Recently, I was listening to CNN where they were discussing the states where convicted felons are not allowed to vote and whether that was right.
Is voting a right or a privilege? But there's a third word that used to be applied, though one seldom hears it anymore.
When I was a kid voting wasn't a right or a privilege. It was a duty of every citizen in the democracy to participate in the electoral process.
As to felons. They are in prison to work off their debt to society.
When they come out, are they citizens again or are they less than citizens?
We have trouble correctly tallying current election votes and you want to throw fractions into the debacle?
I think anyone over 12 should be allowed to vote. Maybe a test could be required,but I don't see any reason for these restrictions. The laws affect them, too, so it doesn't matter how "ill-advised" their opinions are, I think. There are people over fifty that think like five year olds. Everyone is different.
A 12 year old isn't even really ready for serious babysitting.
Since you tacitly admit that their views are likely to be ill-advised (let's add ill-informed, naive, and often childish), and since they have almost no sales resistance, much less impulse control, I don't think giving children the vote would be a wise idea. Adults can be equally irresponsible, but at least they are paying taxes.
At the least, I'd want to see the results of some "moot" elections. For example, if Justin Bieber or Jeremy Lin had been on the ballot for the 12 year olds, I wonder how many votes Justin or Jeremy would have got. I think the result would be pretty convincing that a 12 year old isn't ready to vote.
Sadly, it might be that we already have this voting policy. I remember the amount of time I spent before the last election to research the issues and candidates. I think I finally decided to use a list of recommendations from a liberal political group I 'trust'.mostly..?
I quess if I was 12 and was obcessed with Pokemon, I might have used the commercials and carton plots to make an 'informed' decision. Pick your 'source' of twisted insight, and make you mark!
I suppose if y'all are gonna let a Kenyan be president, a Canuckistani boy should have a fair shot at the office too.
The franchise being available to most is something which is a very modern innovation; it's less than a hundred years ago since less than half of populations had the privilege. Much like the privilege of a driver's license provide you the right to drive, the privilege of the franchise affords you the right to vote. To be considered an upstanding member of society you have the duty to cast the ballot to influence, albeit in a small way, how society is governed, much like you have a duty to pay taxes owed. You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.
Prisoners not having the right to vote is undemocratic and downright disgraceful (apart from those condemned for high treason). They are as much products of society as non-prisoners and should therefore have their voices heard, furthermore it could be utilized as an expedient way for incumbents to dispose of political enemies on trumped up charges. As for labelling anyone as a less-than-citizen, it is something I find to be quite Hitleresque. Perhaps a "final solution" is in order..?
Prisoners not having the right to vote is undemocratic and downright disgraceful (apart from those condemned for high treason).
Well, and perhaps you might agree to adding those who have been convicted of being involved in egregious cases of election fraud.
I guess also those who have attempted to overthrow government, but I tend to doubt those are a large part of the prison population and their cases are a bit more relevant to that particular punishment.
Assorted, not terribly well interconnected thoughts on this topic:
I figure if you aren't willing to trust someone with the vote after they are out of jail, then that's a tacit admission you don't think they are rehabilitated. That's not necessarily an argument for giving them the vote anyway, though.
Unseen mentioned a permanent ban on voting by people convicted of election fraud; that has a certain appeal to it--if you are a known subverter of the system perhaps you shouldn't participate in it.
The "it's a duty" attitude is still implicit in a lot of people "If you don't vote you can't complain" (what if neither of the schmucks is worth voting for, and both are well worth voting against? A situation increasingly common, at least from where I sit.)
But no matter what, voting is de facto a privilege not a right, it's a privilege that comes with citizenship. If it were a right, non-citizens would be allowed to do it (non citizens are protected by the first amendment, and can draw entitlements, and that is oftentimes de facto true for illegals). What it isn't, is a privilege of some sort of elite, as the overwhelming majority of citizens who are not minors can vote.
As for third party candidates, Gary Johnson on the libertarian ticket is tolerable. Both Romney and Obama make me want to vomit, for differing reasons. But I live in a battleground state and may have to make a tactical decision to vote for the least vomitous of the two. If I could just figure out who that is.