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Source: (consider it) Thread: Universal Suffrage
Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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Prompted by today's centenary ...

Question: who should be entitled to vote? Or, what basis could there be for restricting the right to vote?

I've said this before, but I'll just repeat my views. IMO, anyone who is legally allowed to work and pay taxes should be entitled to vote. That would extend the vote to all legal immigrants, and extend the vote to 16 & 17 year olds. I can't see any valid reason for preventing someone from voting, and still requiring them to pay taxes.

I'm uncomfortable with allowing people who have decided to live in other nations, and pay taxes there, to continue to have the vote - they should be able to vote where they have chosen to live.

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Anglican't
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Do you believe that a sixteen year old should be able to buy a packet of cigarettes or book a session in a tanning salon, if he so chooses?

Presumably sixteen year olds are paying the same kind of taxes as twelve year olds? Why should the latter be denied the franchise?

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Alan Cresswell

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In the UK at least, a 16 year old could be employed full-time (40h per week) and pay taxes through PAYE, a 13 year old can only work part time.

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Arethosemyfeet
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Those who must obey the law should have a say in the making of the law. It seems to me that this means the voting age should align with the age of criminal responsibility. Intellectual capacity can not itself be used to deny someone the vote and age shouldn't be used as a proxy for it.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the UK at least, a 16 year old could be employed full-time (40h per week) and pay taxes through PAYE, a 13 year old can only work part time.

I thought the school leaving age had been raised to 18?
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simontoad
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leave it how it is but make it compulsory. Linking it to paying tax strikes me as distressingly Bostonian.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It seems to me that this means the voting age should align with the age of criminal responsibility.

That would certainly make school play time interesting.
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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the UK at least, a 16 year old could be employed full-time (40h per week) and pay taxes through PAYE, a 13 year old can only work part time.

I used to think the PAYE argument was a clincher until I met the "should 16 year olds be allowed to do jury service' counter argument. I therefore conclude that, rather than give 16 year olds the vote we should exempt them from income tax until they reach 18.

The "oh, but a child buying sweets pays taxes" is pure sophistry, IMO. A child buying sweets is generally paying for them with their parents money, not their own. So it's me or Mrs Callan who is paying taxes when Young Madam goes to the sweetshop and we both have the vote.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I used to think the PAYE argument was a clincher until I met the "should 16 year olds be allowed to do jury service' counter argument.

Though, it's possible for a 16 or 17 year to be tried in an adult court before a jury. If that is to be a "jury of their peers" then surely 16 or 17 year olds should be allowed to do jury service.

Besides which, how many 18+ actually do jury service? Perhaps we shouldn't be allowed to vote until we've sat on a jury?

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I used to think the PAYE argument was a clincher until I met the "should 16 year olds be allowed to do jury service' counter argument. I therefore conclude that, rather than give 16 year olds the vote we should exempt them from income tax until they reach 18.

Even granting the premise, I don't see why voting and jury duty should be considered equivalent. A major justification for voting is that people should govern themselves or have a say in how they are governed: it doesn't seem unreasonable to give people responsibility for governing themselves before one gives them responsibility to dispose of other people.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I'm uncomfortable with allowing people who have decided to live in other nations, and pay taxes there, to continue to have the vote - they should be able to vote where they have chosen to live.

On the other hand, it seems to me an injustice that UK citizens living in other EU nations were not given a vote in the Brexit referendum.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I'm uncomfortable with allowing people who have decided to live in other nations, and pay taxes there, to continue to have the vote - they should be able to vote where they have chosen to live.

On the other hand, it seems to me an injustice that UK citizens living in other EU nations were not given a vote in the Brexit referendum.
Another sop to Euro-septics. In the normal course of events British citizens can vote in UK elections for up to 15 years after the move abroad.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I used to think the PAYE argument was a clincher until I met the "should 16 year olds be allowed to do jury service' counter argument. I therefore conclude that, rather than give 16 year olds the vote we should exempt them from income tax until they reach 18.

