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 Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)

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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   16.05.08 15:01

Something that really gets on my nerves about the world is that I'm denied the right to vote simply because I'm under 18. I could evaluate the issues and make an informed vote better than a lot of adults (the Votes of the Ignorant?), but I'm not allowed to vote.

So the question is this: At what age should people be allowed to vote? The system would have to be safeqaurded of course from Parents/Guardians/Whoever using their childrens votes. Maybe that could be accomplished by having the voting done at school, for instance.

So what age? I'd suggest as soon as people are aware of the Issues and can make an informed descision.


Last edited by NoMoreLies on 27.10.08 7:29; edited 1 time in total
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   17.05.08 12:25

think everyone should have the right to vote, which will start as soon as they take a test that shows they have a basic understanding.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   18.05.08 5:58

I had a similar idea.

The question is: when will they take the test? As soon as it is deemed they are ready? Per year?

What willl the test be like? Will it be:


  • Do they understand the types of government (Capitalist, Socialist, etc)
  • Can they comprehend Democracy
  • Do they have a grasp on the Issues


Once we know what we need we can make a test.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   18.05.08 12:48

If all voters are tested in this manner you'd lose far more voters over 18 than you'd gain under that age.
Perhaps if you consider the moderated voting forms discussed in the other voting thread, something similar might be devised that could be applicable for all ages. Alternatively, and far more simply, voting age is reduced to 12 with every vote counted as a half vote until 18, as an introduction to democracy in schools. In the run up to an election classes could be held to research the issues and the candidates, then whole classes are taken to vote.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   19.05.08 0:06

That is a very good suggestion; teaching kids how to research issues and pick good candidates, etc. I like that one a lot.

I think you have to be careful with this minimum voting age issue. Younger voters are generally accepted to be more susceptable to external influences; by their elders, peers, the media, etc. So there is not only the potential here for their vote to be manipulated, but in the process the child could also come to harm; either physically or otherwise. I don't think that we would want to see political media that targets children, for example.

- Mike
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   31.05.08 2:49

Political media is another thing entirely, the american system is highly unregulated and money based but many other countries already have strict controls on print and broadcast political advertising. Of course the internet is destroying all that as I write.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   31.05.08 8:54

Where does Education end and Indoctrination begin? Not sure, but we've already passed that line.

Children are already targetted by the media at the moment for when they grow up and are allowed to vote.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   22.07.08 10:49

Quote :
If all voters are tested in this manner you'd lose far more voters over 18 than you'd gain under that age.
Perhaps if you consider the moderated voting forms discussed in the other voting thread, something similar might be devised that could be applicable for all ages. Alternatively, and far more simply, voting age is reduced to 12 with every vote counted as a half vote until 18, as an introduction to democracy in schools. In the run up to an election classes could be held to research the issues and the candidates, then whole classes are taken to vote.

I can just see teachers revelling in their ability to sway elections with their control of 10+ votes each.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   24.07.08 3:12

Why would teachers have control of 10+ votes? Votes *are* done in secret.

If a teacher is indoctrinating their pupils, then it's simple: they should be sacked for gross negligence. If they can't be trusted with the responsibility of teaching the next generation, then they can't do it. Simple.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   24.07.08 13:08

How would anyone know if the teachers are indoctrinating their students? The votes are done in secret. If someone suspected another teacher, they would have to recount the votes, and see who each student voted for. Unless I'm mistaken, votes will be done anonymously.

In addition, most of the time the teachers would assume they're doing the right thing; teaching the kids who the right candidate is to give their support.

The teachers would still have control of more than their own vote. What would a democracy controlled by teachers be called? Very Happy
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   25.07.08 3:18

Where are these wonderful classrooms where all twenty pupils do exactly what their teacher tells them to even when their not being watched?
Out side of the kansas school board I don't think there will be many who would see directing voting towards the correct candidate a valid part of democracy 101.
That said, maintaining vote independance is a problem in many close knit communities, though it can also just mean they share similar values.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.07.08 11:28

If the teacher is inspected and they are telling the students to vote for a particular candidate, or they are judged to be teaching a biased viewpoint, then cautions leasding on to sacking should be used.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.08.08 5:57

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/age-turnout-and-voteshtml.php
Perhaps it would be better to start with those who can already vote before trying to get the under 18's to vote.
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davamanr
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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   11.09.08 4:19

Very interesting subject.
Our society has established an arbitrary age of adulthood at 18. But this is still a fuzzy area. You can drive at 16, join the military and die for your country at 17, be tried as an adult for certain crimes at a state determined age below 18, consent to sex at a state determined age below 18, but not drink until you're 21! Yep, it sucks!
The problem is for every insightful, intelligent, emotionally mature young man of Tobias' age, there's a socially irresponsible 25 year old idiot ruining it for everybody!
It's unrealistic to evaluate every single person to determine their mental age, so society just decided to simplify it with the arbitrary age of 18. That however is progress because prior to 1971 the voting age was 21!
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   11.09.08 20:44

You make an excellent point, it is unrealistic to evaluate everyone, we must make an arbitrary age for certain things.

