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Planesdragon's Journal: Amending the Constitution, take II 46

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As I've said before, we should come out and amend the constitution to make this a better country.

A short recap of previous amendments:

D1: The ERA
D2: Define Marriage and give federal weight to Civil Unions
D3: Let Congress protect citizens (end-run around the commerce clause)
D4: Abortion

To add to this list of good ideas that we really should consider, I'll add a fifth stolen right from The West Wing.

Amendment D5: Voting Rights
All citizens who reside in these United States shall be counted and persons for purposes of proportional representation of members of Congress, and for all federal elections.

All citiens so counted shall be alloted to cast one vote, in a manner decdied by Congress and the several states. Citizens younger than the age of eighteen or otherwise in need of a legal guardian shall have their votes cast by proxy by their legal guardian, save for those who specifically register to vote on their own.

In any case where a real citizen and that citizen's guardian both cast otherwise valid votes on the citizen's behalf, the vote of the real citizen shall be deemed valid and the guardian's proxy vote discarded.

Let's given children the vote. All children, even newborns. We value children too poorly, and parents not enough.

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Amending the Constitution, take II

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  • by loucura! (247834)
    Parents are already given too many liberties these days. You aren't special because you managed to stick tab a into tab b. It takes no effort to create a child. We shouldn't reward you with a louder voice. Parents already have too much clout in politics.

    Now, you personally may be the perfect parent. I commend you if you are, but granting parents the right to vote for eighteen years in their children's name is lunacy. In the case of divorce, who gets the "right" to vote in their children's name? In the case
    • by FroMan (111520)
      Yeah, screw parents, they shouldn't even have the choice of what their kids are taught in school!

      While I agree that kids should not be allowed to vote, I think your idea that parents have too much influence in politics is more a symptom of non-parents being less active in politics. Personally I think folks that are parents usually are more aligned with my points of view since they often are the ones that have a higher investment in the future compared to non-parents. So, maybe I am biased, but the idea th
      • Yeah, screw parents, they shouldn't even have the choice of what their kids are taught in school!

        Parents do have a choice as to what their children are taught in school. If they want their children ill-prepared for the vagaries of the real-world, then they have the choice of homeschooling or putting them into a private school. Ther are private schools for ever occassion. If you think that Adam and Company rode around on Dinosaurs, then there are religious fundamentalist schools. If you don't want your child
        • by FroMan (111520)
          So, I assume you support school vouchers then? Or do you like oppressing poor people who cannot send their children to private schools? The options are lete parents decide how to raise their kids and give them the freedom of choice, or say the state knows better than the parents. Personally I don't trust the state to know better for kids, you may disagree, but atleast be honest with yourself.

          And as far as I know, here in the states we have nothing preventing you from creating your own political lobby to
          • So, I assume you support school vouchers then?

            While I support school vouchers, I'm not completely opposed to oppressing the poor either. :)
            • by FroMan (111520)
              Alright, well we both agree that school vouchers are a better system than what we currently have. Hooray! Oppressing the poor, we'll, well have to work on that. I mean kicking them once or twice while walking down the sidewalk is fine, but outright oppression?!?! Never, it'd hurt my conscience.
            • finally, a candidate i can support.
        • Parents do have a choice as to what their children are taught in school. If they want their children ill-prepared for the vagaries of the real-world, then they have the choice of homeschooling or putting them into a private school.

          If this is the case, could you please tell me why I have to pay for someone elses kids to be taught something I don't approve of and to teach my kids something I do approve of? Property taxes have a purpose, you know, and a very large chunk of that goes to the schools in the
          • As a non-parent, why should I have to pay for your children to get educated? Well, you see... even though I don't recieve direct benefit from publically available education, I derive indirect benefits to my standard of living. So do you. Furthermore, once the state has taken its toll, the money is no longer yours. It belongs to the state, ergo you don't get a say in how it is spent - beyond electing officials to administrate it in your stead. If you don't like that, move to a state more amenable to your ide
            • by FroMan (111520)
              Whoa nelly... Just because it is in the public coffers does not mean the money is not yours, we the people kinda thing you know. ;-)

              We the people are meant to have a little influence on how that money is allocated.