Even granting the premise, I don't see why voting and jury duty should be considered equivalent. A major justification for voting is that people should govern themselves or have a say in how they are governed: it doesn't seem unreasonable to give people responsibility for governing themselves before one gives them responsibility to dispose of other people.
Probably because I think that the transition from childhood to adulthood ought to be a thing (this is my response to Alan, as well) and that therefore there ought to be a collection of rights and duties that kick in at a certain age. One could certainly make a case for said rights and duties kicking in at various different ages. I don't agree with that, but it's a possibility. I think that either we ought to say that people are grown up at 16 or 18 and calibrate their rights and responsibilities accordingly. I don't think we should say that you should pay tax and, absolutely, you can join the army but you shouldn't have a vote, buy fags and booze or, indeed, enter a tanning salon or have a gig on a jury. I think that is the state having it's cake and eating it. My suspicion is that the votes for 16yo is that some people believe that this would deliver the right result in elections. Much as I would like to see the Tories in opposition and Brexit not happen this isn't a reason to give the franchise to people whom we don't trust to make important decisions because they might make decisions we approve of in one particular case.

So my view is that you change the tax laws to reflect the age or majority rather than move the age of majority down. YMMV

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Tortuf
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When I was growing up the argument for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 was "If someone is old enough to be drafted and risk their life fighting for our country, they ought to be able to vote."

The argument against was "They just aren't mature enough to be able to thoughtfully vote until they are 21."

Secure the border arguments now include an argument to the effect that an illegal alien might be influencing our elections if we don't keep them out.

That argument doesn't seem to encompass Russians, but that is another argument for another day.

From my point of view there is a fair amount of risk involved in voting when you are an illegal alien. You might well get caught and deported, losing what you are wanting to vote to keep.

So here, anyway, the qualification to vote involves being a citizen. By far the most common route to citizenship is coming out of a birth canal on US territory. In other words, I literally had nothing to do with being a US citizen.

People who want to become citizens have to know about our geography, our history, be proficient in English, etc., etc. Many people I know of who vote could not identify a state from its outline; could not put together a coherent thought, much less a coherent sentence, and; could not tell you any fact about US history that they had not just heard on Fox News.

From my point of view let all the foreigners want to vote become citizens and have the damn vote.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
The argument against was "They just aren't mature enough to be able to thoughtfully vote until they are 21."

And, the same argument (replace "21" with "18") is made in relation to lowering the voting age to 16.

In Scotland the voting age is already 16 for our Parliament and local elections (though still 18 for UK Wastemonster and EU elections, and the EU referendum), and I understand that Wales is also moving towards a lower voting age. I can say that having experienced political discourse from 16 & 17 year olds in the 2014 Indy Referendum (albeit mostly by TV reporting) and during subsequent Holyrood and local elections has been that many of these young people are more aware of issues, have better formulated opinions (even if I disagree with them) and are more fully engaged with the political process than adults twice their age.

If we're going to establish a "maturity threshold" or "thoughtfulness requirement" then by all means devise a means of measuring that and then apply it to everyone - you'll get a lot of 16 & 17 year olds (and probably younger) passing and a lot of older folk failing.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:


If we're going to establish a "maturity threshold" or "thoughtfulness requirement" then by all means devise a means of measuring that and then apply it to everyone - you'll get a lot of 16 & 17 year olds (and probably younger) passing and a lot of older folk failing.

I'm open to a universal age of rights and responsibilities. If we want votes at 16, then that should be the age for alcohol, the front line, tanning, cigarettes and criminal responsibility.

[ 06. February 2018, 13:30: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
it doesn't seem unreasonable to give people responsibility for governing themselves before one gives them responsibility to dispose of other people.

Voting is governing other people. Governing yourself would be managing your own finances, accommodation, schedule and so on. It's easy enough to argue that that doesn't apply to most people who live at home with Mum and Dad.

Re Alan's point about voting, residence, and taxes, the current arrangements are that you may vote in the UK for 15 years after you have moved abroad. I think that's too long.

I tend to think that the people able to vote should be those with a long-term commitment to the place in which they are voting. I would not expect to move to a different country temporarily and vote there, even though I would expect to pay taxes there, because I'm using the services.

In regard to UK citizens living abroad, I'd be comfortable with a 3-5 year limit. That way, people who are temporarily abroad for work can vote, which I think is the right thing to do.

When you move to a new country, acquiring its citizenship is a pretty good sign that you have some kind of long-term commitment to it, and seems to me like a perfectly good reason to not allow non-citizens to vote.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:

The argument against was "They just aren't mature enough to be able to thoughtfully vote until they are 21."

A recent article in The Lancet suggests people are adolescent to age 25.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I used to think the PAYE argument was a clincher until I met the "should 16 year olds be allowed to do jury service' counter argument.

Though, it's possible for a 16 or 17 year to be tried in an adult court before a jury. If that is to be a "jury of their peers" then surely 16 or 17 year olds should be allowed to do jury service.

Besides which, how many 18+ actually do jury service? Perhaps we shouldn't be allowed to vote until we've sat on a jury?