In response to teachers influencing kids, remember how impressionable young kids are. They're not hard to convince.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.09.08 2:18

Tobias,
Major faux pas on my part! I was looking at some other threads and discovered that you are British! Oops! My comments were referring to American society! Please pardon this ugly American!
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.09.08 14:34

I believe that the advent of the internet will make determining who's responsible and who's not that much easier.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.09.08 15:06

I'm not sure about that, but the internet will definitely allow people to make more informed choices when voting.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.09.08 15:34

Or at least allow voters to believe themselves better informed. One of the more disturbing trends of high information society is the migration of like to like. Conservative people read conservative papers, watch conservative news, browse conservative blogs and news sites while liberal people in turn consume their own liberal media. The vast choice on offer allows everybody to engage with only the facts and opinions that they themselves agree with creating a self reinforcing positive feedback in the political system. Thus is created deeply partisan politics and a segregated america where no one is trully informed because everyone consumes their own personally tailored brand of truth. With 3 minutes of commercials.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   12.09.08 20:22

lkm wrote:
Or at least allow voters to believe themselves better informed. One of the more disturbing trends of high information society is the migration of like to like. Conservative people read conservative papers, watch conservative news, browse conservative blogs and news sites while liberal people in turn consume their own liberal media. The vast choice on offer allows everybody to engage with only the facts and opinions that they themselves agree with creating a self reinforcing positive feedback in the political system. Thus is created deeply partisan politics and a segregated america where no one is trully informed because everyone consumes their own personally tailored brand of truth. With 3 minutes of commercials.

Scary, ain't it?!? It was mentioned before about how teachers can influence impressionable kids. I'm more scared about how religion can influence impressionable adults!
I believe the mainstream of our society are REASONABLY rational people that aren't completely conned by the outspoken ramblings of the fringe. I believe that the mainstream can see when either side goes too far and will pull them back to the moderate middle. We need progress, so we can't keep things the same, but we can't progress too fast or society can't adjust.

So when are they gonna come out with that hybrid Hummer?!? LOL
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 4:40

how can people determine the middle ground if the media they consume is already biased to their belief system?
Who determines when progress is too fast?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 7:04

If the media they consume is biased toward their belief system then consume media of the other belief system and compare. Find out what's valid and what's not and then find a concensus on what's valid.
Pretty much society determines when progress is too fast naturally! During the fifties the US was pretty oppressed by the conservative attempt to return the country to the way it was before WW2. Rosie the Riveter was expected to go back to being barefoot and pregnant, people were expected to love Jesus and the flag, and blindly obeying the government and if they questioned what they were told, they were accused of being communist.
The fear lasted until the sixties when the baby boomers saw their parents paralyzed with fear. So they looked at the situation and realized they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't so they did. They did premarital sex, drugs, and told the government to stick their war. They questioned everything and there were no good answers so they threw everything out.
Now there was the seventies. Drug overdoses, AIDS, no gas, runaway inflation
In the fifties not enough change. In the sixties and seventies, too much, and in the eighties another social slowdown.
IMHO the primary reason Kerry didn't get elected in 2004 was the gay marriage issue it was pushed too hard too soon.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 8:40

How do you make people consume the media that's good for them and not just the stuff the want? If some one wants to get all their news from FOX how do you stop them?
I would agree about Kerry but not for the reason you suppose. Gay marriage was used to get evangelical voters out to vote on state bans who then voted for bush while they were there. The bans failed because opinion was already ahead on the issue.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 9:40

It's not a matter of making the closed minded people listen. They're a lost cause, it's the open minded people that can be reasoned with.
As for Kerry, what you said was a pretty fair assessment. Either way it worked. If gay marriage hadn't been at the forefront of the news, Kerry might have won. Now the hilarious thing is the Craig and Foley scandals! what a bunch of hypocrites!!
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 9:56

I personally think that what might help would be to make the candidates anonymous, and only reveal who they are once elected. In other words, just show their viewpoints on the issues, maybe release one of their speeches, but only audio. That way, racial, genderal, and party biases can be negated.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 10:28

Heck, if they just stuck to the issues instead of mudslinging and badmouthing, or tooting their own horn, it would help!!
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 10:58

but we'll have to be a little realistic here Smile
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 11:15

To be fair, you're not electing a set of issues, you are electing leadership and decision making skills, personal qualities beyond mere position papers. The ability to make a good decision with limited information and time is far more important.
And you can not judge that just based their ability to speak cogently for 60 minutes.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 12:03

Maybe that's true, but do we really elect for that now?

