The Instigator
numa
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Sky_ace25
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

the voting age should be lowered to 16.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,153 times Debate No: 10672
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

numa

Pro

thank you to whomever accepts this debate.

the legislation that lawmakers enact affects everyone, including those that are under age 18. if the purpose of democratic voting is to maximize government representation, then why should we not take into account the wants and needs of young people? for instance, the government makes a lot of education decisions which affect, you guessed it, young people.

more importantly, the government spends the tax dollars of young people, though the young people have no say (no taxation without representation!). for instance, i've worked since i was 15 and yet i had absolutely no say via voting in how my tax dollars were spent for 3 full years. while i'm aware that we do not live in a direct democracy, we're at least allowed to vote in politicians who represent our views, though minors can't. statistics show that 80% of high school students work before graduation.

http://www.youthrights.org...

i believe that young people are just as capable of having an educated opinion as older people. if you look around this site, some of the most intelligent members are minors and they have more logical and intelligent opinions than many who are of age. one doesn't magically become aware of what's going on in the world once they become 18.

in high school, one begins to learn about government and politics. in many cases, most adults cannot even remember what they learned in school whereas high school students are in the midst of learning about it themselves. one only needs to consider the show "are you smarter than a fifth grader" to consider my point. students who took the comprehensive We the People ("WTP") constitutional law program scored BETTER than adults 18-80 in knowledge of government and politics. additionally, students today are more intelligent than in the past. now unknowledgeable adults are not kept from voting, so why should knowledgeable young people?

"Studied conducted by Professor James Flynn have shown that IQ scores grew by 17 points during the period 1947 through 2001, with the increase accelerating to 0.36 points per year in the 1990's.4 In other words, a child scoring in the top 25% in an IQ test today, would score in the top 3% of an IQ test in 1932.5 Experts have suggested an explanation to this trend: the explosion of new media, television and particularly the internet, which challenge youth's cognitive senses and problem solving abilities."

http://www.youthrights.org...

another point to consider is that youth voting will increase adult voting. also, the idea that the votes of young people will be "manipulated" by their parents or other adults is insufficient. people at age 16 have their own political opinions that are often different from their parents (for instance, young people care more about issues like gay rights and environment protection), and it's unfair to say that other adults won't or can't be manipulated just as easily.

one theory is that conservatives are the reason young people cannot vote. because young people tend to be more "liberal" in thought and care about things that are more liberal, conservatives do not want to give young people the opportunity to have a say even though young people have to abide by the laws, and are often punished as adults for breaking those laws (because the law decides when it's convenient to consider you "mature" enough to make a decision). for instance, young people are considered a more liberal demographic, and would probably vote for more liberal policies.

http://www.nytimes.com...

studies and polls show that teenagers WANT to vote and there is no good reason why they shouldn't be allowed to vote. the constitution says that we cannot prohibit a law abiding citizen over the age of 18 to vote, but says nothing about prohibiting those under 18 to vote. the right to vote should be extended to minors, at least to those 16 and older. even if it's only to working kids 16 and older, it's still lowering the voting age which i think is important.

and that's all for now, so thank you to whomever accepts.
Sky_ace25

Con

I appreciate my opponents very interesting topic and I am looking forward to an interesting debate. That being said I will offer up my refute as follows.

In terms of education their is already the existence of student councils
definition: "The student council helps share students' ideas, interests, and concerns with teachers and school principals. They often also help raise funds for school-wide activities, including social events, community projects and school reform."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Thus students can enact their ideas in a fair manner, for example my own school recently got their hat policy removed due to efforts from student government. However, I'd like to point out that not all students know what is best for their school. Many children for example would argue that they would like less homework, because it is a hassle. Further more teenagers many times have their own inner emotions developing and thus their priorities can differ between what they believe is right and what ultimately is right. Further more students are able to influence the vote toward let's say a super-attendant who is the one who ultimately sets up school policies (outside of the department of education but this is picked by the president and not in an open election). Students should not be able to gain this power because they are still minors and under the authority of their legal guardians. Thus parents are the ones who have the right to decide what is just and un-just for their child.

In terms of tax payers I will be brief; each school system spends a lot of money in terms of the education and upbringing of kids from Pre-K to the time they walk out of the public school system. I believe no matter how many taxes kids may pay their is no way it is equivalent to the amount of money total spent by the government on the kids education; including school discounts, scholarships, health services, food discounts etc. Thus to be honest your tax dollars really are only being put to benefit you.

I absolutely agree that youth are "capable" of having an educated opinion. However, does that mean the majority of kids are able to make rational decisions while ignoring outside influences? Obama had a lot of support from the "gangster" community as many rappers openly promoted Obama. Thus kids can easily be influenced by their own idols, I believe many kids will openly admit they have somebody who they look up too.

During a survey conducted; "Analyzing the results of a test administered to a sample of high-school juniors of different races, sexes, income levels and geographic regions,"
"Three quarters of the students did not know when Abraham Lincoln was president; three of every ten could not place the Civil War in the proper half-century. More than a third could not place the writing of the Constitution in the proper half-century. Map questions revealed only the most elementary knowledge of American or European geography; many girls, black and Hispanic students had trouble locating Great Britain. For the most part what information or misinformation students had about world events and great works of literature seem to come from movies and television rather than from school."
http://www.aim.org...