All this presumes a simple black and white view of human development. Varied levels of responsibility more reflect how we develop than a single age or straight reciprocal at particular ages.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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jbohn
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
All this presumes a simple black and white view of human development. Varied levels of responsibility more reflect how we develop than a single age or straight reciprocal at particular ages.

This.

I have an 11 year old niece who could probably do a reasonable job of choosing a candidate in an election. I also have friends in their 40s who get all their news from Facebook and conspiracy websites and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the polls.

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We are punished by our sins, not for them.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by jbohn:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
All this presumes a simple black and white view of human development. Varied levels of responsibility more reflect how we develop than a single age or straight reciprocal at particular ages.

This.

I have an 11 year old niece who could probably do a reasonable job of choosing a candidate in an election. I also have friends in their 40s who get all their news from Facebook and conspiracy websites and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the polls.

The problem here is that once you've established the principle that certain people are not worthy of self-government you run into the problem of determining which group everyone falls into, which historically has been problematic, to say the least. If political power is on the line, selective disenfranchisement is a fairly obvious move. Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Tortuf
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A recent article in The Lancet suggests people are adolescent to age 25.

Shit. I was adolescent until 40.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by jbohn:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
All this presumes a simple black and white view of human development. Varied levels of responsibility more reflect how we develop than a single age or straight reciprocal at particular ages.

This.

I have an 11 year old niece who could probably do a reasonable job of choosing a candidate in an election. I also have friends in their 40s who get all their news from Facebook and conspiracy websites and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the polls.

The problem here is that once you've established the principle that certain people are not worthy of self-government you run into the problem of determining which group everyone falls into, which historically has been problematic, to say the least. If political power is on the line, selective disenfranchisement is a fairly obvious move. Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?
I'm sorry, that is silly. That does not parallel age as a factor in responsibility. A newborn is governed, but cannot make governing decisions. This makes sense. At some point, one is considered a full adult and should have all rights and privileges of same. This makes sense. In between is a huge set of variables for the vast majority of people.
It is well possible to be aware that killing is wrong and still not have the evaluative maturity to make a proper voting decision. A variable age, of some sort, make real sense. Though there is room for debate as to what age for which factor.

[ 06. February 2018, 16:25: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by jbohn:
I have an 11 year old niece who could probably do a reasonable job of choosing a candidate in an election. I also have friends in their 40s who get all their news from Facebook and conspiracy websites and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the polls.

The problem here is that once you've established the principle that certain people are not worthy of self-government you run into the problem of determining which group everyone falls into, which historically has been problematic, to say the least. If political power is on the line, selective disenfranchisement is a fairly obvious move. Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?
I'm sorry, that is silly. That does not parallel age as a factor in responsibility. A newborn is governed, but cannot make governing decisions. This makes sense. At some point, one is considered a full adult and should have all rights and privileges of same. This makes sense. In between is a huge set of variables for the vast majority of people.
It is well possible to be aware that killing is wrong and still not have the evaluative maturity to make a proper voting decision. A variable age, of some sort, make real sense. Though there is room for debate as to what age for which factor.

I'd agree that there are varying levels of judgment between different individuals, as jbohn suggests. I disagree that it's easy or non-controversial to assess that variability, except in extreme circumstances, other than by using age as a proxy. If you set up a system whereby the voting franchise (i.e. political power) is assigned according to someone's judgment of individual voter's level of "responsibility" the temptation for political meddling is overwhelming. Voters should choose their government. Governments should not (generally) be allowed to pick and choose their voters.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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Any line that divides people according to an arbitrary rule (eg: age, or length of time they've resided in the country) into those who can vote and those who can't will always exclude some who would be able to vote "responsibly" and include some who aren't. The question is, should we set those lines with the intent of trying to include as many of the responsible as possible, or to exclude as many of the irresponsible as possible?

Given that a large proportion of the irresponsible demonstrate that by not voting even if they can, I'd prefer to be inclusive.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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North East Quine

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Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Perhaps we shouldn't be allowed to vote until we've sat on a jury?
Solicitors are not allowed to sit on a jury. I assume it's because they would exert undue influence on the rest of the jury. Should we disenfranchise lawyers....? [Two face]
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
it doesn't seem unreasonable to give people responsibility for governing themselves before one gives them responsibility to dispose of other people.

