Senator wants 16-year-olds to vote in school elections
Posted 5/14/08
http://www.macombdaily.com/stories/050808/loc_local01.shtml

I personally think this is a bad idea, because:

1) Teenagers don't normally pay into the school budget in any fashion.

2) Teenagers also tend to be more subject to brainwashing by teachers and the media. Basically most people this age have not yet had much of a chance to learn critical thinking skills and are more susceptible to propaganda. (Really most people never learn solid critical thinking skills but the younger you are the more likely you are to be manipulated.) Teachers may need a kick in the ass, for example, may not want one, and may try to lobby students to vote for whichever official won't hold teachers accountable.

3) Partly because of #2, teenagers may simply end up doing whatever their parents want meaning that their parents may effectively just get extra votes this way.

4) There's a certain conflict of interests. High school students may simply vote for whichever school board officials seem like they'll make students do the least work, or candidates may try to bribe students with promises of silly wastes of money at school that might be nice/fun but which have no educational value. If the students are not paying into taxes then this means they have little incentive to reject frivolous spending.
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24 / M / Mammago Garage, Y...
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Posted 5/14/08
I probably could work if the voting process was unnecessarily complex and tedious, then only the kids who really care would take the time to vote and all the idiots wouldn't bother with it.
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M / America, Fuck Yeah.
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Posted 5/14/08
Im in highschool, im 16.

I dont think we should vote 'cause kids our age dont know jack shit about the world.

(then again, many adults dont either)

P.S. "brainwash"? C'mon now.
Posted 5/14/08

Nayru wrote:
P.S. "brainwash"? C'mon now.

Well, it does seem like I see kids post stuff on here stating that their teacher told them some thing or the other was a FACT when in reality it turns out to be a political opinion. So when I say brainwashed I suppose I'm exaggerating a bit, but what I really mean is "intentionally taught misinformation" or at least "taught misinformation." (Perhaps some teachers are idiots and can't distinguish between fact and opinion.)
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26 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 5/14/08
Looking at the 16 year olds over here, and thinking back to my own 16 year-old days (which actually wasn't very long ago...), I sure as hell don't think we should be able to vote.
I don't think we really have enough first-hand experience with society until we become independent, or at least out of High School sheltering.
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27 / F
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Posted 5/14/08
Bad idea. They would probably anyhow vote.
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28 / M / Peliphines
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Posted 5/14/08
nah, teenagers arent well knowledged about the things goin on... specially politics...
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76 / M / california
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Posted 5/14/08
if you guys read that thing you would see that it only holds for the school board elections. I personall think its a great idea because by 16 you'l have an understanding of school life more than the adults do
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29 / M / New York
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Posted 5/14/08
While I support the socialized having some say in the socialization process itself, your reasons against this are too overwhelming for it to truly function. On the same note, though, I'm not sure that 18-year-olds making choices about the entire country is much better. It's a shame that we can't develop an objective test of "worth" for voters that can be practically implemented.
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Posted 5/14/08

shibole wrote:

http://www.macombdaily.com/stories/050808/loc_local01.shtml

I personally think this is a bad idea, because:

1) Teenagers don't normally pay into the school budget in any fashion.

2) Teenagers also tend to be more subject to brainwashing by teachers and the media. Basically most people this age have not yet had much of a chance to learn critical thinking skills and are more susceptible to propaganda. (Really most people never learn solid critical thinking skills but the younger you are the more likely you are to be manipulated.) Teachers may need a kick in the ass, for example, may not want one, and may try to lobby students to vote for whichever official won't hold teachers accountable.

3) Partly because of #2, teenagers may simply end up doing whatever their parents want meaning that their parents may effectively just get extra votes this way.

4) There's a certain conflict of interests. High school students may simply vote for whichever school board officials seem like they'll make students do the least work, or candidates may try to bribe students with promises of silly wastes of money at school that might be nice/fun but which have no educational value. If the students are not paying into taxes then this means they have little incentive to reject frivolous spending.


I just had to quote you to inform of the massive amounts of win you have earned for your Greg Egan reference. +10 internets good sir
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31 / M / Seattle
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Posted 5/15/08
Nothing wrong with letting students being more involved in the school system. Would it be so bad to force the school board to actually know students and take students opinions into consideration?
Posted 5/15/08

YouAreDumb wrote:
I just had to quote you to inform of the massive amounts of win you have earned for your Greg Egan reference. +10 internets good sir

I'm surprised anyone recognized it. I actually made two references, one in the Onigiri. Which one are you referring to?
Posted 5/15/08

Regulus133 wrote:
It's a shame that we can't develop an objective test of "worth" for voters that can be practically implemented.

Robert Helnlein had this idea that anyone who wanted to vote would have to volunteer for public service for like 2 years or something. On the surface that doesn't seem like such a bad idea (it sort of forces you to prove that you're serious about contributing to society before allowing you to make decisions), but on the other hand it sort of gives the government 2 years to try to brainwash people into thinking and voting a certain way.

So it might tend to have an unwanted self-reinforcing effect on the current system of government, or bias people in favor of government vs. private solutions to things.
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Posted 5/15/08

shibole wrote:


YouAreDumb wrote:
I just had to quote you to inform of the massive amounts of win you have earned for your Greg Egan reference. +10 internets good sir

I'm surprised anyone recognized it. I actually made two references, one in the Onigiri. Which one are you referring to?


The one in your location. He is one of my favorite science fiction writers so I caught it right away.
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