And how many times does a president have to answer "that 3 AM Call" ? Mostly its problems where good judgment is better than quick judgment. That can be judged from their views. If they do need to answer the "3 AM phone call", There will always be advisers.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   13.09.08 16:56

A good example for what I'm talking about is the current british PM, a very clever intelligent thoughtful man. But without a shread of ability in making these quick day to day decisions, the man just has no political luck and a total inability to make a good choice to save himself. He is renowned for prevaricating and puting off making a choice to the detriment of all time and time again. It's tragic, it really is. But it is something no won could have guessed from his views alone.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   27.09.08 10:36

I'm half british, half american by the way.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   27.09.08 12:53

Ah, but if and when you go to vote, what country will it be in?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   28.09.08 13:35

And do you refer to it as the American Revolution, or Colonial High Treason?!? LOL!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 3:26

It would be the colonial civil war, if you please.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 12:52

My, my, aren't we being proper! La-dee-da!! LOL!!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 13:27

Or, if you prefer, Britain's Vietnam. Which is actually a very apt historical comparrison.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 13:38

VERY apt comparison. You would think that the US would have remembered that historical lesson when they fought in Viet Nam, but instead they made the same mistake that several countries have made trying to fight conventionally when the enemy is fighting unconventionally.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 16:28

More than just the prospect of guerilla warfare, it was a war fought on a far flung shore, over difficult and unfamiliar terrain against an idealogically motivated movement that had the sympathy and support off an undetermine percentage of the local population and was being backed militarily both overtly and covertly, by a rival world power. Doesn't that sound pretty much like a description of Vietnam?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 16:52

Hey, I'm not arguing! It's amazing how this lesson has to be relearned time and time again. The Soviets didn't think that Afghanistan would end up like Viet Nam and yet it did. It would be nice if our military leaders showed a little bit of humility and acknowledged this reality.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 17:50

Except of course, with hindsight, it was a costly mistake to cut and run in America when if we'd stuck it out and devoted the resourses required it would have rewarded the empire a thousand times over. So the lesson actually is to stick it out because the reward will be worth it in the end. Except I think that might not be what you mean.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   29.09.08 18:39

Six of one half a dozen of the other. You might have held on to the colonies temporarily, but then France would have defeated you in your depleted state in the Napoleonic War. Plus the British colonies were only a small part of the present day United States, so it's questionable about how rewarding the endeavor would be.
Also, You guys really haven't done too much with Canada so what makes ya think ya woulda done any better with the American colonies?!?!? Just kidding!!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.09.08 3:09

France was far too over extended financially to go on much longer providing military support and would have been forced to withdraw by a good defeat. Without the success in America there would have been no french revolution, without the french revolution, no Napoleon, no Napoleonic wars, no hundreds of thousands dead across Europe. The growth of America would have been moderated with greater power going to the native Americans, given the necessity of maintaining a balance of power in the continent. Colonial expansion would have secured the rest of the continent, probably before the USA managed it. Obviously there would have been no hundreds of thousands dead in the civil war but also the first and thus second world war would seem unlikely. I would say that was worthwhile.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.09.08 7:39

Well, we really are dealing with hypotheticals. There may be historians who have enough detailed knowledge to make more accurate predictions than we can to truly answer these "what ifs" accurately. What I look at in history is what actually happened and and what hard lesson can be learned from them, and not just one circumstance but many.
Can a guerrilla force be defeated? Of course but at what price. My guess is in the "Colonial Unpleasantness" (how about that for a name?) there were many more factors that Britain had to consider before finally deciding "screw it, this colony isn't worth it."
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.09.08 15:39

What if Scotland had secured its independence and never been a part of Great Britain? Or what if Northern Ireland was granted its independence? Could there have been lives saved? Yes or maybe no, maybe this could have led to even more war and hostility. We can never be certain. I think it's unfair to draw huge sweeping conclusions.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.09.08 16:28

Where would the fun be in that?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   30.09.08 23:03

Touche Very Happy
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   06.10.08 12:17

I would also like to point out, for the sake of historical accuracy, that Scotland took over England, not the reverse. I'm not sure how it could have secured independence from itself.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   06.10.08 20:18

I suppose you could consider a joint treaty between England and Scotland a takeover by the latter, due to the king being Scottish.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   11.10.08 5:59

How the hell did you get onto Vietnam then Sotland?

I'll vote in both, thank you very much!


Er... has anyone got anything else to add to the topic, or are we in a consensus of a test to decide whether someone's able to vote?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Democracy: Minimum voting age (and for everything else)   11.10.08 7:56

The main problem with a test is that it's a perfect way to way to skew the vote towards who ever controls the system. You just have to look at the Florida 2000 voting scandal to see how an incumbant political machine can use such legitimate control on a system to manipulate a desired result. If voters were faced with some sort of test then it wouldn't take much deviousness to demographically skew it against the support base of your opposition, and even if it wasn't deliberate it's easy to see lawyers lining up to argue that the voter test was culturally biased against some constituency.
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