              Also, another way of looking at the school system is the way we look at social security, or perhaps backwards from social security. Instead of paying in first, then recieving benefit, we recieve benefit first (education) and pay in after (career).
              • I didn't say that one shouldn't have influence in how that money is allocated - but that influence is in the form of elected representatives, not outright democracy.
          • If this is the case, could you please tell me why I have to pay for someone elses kids to be taught something I don't approve of and to teach my kids something I do approve of?

            It seems noteworthy that it is even worth mentioning, but the very attitude that truth needs your approval is at the core of what is wrong with education. You have an interest in seeing that what is taught is true, yes. Whether you "approve" of certain facts or not makes you funny, at best, or evil, at worst. Get over it.
            • Ah, but isn't that the problem with the "relative morality" that's being taught these days? My children could be taught anything at all and facts don't come into that equation anywhere.

              My children can be asked about their sex lives and the tender age of six. If I don't approve of that, if I believe that childhood innocence is a something to cherish and that children shouldn't be forced to grow up too fast, apparently I can just go to hell, because the public school I support can do anything it please
              • Well no, the public school can't just "do anything they want" with the children under their care. I suggest you are exaggerating. In terms of having rights, children have more constitutional protection in public schools than they do in private schools. Truely, it is in the private schools that anything goes...

                In terms of having input to school curricula, consider that I'm living in a state where the powers that be have declared "Intelligent Design" to be a science topic by redefining "science" so that it
    • You aren't special because you managed to stick tab a into tab b.

      Not to nitpick, but I don't believe you'll get a kid that way. :-D
    • You aren't special because you managed to stick tab a into tab b. It takes no effort to create a child. We shouldn't reward you with a louder voice.

      It's not about being special. It's about being valuable. In 100 years you and I will be dead, and the only people alive will be those that are descended from those who had kids.

      Those who can't vote aren't people. If children are people, and we want the government and the politicians to value them, we'll give them the vote.

      As to your specific objection--what a
      • Children aren't capable of deciding for themselves how to be governed. Furthermore under the law, children are effectively property. They cannot enter into contracts, they cannot be employed, their parents make practically every decision for them. You're suggesting that we give all of the benefits of adulthood without the responsibilities that come with them.
        • Children can enter into contracts. They can cause contracts to be automatically voided, so long as those contracts are not for necessities.

          Children can be employed -- how many children work in the family business, or volunteer their time, or get a paper route, or work as child stars.

          Children are also subject to being treated as adults in various court matters.

          And, there are adults who can vote but cannot legally enter contracts, adults who are not able to be employed, and adults who can not make day to day
          • My mistake on the child employment - I should have said "With few exceptions, children can't be employed."

            Voting is a benefit and a responsibility, it requires more responsibility and experience than children have. A child isn't going to care what the tax rates are, nor whether the death penalty is legal in his state. All your proposal does is give parents a louder voice in politics solely because they're parents.

            But then, I suppose, all animals are equal, it's just that some are more equal than others, rig
            • . All your proposal does is give parents a louder voice in politics solely because they're parents.

              You're ignoring the benefits of a more moderate passage -- that as soon as young adults start thinking about government and understanding anything at all, they will start being able to express their votes. Go ahead and do away with it by proxy, or lower the voting age only to the minimum age that a child can be employeed at all. But let's not expect Americans to suddenly learn how to vote at the same time th
              • You're ignoring the benefits of a more moderate passage -- that as soon as young adults start thinking about government and understanding anything at all, they will start being able to express their votes.

                Even worse, now our elections will be decided by the parents who can most easily bribe their children into voting for the candidate of the parent's choice. Lovely.
                • Even worse, now our elections will be decided by the parents who can most easily bribe their children into voting for the candidate of the parent's choice. Lovely.

                  Replace "parents" with "rich people" and "children" with "ordinary citizens" and you've got what we have today.

                  Sorry, your argument still isn't cognizent enough to justify denying the start of the voting age until the worst possible time to form a new annual habit.
                  • Replace "parents" with "rich people" and "children" with "ordinary citizens" and you've got what we have today.

