You Gotta Fight / For Your Right / To <del>Party</del> Vote!

Here are two articles on the same topic, from Hit and Run and the Lew Rockwell blog respectively:

SACRAMENTO - In a rare and likely quixotic proposal, Sen. John Vasconcellos on Monday introduced a bill that would allow anyone 14 or older to vote -- at least fractionally -- starting as early as 2006.

The proposal, which would grant people ages 16 and 17 a half-vote and those who are 14 and 15 a quarter-vote, is the final legislative push by the termed-out San Jose Democrat, an unapologetic liberal and the father of California's self-esteem movement...

Flanked by about two dozen teens at a news briefing Monday, Vasconcellos dubbed his attempt to amend the California Constitution "Training Wheels for Citizenship," a way to engage about 2 million more young people at a time of low voter turnout.

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Training wheels for citizenship? When a parent removes the training wheels from a child's bicycle, we can tell whether or not the child learned anything by observing the rate at which he falls down. In this way, the child is held accountable. If he falls down a lot, we know that the training wheels didn't do a good enough job of teaching him how to ride a bike.

But what does voting teach? How can we tell whether or not the voter learned anything through practice? Uninformed voting looks exactly the same as informed voting. Voters are not held accountable for their actions, which is precisely why democracy is such a terrible way to organize society.

That said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Take this, for example:

"It's totally pointless," said Taahir Guard, 16, of Santa Clara. "We're too busy with our social lives or watching TV to pay attention to issues, much less care about voting."

Someone should inform Taahir that his apt observation remains true even after one turns 18.

And of course, this is priceless:

Said Assemblyman Ray Haynes: "There's a reason why 14-year-olds and 16-year-olds don't vote. They are not adults. They are not mature enough. They are easily deceived by political charlatans."

I could not make this stuff up.

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I think this proposal might

I think this proposal might be motivated by education politics. Allow more high schoolers to vote, even fractionally, and the teacher unions acquire an enlarged captive audience to promote their agenda to. After witnessing the recent abuse of power in Maryland--where the union used the state's "community service" requirement to reward students that attended a rally in support of higher school funding--I can just imagine what the more militant California unions would do.

Lower the voting age? Hell,

Lower the voting age? Hell, I think we ought to repeal the 26th Amendment and set the age back to 21. It's obvious that most 18-20 year olds don't give a shit anyway; take that right away from them and see the 21/y.o. vote skyrocket in the next election.

Of course voters are held

Of course voters are held responsible for their vote. Say you elect a statist asshole, you're gonna pay it with your tax dollars. That's why voting matters, after all, even though your individual voice might not matter much.

Libertarians often don't come to the election booth. Isn't that boosting the enemy?

Tomas, Say I vote for a

Tomas,

Say I vote for a statist asshole and he gets elected. What happens? I pay for it with my tax dollars.

Say I don't vote for a statist asshole and he gets elected. What happens? I pay for it with my tax dollars.

Unless the election comes down to one single vote, my vote does not matter either way, and I am not held responsible regardless of what I do. The same holds true for each and every voter and non-voter.

It may be true that libertarians often don't come to the election booth. But which enemy does this boost? Enemy A or enemy B?

Enemy A = Enemy B.

Enemy A = Enemy B.

If "the man" gives us the

If "the man" gives us the right to vote maybe some kids who do care about the future of this country/ planet WOULD vote instead of just bitching aout how Bush is running this country into the ground. If I had the right to vote I would pay more attention to the mews, political races etc.

I just want to make this

I just want to make this perfectly clear. At the age of 14, a person does not have the ability to make an informed decision at all. That is why they are living at home (and its illegal to kick them out), that is why they are attending high school, and that is why they take orders from their parents.

What's next? letting dogs and cats vote?

Voter turn out for every

Voter turn out for every election seems to be horrible. letting teens vote gives them a more direct pathway to take part in government and get them in the habit of voting, which will benefit every citizen in the end.
Bush is either still attempting to get a draft or has already gotten the permission to start one. since a president is in office for 4 years then those who will have to go to war for him should have some say in it at 14. yes 14 year olds may not make the best decisions but they need to be able to have a say if they live or die.
ever hear of taxation without representation. teens make up one of the largest consumer groups and often work part time jobs. TEENS ARE TAXED TOO! they deserve representation.
Lincoln won a large portion of the votes because he wore a beard and women liked beards then. only once in a presidential election has the shorter canidate one. this shows that adults too can be misinformed and vote on false pretenses.
An ideal voter will review all of the issues. decide which ones are the most important and vote from that criteria. very few of us legal voters do that anyways. teens are in classes roughly 30 hours a week and have the best resources of any group to the obtain the facts on canidates. THEY CAN BE BECOME THE MOST INFORMED VOTING GROUP.
arguments to any of these statements are justified by the fact that teens will only be given fractional votes.

I THINK THIS IS AN

I THINK THIS IS AN ABSOLEUTLY WONDERFUL IDEA. CONSIDERING OUR COUNTRY IS IN CRISIS RIGHT NOW, WE NEED ALL THE VOTES WE CAN GET. I AM 16 YEARS OLD, AND SINCE I CANT VOTE NOW, ON ELECTION DAY, I WILL BE IN THE STREETS MAKING SURE EVERYONE VOTES. I GUARANTEE THAT THE 2004 ELECTION WILL HAVE THE LARGEST VOTER TURNOUT EVER. JUST BECAUSE WERE "TEENAGERS" DOESNT MEAN WE ARE STUPID. I KNOW MORE ABOUT POLITICS THAN ALOT OF THE ADULTS I KNOW. I HAVE LIVED IN THE US ALL MY LIFE AND I LOVE WHERE I LIVE. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO VOTE IF IT WILL AFFECT MY LIFE. AND IF OUR PRESIDENT NOW WINS, MY LIFE WILL BE GREATLY DESTROYED....

:smile: I think that 14 year

:smile: I think that 14 year olds should vote and its a good thing