if they do illegal/punishable things because of it.

I respect and understand everyone's frustration, because of the bad things people do when high and intoxicated, or the harm it does to people's bodies. And how youngsters tend to not think with their undeveloped minds and take blind advantage of anything they can. But still, it's the abusers' decisions. They can get arrested when they break the law, but if they drink and do drugs, putting themselves in danger, it's their fault.

People over the age of 18 are just as capable of abusing anything than those under the age. If parents were responsible, they would make extra care that their kids didn't drink or do drugs.

I hope you enjoyed my opinion, in which I guarantee is true. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.
Debate Round No. 1


You have stated that we should lower drinking age, because people should be held responsible for their acts and that it's their decision to do whatever they want, even if they prove themselves to be very stupid. But by saying so, wouldn't you rather eradicate the legal drinking age completely? Teens at around the age of 16 still aren't responsible enough to take care of themselves correctly and a lot of them commit errors, such as binge drinking, ultimately leading them to various accidents. If we don't take care of them and let them do whatever they feel like, then we could do the same thing with children; 7 years old kids aren't mature enough to take care of themselves, so should we also not care about them and let they do whatever stupid thing they want?
I'll now move on to the pencil situation. We don't outlaw pencils or pens, because accidents caused by these tools are extremely rare, and also because these tools' primary function is to write, draw, etc. However, alcoholic beverage is a different thing. It's a beverage whose main purpose is to make use of it's effects on our brain for various other purposes, such as getting over a depression or shyness, alter judgment and senses for "fun", stimulating the emotional drive to experience an intense moment. Furthermore, it is to consider that accidents related to alcohol beverages are VERY frequent and often reported in the media. For that reason, the government outlaws drinking for minors in order to preserve safety.
That leads me to my next point: safety. First of all, I believe that this young generation will eventually be the ones who will shape society. For that reason, it is important to guarantee their safety as much as possible. They shouldn't be fatally "punished" for drinking; it's not such a big crime. Finally, there's also society security. Letting teens get drunk would imply more accidents not only among them, but also in society, which affects other innocent people.

Thanks for your time!


Good points! I love your counteracting!

I do think the law of a specific drinking age should be taken away completely, I'm glad you see that. I still agree with you when you have said, kids of all sorts make ill decisions, causing awful consequences. This is where I believe the parents come in, they are the law and order of the household. If they cared on whether their kids were drinking, they very well could do something. If there is worry about any danger caused by being drunk or binge drinking, then alcoholic beverages don't need to be abused in the first place - which will certainly take those problems away (does that make sense?).

This, I'm sure, relates to this pencil situation. You were right when you said:

"...alcoholic beverage is a different thing. It's a beverage whose main purpose is to make use of it's effects on our brain for various other purposes, such as getting over a depression or shyness, alter judgment and senses for 'fun', stimulating the emotional drive to experience an intense moment..."

Saying that, I'll bet you agree that alcoholic beverages weren't made for abusing, taking advantage of, or causing problems. The point of beer and wine, wasn't to cause death from drunk driving nor harmed individuals from physical abuse, but it still happens and is very possible. The rarity of abuse doesn't matter, only the decisions of the consumer.

I kind of know what you mean about this new generation shaping society, but I honestly believe that every generation has close to the same impact to society as any other. If this "new" generation is worthy of shaping society, then they themselves should have the ability to at least control such a low level of discipline (drinking and drugs). If we let them get drunk, then the ones who take that opportunity are obviously not what we want. Drinking can be okay, but breaking any law at the beverage's expense is not.

Sorry about the wait. I hope I made sense!
Debate Round No. 2


I think you may be too strict about the parents' case. Yes, they hold a responsibility to educate their children and to ensure they don't do bad things, but at some point, I believe they don't have enough authority and power to keep them in control. Teenagers are a rebellious gang, and by saying "gang". Now, I image no parents would actually wish their kids to be troublemakers. But would you say that all of these parents have failed their tasks and have been irresponsible? Personally, I believe not. Parents have a lot to take care of; in our current situation of crisis, a lot of them are making a huge effort to gain enough money to feed the family. Especially here in Quebec, since our education system has been reformed very late, there are a lot of uneducated French Canadian families, whose "leaders" (the parents) have lost their job and are struggling to survive. I don't think such parents, in such misery, have the sufficient time to fully educate their children and prevent their rebellious desires. Frankly, a lot of them would fail even if they did have the time, because teenagers' willpower is thicker than any wall.
You've also said "the rarity of abuse doesn't matter". I disagree. I think it matters a lot. In Quebec, a study in 2006 shows that about 60% of students ranging from 13 to 17 in age have already consumed alcohol. This is a majority; how can it be not important? This high % shows how teens are these days. We will necessarily have to accept them in society even if we don't want to: we don't have a choice, they're a majority! At such a young age, I find it rather normal that teenagers have such desires. They want to try things out; it doesn't mean anything else. It absolutely doesn't mean they're idiots! For example, presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have all tried pot when they were young! But they shaped society, didn't they? It is necessary to do our best to defend these teens.

That concludes my part. Thanks for the debate, I enjoyed it!


Hello again! I appreciate your scientific fact and evidence:

"...In Quebec, a study in 2006 shows that about 60% of students ranging from 13 to 17 in age have already consumed alcohol. This is a majority; how can it be not important? This high % shows how teens are these days..."

Does that percent necessarily mean that everyone in the 60% has abused or taken advantage of the alcohol they consume? People still have enough control to say no to drugs and alcohol, but obviously, if they give in, they must have had such an ignorance. Most people who drink and do drugs, don't think bad of it, but try to make others join in. It's out of their ignorance (whether they could help it or not) that they made such an ill decision. That again, is where parenting comes in, in which will be in the next paragraph.

So you've talked about the crisis affecting Quebec, and how it harms families and money. That begins a whole new subject about parents:

You state: "...Parents have a lot to take care of; in our current situation of crisis, a lot of them are making a huge effort to gain enough money to feed the family..."

I think: It doesn't seem you've backed that up with any factual evidence, but just expect it from those kind of people. But I see it all a little bit different.

I think it's good of you to imagine families struggling, suffering, and making sacrifices to stay together and keep loving one another. But good families and people like that have gone away, leaving the numbers dangerously low. I think the problem these days aren't teenagers, but their parents. You've said the parents don't have time to help their kids and teach them right from wrong. That's probably because there's a good change they don't care, or maybe they just can't. Did you ever think that maybe the teenagers' parents themselves had the same drinking problems and couldn't help themselves? I believe the kids are but an image of their parents. So you can see my opinion.

Was a pleasure!!!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Kinger 5 years ago
Wonderful debate on both ends!
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
I'd totally accept this! But I agree with con so can't!
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
come to america where the legal drinking age is 21 :p
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 5 years ago
I support your position, for sure!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Here we have mainly assertions from both sides, Flam who argues to protect people from themselves and himilkyes who argues for freedom of choice. Neither sides provides a background to support the directives so the argument has to go to Pro as Con was the instigator and had the BoP. 1 pt
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: good debate, but con's arguments were easily refuted