                    I've never been bribed for my vote, and even if someone tried - because we've got anonymous ballots, they have no hold over my vote. Children are supported by their parents materially, the risk of coercion is far greater than any nebulous rich person could hope to create.

                    Sorry, your argument still isn't cognizent enough to justify denying the start of the voting age until the worst possible time to
                    • Sorry, but the responsibility for teaching your children to vote yearly lays upon your head. It isn't societies responsibility to do it for you.

                      By the time they CAN vote, they're no longer children and it would be out of my hands.

                      If you want reasons to extend sufferage to children, I'm more than happy to supply.
                      1. Voting is a human right. Denying anyone the vote should be done as a matter of last resort, not a matter of course. (That is, if there aren't compelling reasons to keep suffurage from ANYONE, chil
                    • Voting is a human right. Denying anyone the vote should be done as a matter of last resort, not a matter of course.

                      Voting is not a human right it is a responsibility arising from our form of government. It has been suppressed in the past by other nations, and has been used very recently to bring forth an absolute monarchy in Liechtenstein. That we elevate and revere it in our country doesn't make it a right. It is a privilege that the government can take away in certain cases.

                      Society is better served when w
                    • Voting is not a human right it is a responsibility arising from our form of government.

                      All forms of government are democratic, some are just more informal than others.

                      Society is better served when we have a higher proportion of educated citizens participating in the democratic process

                      So, you're in favor of a basic competency test to vote. Sure, sounds good to me. But if I'm a really smart 14-year old, why can't I try to pass it and vote?

                      Felons are taxed, and in most states are unable to vote - why aren't
                    • All forms of government are democratic, some are just more informal than others.

                      It doesn't follow that a totalitarian dictatorship is a democratic government because the people could rise up en masse to throw it off.

                      So, you're in favor of a basic competency test to vote. Sure, sounds good to me. But if I'm a really smart 14-year old, why can't I try to pass it and vote?

                      No, I'm in favour of a basic competency test for majority. If you can't pass, you can't vote, you can't drive, you can't drink, you can't se
                    • Children can't leave, can't get jobs of their own, and barring extreme circumstances cannot merely leave.

                      Few children ever really try it, but emancipating oneself from one's parents is about as difficult as getting a divorce when your spouse controls the money and doesn't want you to get one.

                      And in NY at least, any child over the age of 14 can just pack up and say "I'm going to live wiht Steve's Mom", and so long as Steve's Mom is OK with it they can go and do just that.
                    • Few children ever really try it, but emancipating oneself from one's parents is about as difficult as getting a divorce when your spouse controls the money and doesn't want you to get one.

                      The person seeking divorce is still capable of independent action, if we were to take the spouse away - the person seeking divorce would be able to survive on their own as a functioning member of society (in some capacity), the same cannot be said for children.

                      And in NY at least, any child over the age of 14 can just pack
                    • You didn't, however, your plan gives parents additional voice in government at the expense of everyone else. You keep arguing equality, but your idea gives special rights to a class of people. That's a brilliant way to run a democracy.

                      You're not arguing about parents, you're arguing about children. Allowing proxy votes in the general population is a controversial issue, and I wouldn't see a problem in simply tossing it aside. (And I'm not arguing equality, I'm arguing insufficient catagorical difference.
                    • I'm arguing both. First children are given special protections by the government that adults are not - allowing them to make adult choices while not exposing them to the adult consequences is unlikely to produce well-rounded productive citizens. Second, giving an artificially inflated voice to anyone is disasterous to the democracy - how can we have equal rights if we don't have an equal say in how the government is run? Not to mention the technical difficulties of preventing voter-fraud when some people ca
                    • Well under the wrong circumstances, you can be jailed. What about the "self-evident" right to Liberty? Likewise, under the wrong circumstances, your life can be taken away. So there went Life, & Liberty. So using your model, anything that isn't absolute isn't a right, there are no rights. Nice try. But you paint with too broad a brush, and take everything down into nilism to remove one splachy area.
                    • Yes, how can we have equal rights without having an equal say? That is the point. And all these people who aren't allowed to have an equal say do seem to be coming up short in terms of their rights. That is the point. So you must agree that it seems likely that lowering the voting age would increase the participation and the protection of those who will thereby have their equal say?