Voting is governing other people.
The aim is government of the people by the people. Since one can't govern oneself without governing other people (personal finances are not the sense of self-government we're talking about here - that logic leads to restricting suffrage to property owners) one is choosing on behalf of other people. The hope is that in a decent electoral system(*) the self-centeredness of other people cancels out one's own self-centeredness.
(*) We may debate whether two-major party FPtP counts.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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simontoad
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Unless you make voting compulsory, it is likely that the youf will self-select. The ones
who like to sit at the front of the class will probably vote, while the ones who like to do stuff like they did on the show Jackass will probably try to drive a shopping trolley into a wall.

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Human

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Since one can't govern oneself without governing other people (personal finances are not the sense of self-government we're talking about here - that logic leads to restricting suffrage to property owners)

No, I don't think it does. There's nothing in that logic that says you have to own property. Someone who rents accommodation also has to govern their own lives. Someone who lives as a child in the household of their parents, on the other hand, may not exercise the same self-government (and yes, this applies to some adults as well.)

I don't mean to single out people with secure independent finances specifically - it's more a case of someone being self-governing if they are responsible for governing their everyday lives - that they are making choices about their schedule, meals, budget, and so on.

Putting qualifications on voting leads to all kinds of bad outcomes (Hello, US literacy tests for black voters); age as a proxy for independence has the benefit of being reasonably unbiased.

(This is also why I tend to oppose compulsory voting. If you can't go to the minimal effort required to cast your vote in the current system, I don't see how the political outcome will be improved by your participation.)

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Nicolemr
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The problem with a variable age for voting is, who would determine who was eligible at what point, and how could fairness ever be assured? There's some pretty ugly history on this side of the pond with literacy testing for voting.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the UK at least, a 16 year old could be employed full-time (40h per week) and pay taxes through PAYE, a 13 year old can only work part time.

There's no minimum age for paying tax in the UK. An under-16 who had enough income would pay tax on it- few would have such an income, but it's not impossible- either from savings or because they were some, i don't know, tech wiz. OTOH an under-18 on the minimum wage (£4.20ph from April 2018) is unlikely to be working enough hours a week (50+) to get above the annual income tax personal allowance of £11500 pa.
Mind you, of you want to go down the line of 'no representation without taxation', you're at least opening the door to it...

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the UK at least, a 16 year old could be employed full-time (40h per week) and pay taxes through PAYE, a 13 year old can only work part time.

There's no minimum age for paying tax in the UK. An under-16 who had enough income would pay tax on it- few would have such an income, but it's not impossible
It's very unlikely mainly due to hours. There simply aren't enough hours outside school. So, to earn more than pocket money someone would need to have something paying a very high hourly rate - that's going to be a very unusual situation. But, leave school at 16 and get a full-time job could be tax paying, it could mean independent living (money to leave home, or to pay full costs of living at home depending on income) ... certainly a significant shift from a paper round or Saturday morning stocking shelves at a supermarket. Certainly not everyone makes that move, a large number of young adults would continue in education post 16, but it's a possibility at 16 that's not a possibility at 15. Not that I've any objection to voting at 15 either ... but, there is that threshold of no longer being required to be at school and having the option of full time work and all the potential freedom and responsibilities that brings (responsibilities including paying tax).

And, of course, if we wished to follow the capability to engage sensibly with political issues then we need look no further than youth parliaments, with elected representatives as young as 11.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But, leave school at 16 and get a full-time job could be tax paying, it could mean independent living (money to leave home, or to pay full costs of living at home depending on income) ...

As you say, it's a possibility, but it's not so terribly likely. Most people stay in education; those who work are often still living in the role of a child at home - it's just that they go to a job rather than to school.

I agree with you that some are not, but if you're putting age-based limits on anything, you have to go with what is typical rather than what is possible.

16 is the start of the transition to adulthood. You can't drive a car, you can't marry without your parents' consent, take out loans, make a will, or sue someone in your own right. I'm not sure that I see the argument that the first thing that we should trust you with is determining the fate of the country.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But, leave school at 16 and get a full-time job could be tax paying, it could mean independent living (money to leave home, or to pay full costs of living at home depending on income) ...

