|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Reflection School Democracy Social issue|
Where democracy is involved, some contradictions lead to questions that do not seem to have a clear answer. One of these questions is, what is the best legal voting age? In most countries, the legal voting age was twenty-one years, but after several debates, it was lowered to eighteen. Currently, there have been debates on whether to lower the voting age to 13 in Canada. In my own opinion, I think the legal voting age should remain at eighteen and should not be reduced to thirteen. As they say, every decision has its consequences. Therefore, if a state decides to lower the voting age, it should also be ready to be accountable for any mistake that the minor may commit. A person at the age of eighteen has already matured and can make the right decisions, hence the reason why it is considered the legal age in most countries.According to David Archards, nobody decides on when or where to be born. The parents choose to have a child, and out of this, a new human being is brought into the world (Milner, 65-79). He also emphasized and argued that how one is brought up will determine how he or she will behave for the rest of his life. In one way or another, there is some truth in his arguments as a child's moral behavior is strictly determined by the parents. However, when a child reaches the legal age, he or she starts to make his own decision and eventually stops depending on the parents. Assuming the legal age is lowered to 13, it will only mean that a citizen who is thirteen years of age will start to make his or her own decision. It will mean that the parents will not have any right to influence the Childs decision, which may be brutal. A thirteen-year son or daughter is just about to join a high school, which makes them a kid. Their brains have not fully matured.
Another primary reason why the voting age should not be lowered is that at this age, the child has not experienced any reality of life. They are unable to understand the cause of certain things in life and why they happen. Therefore giving them the right to vote may not put into place the seriousness that is required. Elections are a matter of who will lead a whole nation and control it, which shows that it should be taken severely. A thirteen-year-old child may vote for a candidate because of the wrong reasons. A son in this age bracket is likely to be attracted by video games, and a corrupt candidate will take that to his advantage and promise the kids some video game. In as much as Archard claimed that the upbringing of a child matters a lot, some things cannot be avoided. It would take a few minutes to convince a child to vote for you and, in return, pay for his video game or even buy him or her video game tools. Such a situation shows that a thirteen-year child will sell his vote for a video game rather than having good infrastructure.
Lowering the voting age to thirteen will also mean to add more responsibilities to the child. At the legal age, the child is allowed to own a credit card, marry, work full time, and also be held accountable for their own mistakes. If a child commits an error or breaks the law in school, he or she is suspended and ordered to come back accompanied by his parent or guardian. Now is thirteen is made the legal age, it will mean that the child will be punished like an adult even in school if a mistake is committed. There will be no room for parents since they are dealing with an adult. Logically a thirteen-year-old will not accept his or her mistake, and that may cause him or her to be expelled, thus stopping his school life. Also, most of the kids are not allowed to party, but having been considered an adult, they will start partying and engage in immoral behaviors. In other words, it will be hard to guide him or her as they will consider themselves adult, yet they are not mature. They will make decisions that will later affect them as they made rash decisions. They have no experience in life that they can relate to before making the haste decision. There are just kids who are being forced to become adults.
David Archard argued that one did not decide to be born, but after being born, one can decide on what he or she wants with his life. I tend to disagree with this argument because it means that after being taken, we will not require to be guided. Kids learn from their parents(Ruggiero,71-89). Most of the things we do in life are what we were told to do by our guardians. When a child is born, he or she does not differentiate between good or bad. But as time goes by, the child learns what is right and what is wrong. At the age of thirteen, one is still learning about some things in life. When the age becomes the legal age, it may result in rebellion from the kids to the parents. Likely, the children will no longer take into account what their parents are telling them and will become rebellious since they will consider themselves as adults (Pickard,273-310). The risky behavior is brought about brain development that leads to emotional instabilities. Currently, the legal age is eighteen years, but the parents struggle to shape the kids' moral behavior, especially when they become teens. It would be hectic to tame a teen who already recognized by the country as an adult.
In conclusion, before coming to an end on what the legal age is, the rights of the citizens, together with the needs of the nation, should be balanced. All the pros and cons should be analyzed to have a fair conclusion. The results of lowering the legal age from twenty-one to eighteen should be considered before determining if or not the period should be reduced. If the results are favorable, then they would not hesitate to lower it if they are ready to endure and accommodate the risks involved. However, I still believe that a thirteen-year-old child should be in school and not in campaigns or somewhat involved in politics. They are yet to know what is right or wrong. Furthermore, there are still learning from the realities of life and are not mature to differentiate between the right candidates. In other words, they are still digesting what their parents have been teaching them.
Milner, Henry. "Political Knowledge, Civic Education, and Voting at 16." Lowering the Voting Age to 16. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020. 65-79.
Pickard, Sarah. "Young People, the Voting Age and Votes at 16." Politics, Protest, and Young People. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2019. 273-310.
Ruggiero, Roberta, Diana Volonakis, and Karl Hanson. "The inclusion of 'third parties': the status of parenthood in the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Children's Rights Law in the Global Human Rights Landscape. Routledge, 2017. 71-89.
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