                      The idea isn't to artifically inflate someone's voice, but rather to deflate the artifical distinction that some citizen
                    • Children don't have equal rights under the law. They are privileged in that they get special protections and exemptions that the rest of us do not. As a privileged class, they don't get the benefits and responsibilities that we do. The only way to give them an "equal voice", would be to strip away their protections, and that would return us to child labour and other social vices.

                      The concept of proxy voting is indeed about artificially inflating someone's voice in government. Our government enshrines proxy v
                    • Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are self-evident rights that even non-republican philosophers could support. That the legitimacy of government comes from the consent of the governed does not make the ability to vote a right, it is is a privilege and responsibility. One could posit a society that respected the self-evident rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without the body-politic involvement in the running of the nation. For instance, Liechtenstein, it's now a minimally consti
                    • Well then I suppose, following your line of thought, that breathing air is really a "privilege and responsibility". I also disagree that "power of itself is not a right". Power and self-determination are at the very core of all these "rights", (or "privileges and responsibilities", as you prefer to refer to them). The US Constitution, at least, was set up for the purpose of insuring a ballance of power.
                    • I can imagine a world where children can vote without being required to work in sweat shops. I can even imagine a world where sweatshops are outlawed. It seems to me that allowing parents to vote their children's "shares" would dilute, if not invalidate the whole idea of giving children the vote. I wonder if it isn't somewhat akin to suggesting that women shouldn't vote, since they were a special protected class?
  • All counted people shall be issued, at no charge, an official voter identification card for the purposes of voting. No vote shall be considered valid without presentation of said card.

    Really, what is so bloody difficult about having to show valid ID in order to cast a vote?
    • Really, what is so bloody difficult about having to show valid ID in order to cast a vote?

      It does one of two things, depending on one's point of view:
      1. It removes all doubt as to whether a person may vote. Those that enjoy the benefits of the vague-ness are obviously opposed. They invent some crap about people not being able to vote if they can't produce their ID. (Never mind the fact that if the person really wanted to vote, s/he would actually keep track of such things.)
      2. It is open to being counterfeit
  • Let's given children the vote. All children, even newborns.

    So... According to your proposition, I would be able to vote for me and for each of my three boys, until they are old enough to do it themselves.

    You've got to be kidding. Children are too easily swayed by others to be able to make wise decisions on their own. If anything, I would propose raising the voting age to around 40, since the life expectancy is so high, and many adults seem to be immature, too. (Of course, a requirement for 40 years-of-
    • So... According to your proposition, I would be able to vote for me and for each of my three boys, until they are old enough to do it themselves.

      Yep. But that's really the second point--the more important matter is that those boys won't have to wait to vote--they can start voting for themselves as soon as they decide they want to.

      You've got to be kidding. Children are too easily swayed by others to be able to make wise decisions on their own. If anything, I would propose raising the voting age to around 40
      • Heh. I don't see 40-year-olds being any less swayable. Nor 65+, 100+, and so on.

        Maybe you'd get me to agree about the 40 year-olds, but after that, people can get pretty cantankerous. (however that's spelled....)

        After a while, we just don't give a rat's patootie what anyone thinks. I'm pretty close to that attitude, and I'm "only" 38.

        In the mean time, between us, I think we've pretty much come up with one solid fact: nobody should vote because they're all swayable.

        Personally, I favor the Two-term rule fo
  • If they are not smart enough to vote then they must not be smart to know what laws are good. Therefore any, I mean any, I mean to "tried as an adult," I mean "laws don't apply" because they have no idea of right and wrong.
    200 years ago blacks were nominally human. Now people know that are real people. Not fake people whose sole purpose is to increase votes for southern states.
    Yes children can be swayed by parents but anyone can be swayed by anyone.
    Why some arbitary age? Does wisdom magically become useful o

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