As you say, it's a possibility, but it's not so terribly likely. Most people stay in education; those who work are often still living in the role of a child at home - it's just that they go to a job rather than to school.
Many of those who do work do so for the particular reason of knowing that the added income would make a big difference to household finances. Young people making the decision to leave education and set out on their own have shown maturity for voting. Young people making the decision to leave education to bring more income to the family home to help their parents and siblings have shown maturity. Young people who have decided to continue in education despite the costs to the family who could do with the added income ... well, you get the idea. I'm not sure the pampered kids of rich parents who just drift onto 16+ education because that's the route that the government has made the easiest, default, option have shown that maturity ... but I'd tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

quote:
I'm not sure that I see the argument that the first thing that we should trust you with is determining the fate of the country.
Of course, none of us "determine the fate of the country", we participate in the democratic process that results in the election of the people who run the country (or, the local authority) for a while. And, many young people will be actively involved in that. I was certainly discussing politics with my peers, had fairly well formed views, even though the election was 6 weeks before I turned 18 and so I was denied the option to take that final step of putting an x on a ballot paper. If I'd had that vote it wouldn't have made any difference to the 100+ Tory majority that year, it wouldn't have shaken the foundations of British politics anymore than any other vote I've ever had did.

But, we all want young adults to be more politically active. We want to hear them discuss their opinions, to bash out their ideas and develop their political views. We even teach them
citizenship at school to encourage them to do that ... then force them to wait at least two years before they have a chance to vote. Young adults are politically active already. Let them vote as well.

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simontoad
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What about people who don't earn enough to pay tax, or who live on the OAP/ disability benefits / unemployment benefits? Should they be excluded from voting because they pay no tax? I saw a docco on DW yesterday about a Hamburg pensioner who collects bottles and returns them for the deposit to make ends meet. How about that Merkel?

I recently had the idea of writing a musical called Angela! based on everybody's favorite Ossi. If I start now I might be able to put a proposal together by the time she leaves office, but I digress. Actually, I think I'll make it an opera.

I really don't like this idea of linking taxation to the right to vote. It smacks, as I mentioned before, of the loathsome and highly suspect ideas used to justify the American Revolution. It also has a nasty flavor of user-pays to it. I well remember the hatred that oozed from some of my conservative colleagues in the Young Liberals in the 1980's, and how they loved user-pays. Bastards like them used it to privatise everything that moved, and now we pay for it time and time again. Even our freaking roads are privatised.

No, user-pays, or payer-votes as in this iteration, is a very dangerous principle that will in the long run move us away from the Universal Franchise. Will companies vote next?
They pay tax. They're natural persons in America. [Roll Eyes]

No. The vote must be linked to citizenship and/or residence. Personally, I prefer citizenship and to mitigate injustice by extending the boundaries of that concept.

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
...(This is also why I tend to oppose compulsory voting. If you can't go to the minimal effort required to cast your vote in the current system, I don't see how the political outcome will be improved by your participation.)

Agreed. I think I've missed one local election in the years I've been eligible to vote, and I try to know something about the candidates and issues before I cast a ballot. If someone doesn't care enough even to go to the effort of visiting a polling place, how does it benefit anyone to make them do it?

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I really don't like this idea of linking taxation to the right to vote. It smacks, as I mentioned before, of the loathsome and highly suspect ideas used to justify the American Revolution.

Yes, you did mention that before. It's loathsome to think that a population subject to taxes should have some say in the legislature that determines the nature and level of that burden?
quote:
Will companies vote next?
They pay tax. They're natural persons in America. [Roll Eyes]

Do you not understand the status of companies in the US, or do you just not understand the meaning of the term "natural person"?
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'd agree that there are varying levels of judgment between different individuals, as jbohn suggests.

That is not what I’m saying. I’m saying that setting varying responsibilities by varying age groups, as we do now, makes sense. Though, I’d argue some of the current determinations.
Assigning by individual readiness is impossible. But by average level of responsibility at certain ages isn’t.

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simontoad
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What's the position then Dave? There's some sort of craziness involving the status of companies in the US. Don't they qualify for human rights or something?

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
What's the position then Dave? There's some sort of craziness involving the status of companies in the US. Don't they qualify for human rights or something?

Yeah, that's what I thought.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:



No, user-pays, or payer-votes as in this iteration, is a very dangerous principle that will in the long run move us away from the Universal Franchise. Will companies vote next?
They pay tax. They're natural persons in America. [Roll Eyes]

That was naughty of you (as was much else of what you said). Many reading this would not have realised that you weren't being entirely serious.

Yes, a company (or corporation, call it what you will) is a legal person, although not a natural one. It always has been and probably always will.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
What about people who don't earn enough to pay tax, or who live on the OAP/ disability benefits / unemployment benefits? Should they be excluded from voting because they pay no tax?

I might have over-emphasised taxation in my OP, though in my defense that was also because of the connection with the Suffragette movement which also used the "no taxation without representation" slogan. No one over the age of 16 in the UK is legally excluded from the possibility of working full-time (and hence earning enough to pay tax), whether or not they choose to forgo that right (eg: by staying in education, or they have chosen to retire), are unable to do that through disability, or are unable to find full time work.

