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NEWS: Lowering the Voting Age to 16

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posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:06 PM
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16-year-olds can drive a car, pay income taxes and be charged with adult crimes in Canada. So why not let them vote too?Ontario Liberal MP Mark Holland introduced a private members bill in February to lower the voting age in Canada to 16. The bill will be discussed again and voted on by mid-April. An all-party group of Members of Parliament are campaigning across the nation to promote the bill. The politicians hope "getting people involved earlier in the democratic process will reduce voter apathy and reverse a trend of low voter turnout."


 




winnipeg.cbc.ca

They can drive a car, pay income taxes and be charged with adult crimes – why not let 16-year-olds vote, too?

A group of MPs from all federal parties visited Winnipeg Wednesday as part of a cross-country campaign to lower the voting age to 16.

Ontario Liberal MP Mark Holland hopes getting people involved earlier in the democratic process will reduce voter apathy and reverse a trend of low voter turnout.

"I think they deserve a voice," says Holland. "I've been incredibly taken by the comments and the level of intellect and care that young people have. Worst-case scenario, we're going to be engaging young people, adding a new voice to our democratic system, and getting them excited about our civics process."

Holland has introduced a private member's bill that would lower the voting age to 16; it was debated in Parliament in February. The bill is expected to be discussed again and put to a vote by mid-April.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



From one angle, this seems to make sense - and it's only just. Why should kids have all the penalties but no benefits or privileges. Yet teenagers are notoriously erratic, and many go through hormonal changes that have them bouncing off walls.

All things considered, allowing hormonal kids to vote makes about as much sense as letting them drive cars.

My 14-year-old, who seldom cleans her room without threat of death, insists she would be a responsible voter, given the opportunity. I don't buy it. On the other hand, I do know her. She's smart, capable, more politically aware than many 30 year-olds - and just might be more reliable in a voting booth.


Judging by recent trends in the USA, this issue may come up soon for Americans too. Those who lament the current state of civic awareness may find hope here.


[Research courtesy of Ambivalence, Ink]

Related News Links:
www.theepochtimes.com
canadaonline.about .com
canadaonline.about.com
www.iicrd.org




posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Well while it may seems a good idea, "if I was a 16 year old"


I think that children in this age are still mostly influenced by what their parents tells them.

Probably more than half care less about politics at that age.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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im 16...

but im not canadian and i dont live in canada so this does not apply to me...

but, if this rule was used in america, i am shure bush would have lost






posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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as posted by soficrow
Judging by recent trends in the USA, this issue may come up soon for Americans too. Those who lament the current state of civic awareness may find hope here.

You may be correct on this, but I haven't seen or read anything on it yet. Seems to me what is being pushed (spoken about or of) here in the States, as per Hillary Clinton, is that of allowing about 4.6 million convicted felons to vote. That seems to be the coming issue at hand.



seekerof



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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double post

[edit on 2-3-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

You may be correct on this, but I haven't seen or read anything on it yet.





Just a trends analysis projection - based more on current chatter about the death penalty for teenagers. The main argument against is that kids don't have the right to vote, so why should they have the obligation to die. ...Meaning somebody will get the bright idea to fix that soon.

...Many people don't realize that Canadians never had the civil liberties that Americans did. ...One of the reasons I'm so keen that America not lose the rights protected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The USA has always been the "rights standard" of the world - if that goes, who do we look to?


.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:33 PM
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I'm not concerned with what they do in Canada.

Just as long as they don't try to influence American politics, things will be OK.

If Canada should lower the voting age to 16, fine. That's them, we'll just raise ours back to 21!

EDIT: I didn't say what I said in the first line to be a smart-tail. I said it because I don't have any desire for other nations to but in our business, that's all!

[edit on 2/3/05 by Intelearthling]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:35 PM
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At 16 "most" children are not capable of making such a decision based on maturity level...at 16, they are still doing things because of peer pressure and parental influence...not on their own thoughts...



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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Oh joy now our pitifull 50% voter turnout is going to go down even more... Dumb idea IMO



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:47 PM
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Age is just a number.

I did not become really politically aware until I was well into my 20's. I did vote in almost every election but did not really understand why I was voting for who I was.

Maturity is not tied to chronological age and there is that whole "no taxation without representation" paradigm. If you're sixteen, working part-time and paying taxes then you shoul be allowed to vote. Maybe only taxpayers should be allowed to vote. But then again government affects everybody.

In an ideal world there would be some sort of "IQ" test (I know..I know.. they don't mean squat) or maybe a civics test before being allowed to vote. You know, to make sure "herd mentality" doesn't come into play.

I really don't see where age will make a big difference in vote outcomes, politics is all about marketing now.

I don't really know what to think on this issue.


edit: spelling

[edit on 3/2/2005 by Gools]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
Age is just a number.

I don't really know what to think on this issue.


A 16 year-old should be concentrating on their studies, not politics.

What'll be next? Letting 16 year-olds run dangerous machinery and go into combat?



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by Intelearthling
I'm not concern with what they do in Canada.

Just as long as they don't try to influence American politics, things will be OK.





Also to seekerof - the coming NAFTA super-sized is about expanding the 'trade' agreement to harmonize various laws and regulations - and it's not restricted to goods and services. ...Our politicians are looking at immigration, security, the whole ball of wax. I do not see an argument for harmonizing voting ages - but the potential for all of these continental agreements to spiral is very real.

