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View Poll Results: Should we lower the legal voting age to 16?

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  • Sure. Why not?

    4 20.00%
  • Absolutely not!

    12 60.00%
  • We should raise it to 25.

    4 20.00%
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Thread: Should we lower the voting age?

  1. #51
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blues63 View Post
    In Australia, the age for eligibility for military service is 17, but an individual cannot vote until 18.

    As I understand it, the US had a big push among the public to lower the voting age during WWII, but then the passion for the issue subsided somewhat after the war ended. It was the war in Vietnam that brought the issue back to the forefront.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Under that reasoning, we should be electing 16 year olds to political office and grounding 60 year olds.
    I'd be a little worried about a 16-year-old in office, since impulse control would be a bigger issue in the day-in, day-out grind of a full-time job, than in the one-time act of deciding who to vote for. A slow-and-steady, albeit a little dim, 60-year-old would probably be a better choice for most offices than some pimply adolescent with a sex drive turned up to eleven.
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  3. #53
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    I'd be a little worried about a 16-year-old in office, since impulse control would be a bigger issue in the day-in, day-out grind of a full-time job, than in the one-time act of deciding who to vote for. A slow-and-steady, albeit a little dim, 60-year-old would probably be a better choice for most offices than some pimply adolescent with a sex drive turned up to eleven.
    Which also goes to why I'm okay keeping the voting age at 18 (but not cutting it off at 60.)

    I do remember when 60 seemed SO old, though.
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  4. #54
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Which also goes to why I'm okay keeping the voting age at 18 (but not cutting it off at 60.)

    I do remember when 60 seemed SO old, though.

    Those were the days, weren't they?
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  5. #55
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    Those were the days, weren't they?
    My brother just turned 60 earlier this month. He seems young(ish) to me! Just ran another half-marathon. And he was the ringer I brought in for our trivia night last weekend.
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  6. #56
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    I'd be a little worried about a 16-year-old in office....
    I actually went to high school with someone who would have been better in office at 16 than at 50.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I actually went to high school with someone who would have been better in office at 16 than at 50.
    Would his parents still get to ground him though?
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Which also goes to why I'm okay keeping the voting age at 18 (but not cutting it off at 60.)

    I do remember when 60 seemed SO old, though.
    Still does to me, but given how different 40 looks now, I'm sure that'll change.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I actually went to high school with someone who would have been better in office at 16 than at 50.
    My opinions were influenced by several games of Trivial Pursuit with my extended family, last summer. The games included over a dozen different players (over several different games), as young as 10 and as old as 70. I would have expected the older players to do better, but it turned out they were mostly terrible. They did better than the younger ones on pop-culture type questions from earlier eras (e.g., identifying Bing Crosby as the singer of White Christmas), but with every other category, the younger people did better. I assume that's because the older people have forgotten much of what they once learned in school (e.g., what planet is closest to the sun, or what's the capital of Japan, or what are the three branches of government), but possibly they never actually learned it... IQs and education standards have risen over time, so maybe some of it was the Flynn Effect at work. That made me think about how strange it was that a 14 year old would have no say in our government despite greater mental faculties (and a much longer stake in the outcome of elections) than a 70-year-old.

    Just to be clear, this wasn't a universal pattern. Although all the young people surprised me with their good performance, not all the old people performed badly. There were two older people (three if you count me) who did very well. However, we're all unusual in that we're "lifetime learners" who are constantly picking up new skills and studying new subjects, which seems to be keeping our minds nimble. Too many older people fall deeply into mental ruts, so that although they may stay sharp in some limited way they practice (e.g., crossword puzzles), the rest of their minds atrophy.
    Last edited by Arkady; 20th April 2018 at 09:36 AM.
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