Thus we see that not only are kids not aware of even some of the most basic facts of American know-how; but further more they are easily influenced from outside sources rather than the school system.

I would like to ask my opponent to provide the number of people who took this program and further information on it (WTP); obviously if I go into a top Honors course where they have been teaching U.S. policy all day it is quite clear this group would be able to answer questions correctly. Further more just because a person know how U.S. government works doesn't necessarily mean they know all the current issues. A government major can still be ignorant of current affairs plaguing the country.

Regarding IQ tests I would like to point out that one may be "smart" without being knowledgeable in politics. Their are many very-well educated people in their fields who are unaware of some of the most basic facts about politics; things such as who is Obama's vice-president, who I personally recall asking my fellow peers and many of which could not answer.

My opponent has no proof that youth voting will increase adult voting; I would like to point out that many young kids elect to help out at local campaign groups to help their candidate win. Thus a kid does not need to vote to go out to influence people to vote for their cause. I would like to also point out again that kids can easily be influenced by their own idols or by peer pressure, a major thing that teens deal with.

I'm not even going to spend my time on the idea that the "evil conservatives" are stopping the "innocent liberals" from voting because they are afraid that all young people will vote liberal. I would like to point out to my opponent that when you are born in the U.S. you get a birth certificate claiming citizenship; essentially as a citizen you are required to follow the laws set by the government. I myself do not like Obama but that does not mean I can ignore the laws set by the government because I do not like him. Further more we have junior courts to specifically punish young people without imposing long-last implications except in the most severe courses. Their is a difference between tried as a minor and tried as an adult. Adults are allowed to punish minors just like adults can punish other adults. A minor is meant to be in a growing stage and thus it is up to his guardians to instill good values in him; further more a minor is still allowed their rights and if he is done an injustice he is allowed to bring a complaint against it and his guardians are allowed to file a suit. You can't smack a child in school for example without the risk of being sued for physical harm.

I would like my opponent to provide proof of all these studies and polls that prove teenagers want to vote, further more even if they want to vote; I assume also many would like to have the ability to drink. I assume many would like to be able to take only single-subject courses and not be subjected to have to take multiple subject courses. Further more what substantial change would be warranted by lowering the age to 16 or older? Minors are denied so many liberties already that are not permitted until reaching the age of 18, so the idea that lowering the voting age would affect them more directly is not necessarily true. The main thing is also that they are under the guardianship of a higher authority parent who has the right to decide what is right for their own child. The government by allowing votes by young people is essentially taking the rights away from parents to decide what is right for their individual child.

"The ages from 15 to 18 are an exciting time of life. But these years can be challenging for teens and their parents. Emotions can change quickly as teens learn to deal with school, their friends, and adult expectations."

"Even though they have a certain amount of empathy and can understand that others have different ideas, they often strongly believe that their own ideas are the most true."

"Much of teens' emotional and social growth is about finding their place in the world. They are trying to figure out "Who am I?" and "How do I fit in?" So it is normal for their emotions to change from day to day."
http://health.yahoo.com...

By utilizing these quotes above we can see that for multiple reasons teenagers are still not at the level of maturity that they can be considered well-minded enough to be able to vote for a general good. I will now hand over the debate to the Pro and I appreciate the chance to debate this good to
Debate Round No. 1
numa

Pro

numa forfeited this round.
Sky_ace25

Con

My opponent has not refuted any of my points and thus their entire case can be considered null and void as of now because they have not responded to my refute. Hopefully, they will post in the next round...
Debate Round No. 2
numa

Pro

numa forfeited this round.
Sky_ace25

Con

My opponent has not refuted any of my points and thus I have won this debate. They have no argument and my case still stands strong.

Thus Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 4 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Raise the voting age to 500. That will prevent anyone from ever being elected. Such a zero-transaction-cost hypothetical anarchy presents plenty of opportunities to implement a better government.
Posted by Sky_ace25 4 years ago
Sky_ace25
Hmmm...well I might have to actually "Search" for evidence now but I think I have a chance at this topic =P.

I apologize in advance if I post my argument a little bit late.
Posted by Koopin 4 years ago
Koopin
Whose Nancy Pelosi?....Just kidding
Posted by wjmelements 4 years ago
wjmelements
If you know that Nancy Pelosi supports National Healthcare, you know more than the average voter.
Posted by Sky_ace25 4 years ago
Sky_ace25
Besides what does an Iq test have have to do with political know-how? lol
Posted by Sky_ace25 4 years ago
Sky_ace25
Ahh of course those evil conservatives are to blame; I knew it!
Posted by Koopin 4 years ago
Koopin
lol, no way.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by DylanFromSC 4 years ago
DylanFromSC
numaSky_ace25Tied
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Vote Placed by cjl 4 years ago
cjl
numaSky_ace25Tied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 4 years ago
wjmelements
numaSky_ace25Tied
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Vote Placed by Sky_ace25 4 years ago
Sky_ace25
numaSky_ace25Tied
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