...Just as Canadians don't want to adopt certain laws and values that the US has - Americans will not want certain laws that Canada and Mexico have. ...But it will happen.

Historically, the USA had the best civil liberties in the world. Canada did not even get a Bill of Rights until Trudeau crafted one in the 1970's - and it was a woosie compromise. Mexico, well. ....What we see happening now is that US civil liberties are being "harmonized" downward to be more in line with Canada and Mexico.



.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:02 PM
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Horking back to those days in 1963, I must hack and cough up a cogent memory...difficult to do.

My summers were spent working in a shoe store, a job I had for several years, to make the money I needed to be able to go to dances, beaches, drinking parties and God knows what else...but one strand stays constant through it all...I was among many close friends who all talked about the world around them.

Perhaps it was different in those days, when most kids didn't have glazed over eyes and a detached demeanor. Grass was still something unheard of by most of us so we were bright eyed and full of ourselves.

To tell you the truth, although we were aware of the politicians and some of the shenanegans going on at the time, I think we were more frightened of the possibility of a nuclear war than who should be elected.

But that was 1963...I believe that 16 is a vastly different experience today. I find kids are more savvy politically than during my teens. The www has changed them from flighty party goers to knowlegeable party goers. I couldn't speak for them, but I'm certain they are quite able to speak for themselves on the subject of government.

Things have changed in the last 42 years...I say, give them a voice. Perhaps this would shake the apathy of those who now have the ability to vote, but don't.

Something needs to shake them up. In another thread here on ATS, I ventured the idea of forced voting, backed by a stiff moniterial penalty for not doing so. Giving the vote to those who may one day be laying down their lives for their country is perhaps an easier way to go.

BTW, soficrow...that medal looks great, too bad it doesn't have a crow engraved upon it's surface.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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If it happens in America, would it mean that 16, 17 year old criminals can be executed again?

If we attribute "voting age" as adulthood



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:16 PM
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I think its a bad idea. I was 16 during the last election and wished I was able to vote. Im am far more aware then most 40 year olds about the political system and parties. But Im glad theres a restriction cause I can only imagine people under 18 voting just cause their friends voted for someone. Very bad idea in my opinion. On the other hand lowering the drinking age wouldnt be a bad idea
.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by rapier28
If it happens in America, would it mean that 16, 17 year old criminals can be executed again?

If we attribute "voting age" as adulthood




You got it. ...I suspect it will come down to "harmonization." Not sure though.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by masqua

I think we were more frightened of the possibility of a nuclear war than who should be elected.

But that was 1963...I believe that 16 is a vastly different experience today. I find kids are more savvy politically than during my teens. The www has changed them from flighty party goers to knowlegeable party goers. I couldn't speak for them, but I'm certain they are quite able to speak for themselves on the subject of government.

Things have changed in the last 42 years...I say, give them a voice. Perhaps this would shake the apathy of those who now have the ability to vote, but don't.

Something needs to shake them up.



Good post masqua. Thanks.


It's an interesting solution, isn't it? ...I pretty much agree with everyone who says kids don't know enough to vote, are unreliable, yadayada

...I also agree that most voters are totally apathetic and doing nothing while our country is getting stolen outright right in front of their faces....



.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Canada did not even get a Bill of Rights until Trudeau crafted one in the 1970's -


Not to go too far off topic but a few precisions:



Prior to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1982, the Canadian Constitution consisted of a number of British statutes. Most important was the British North America Act, 1867 and its various amendments.
...

The "Implied Bill of Rights"

Serious questions about civil liberties arose again in the 1930's when Alberta legislation interfered with press freedoms. This legislation attracted the condemnation of the court in Reference Re Alberta Statutes, [1938] S.C.R. 100. The legacy of this case was an important line of jurisprudence which the constitutional writers later called the "implied bill of rights". The most important cases are Reference Re Alberta Statutes, supra, Switzman v. Elbling, [1957] S.C.R. 285 and Saumur v. The City of Quebec, [1953] 2 S.C.R. 299.

The impact of these cases, particularly an obiter statement of Cannon J. in the Alberta Press case, suggested that there are certain civil liberties implicit in Canada's Constitution - a package of freedoms somewhat similar to that of the later Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms.

The Canadian Bill of Rights

The Canadian Bill of Rights is a federal statute enacted in 1960.
..
Patriation of the Constitution and the Charter

The Canadian Bill of Rights having been enacted in 1960, the courts had some twenty years of experience with it (before the proclamation of the Charter of Rights).

From: Canada's Constitution prior to 1982


Joseph Magnet is a Constitutional Lawyer and author of a leading textbook used in Canadian Law Schools. He was also my Constitutional Law professor at University of Ottawa.


Since Canada never had a revolution and a clean break with the British Crown our legal status was not conclusively determined until 1982 with patriation of the Constitution and the Charter.

But it's not like we were some sort of lawless Nation we were just governed by British Statutes, the principles of Common Law and the Civil Code (in Quebec). I'm glad we finally worked it all out. It took a lot longer but it was a lot less bloody.


For more info: www.constitutional-law.net...

edit:spelling

[edit on 3/2/2005 by Gools]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 09:51 PM
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Thanks for the info Gools. ...I didn't know the history at all. Feel free to straighten me out whenever necessary - with your usual manners of course.
[said to benefit trolls]


..Cool that you're a lawyer. What kind of law do you do?




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