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Leorning Cniht
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I want to come back to Alan's claim that temporarily-resident foreigners should be able to vote (this is, as I understand it, a position that both he and I have been in in other countries.)

I expect to pay taxes in the place in which I live to support services in that place - roads, policing, healthcare, whatever else. I get to use those services just like anyone else who lives there.

I do not expect to have a vote, because I have no long-term commitment to that place. If I go and live somewhere for two or three years, on a strictly temporary basis, I'm not going to personally face most of the consequences of anything or anyone I might vote for.

(In the US, most foreigners may not donate to political campaigns, permanent residents may donate to campaigns but may not vote, and citizens may donate and vote. That's something I tend to think the US gets right.)

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

(In the US, most foreigners may not donate to political campaigns, permanent residents may donate to campaigns but may not vote, and citizens may donate and vote. That's something I tend to think the US gets right.)

*offer may not apply in certain states: check your skin colour and/or bank balance before applying
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Brenda Clough
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This may be true for actual campaigns. But if you mail a check to some group or another (the NRA famously did not notice the influx of Russian money) they are unlikely to pry into who you are and where you come from; they'll just cash the check. And what about online donations on their web site? No, it's easy to support a group or candidate if you want to, no matter what your nationality.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
... Yes, a company (or corporation, call it what you will) is a legal person, although not a natural one. It always has been and probably always will.

In England, a clergyperson who holds a living is simultaneously both a natural person and a legal person.

Get your head round that one.

I had lunch in a pub some years ago, which had a framed explanation on the wall, that sometime in the eighteenth century it had been bought to provide the local incumbent with a vicarage. Nobody had noticed the reverend gentleman had sneakily taken the conveyance to himself 'and his heirs' rather than 'and his successors'. After he died, the family claimed the vicarage, and turned it into a pub.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I want to come back to Alan's claim that temporarily-resident foreigners should be able to vote ...

I expect to pay taxes in the place in which I live to support services in that place - roads, policing, healthcare, whatever else. I get to use those services just like anyone else who lives there.

I do not expect to have a vote, because I have no long-term commitment to that place. If I go and live somewhere for two or three years, on a strictly temporary basis, I'm not going to personally face most of the consequences of anything or anyone I might vote for.

The problem becomes one of identification of the people resident in an area on a "strictly temporary basis" with those planning on a longer term commitment. Someone moves into an area on an 18 month contract, are they there on a temporary or permanent basis? The contract is temporary, but very few contracts aren't so that's not meaning much. 22 years ago as I started an 18 month contract should I have not registered to vote here since that's a temporary thing and I was likely to be getting another job at the end of it? Would that have been a mistake since the next job was in the same place and I'm still here? How do you see into the future?

Even under the current rules on eligibility many people vote when they'll have no long term stake in the result. Many people will move between elections. Should we ban people from voting because they may move 5 miles down the road to a different constituency or local authority in the next couple of years? How many students vote in the constituency where they're studying or their parents constituency, when the chances of them living in either constituency after graduation are very low? How many people take a short let on a flat when they move into an area for work, then buy or rent another property potentially several miles away once they've settled and know where they want to live?

Also by your logic, that temporary residents don't have a stake in the future of the community they're living in, should we deny the elderly the right to vote since they're also "not going to personally face most of the consequences of anything or anyone they might vote for" as their presence in that place is temporary, only a few years before they die? What age shall we set?

Why not let every one who is resident register to vote. Then let them decide whether they consider they have a sufficient stake, or potential stake, in the community where they are living to actually use the vote they're entitled to.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
No, it's easy to support a group or candidate if you want to, no matter what your nationality.

What the law requires of you and what you can get away with are not the same thing.
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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Why not let every one who is resident register to vote. Then let them decide whether they consider they have a sufficient stake, or potential stake, in the community where they are living to actually use the vote they're entitled to.

Given the range of your objections to LC, what's your justification for limiting the vote to residents? After all, under your proposal a resident would still be allowed to vote the day before moving to a new location, while a tourist staying in a hotel in the same town could be condemned to suffer, disenfranchised, for another whole week...
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Gee D
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Enoch, is the appointment of rector/vicar (and I do now in essence the difference) akin to becoming a corporation sole? It's certainly not the case here. Or is it a variation on all natural persons being legal ones, but not vice versa?

[ 08. February 2018, 01:43: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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