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What does your two-year-old think about Iran's missile testing?

Germany wants to know.

Dozens of German politicians have tabled a new law to extend voting rights to babies, toddlers, children and teenagers.
The bill, which has won the cross-party backing of some heavyweight German politicians, would wipe away decades of "exclusion" and "discrimination" against minors, according to its supporters.

Currently the voting threshold in Germany is 18, with an exception in some states, where 16-year-olds are allowed to cast a ballot.

But that does not go far enough for the new law's backers, who want to ensure voting rights from cradle to grave. If the bill gets adopted, babies will have the same powers to voice their opinion on government handling of macro-economic performance in a global downturn enjoyed by their parents.

Toddlers will be able to take a stand on issues such as whether German armed forces should be deployed abroad.

According to the head of the liberal Free Democratic Party ­ traditional coalition partner of Chancellor Merkel's CDU party ­ the constitutional change would enfranchise 14 million people.

"Unfortunately in Germany, 17 per cent of the population, namely the children and adolescent, are excluded from political decision making," said FDP chief Dirk Niebel.

"This is a situation we cannot accept any longer. We generally have to pay more attention to their interests." The law is proposed as part of a review of voting rights which its champions hope will be in force for the federal elections in Germany next year.

"The Constitutional Court has ruled that election regulations have to be reformed anyway, so we should take advantage of the occasion to enforce children's right to vote," he said.

History is not his side however, with a similar motion failing to win parliamentary approval in 2005.


So, apparently this is not the first time this idiotic idea has been tried. Who in the world thinks that a four-year-old can understand the complexities of foreign policy? And of course, it is the German liberals wanting to let toddlers and children vote. They have the same logic, reason, and decision-making capabilities, after all, so I guess it makes sense.

Hat Tip: Moonbattery


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Comments (18)

To be strictly accurate, th... (Below threshold)
MikeW:

To be strictly accurate, the bill allows parents to vote for their children and then to pass the responsibility on to them when they think they are able to understand. Reference here.

I still think it's a stupid idea though. I like the idea of encouraging teenagers to get involved in politics and government, but that doesn't mean they need to vote. I think some countries were considering allowing sixteen and seventeen year olds a quarter of a vote in certain elections. Thoughts?

Since Islamist have invaded... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Since Islamist have invaded Germany and they breed like sh er, horse flies they can vote the Germans out of office and take over the country kind of legal like. It will serve the idiot right.

Has Europe gone mad?... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Has Europe gone mad?

So it's illegal to advertis... (Below threshold)
Clive:

So it's illegal to advertise toys, cigs or junk food to impressionable minds but when it comes to politics, they are disenfranchised cinsiderate voters?

Can't have it both ways.

It makes perfect sense if y... (Below threshold)
Socratease:

It makes perfect sense if you party's policies appeal more to children than to adults.

Likewise, the Democrat's perennial attempts to enfranchise convicted criminals.

All I can think of is the f... (Below threshold)
Darby:

All I can think of is the fear tactics that could be used against underage voters.

Does this also mean that underage people can also run for office...

A little research goes a lo... (Below threshold)
Gandalf:

A little research goes a loooong way. The Free Democrat Party is probably the farthest right (without passing into Nazi grounds) of any national German parties... More conservative than Angela's party. They are, in fact, Libertarian, not liberal as we know them in the U.S. (in Europe, Liberal still means free markets, personal choice, etc.):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Democratic_Party_%28Germany%29

Personally, I see that the law would do more to help the Conservative movement, as Conservatives are more likely to have children, and more of them, then their socialist counterparts. In addition, as has been noted, parents get to vote for their children proxy, thus further rewarding Germans who have more children.

Most Muslims in Germany aren't citiens, and therefore aren't allowed to vote (and their children don't automatically become citizens just for being born there). The German electore consists of only 3.7% Islamic voters:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gm.html

Seriously, it took me all of 10 minutes to do some simple research that doesn't make this idea seem as outrageous as it first appears. The blogging world is beginning to turn into old media: report whichever facts we want to suit our criteria and then present commentary that doesn't reflect the original facts at all.

This whole blog entry is in very poor form.

I don't care if they're far... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

I don't care if they're far right or far left. The idea of giving a vote to a child and allowing the parent to vote for them is essentially giving the parent with more children more say in the outcome of an election. How is this fair to people who have no children? Why would giving someone more power based on the shear virtue of their ability to procreate a good idea?

@ Oyster: "How is this fair... (Below threshold)
Gandalf:

@ Oyster: "How is this fair to people who have no children?"

Because they (parents) have more stake in the future of their country than their childless counterparts. They will be less likely to vote out of sheer selfishness (a common problem in socialized Europe) instead of what is actually best for the country.

"How is this fair to people who have no children? Why would giving someone more power based on the shear virtue of their ability to procreate a good idea?"

I'm sorry, could you please cite the place where it says they must be biological children in order for the parents to vote for them? No, I think adopted children will be allowed to vote just as much as biological children.

Personally, as a Conservative, I'm no fan of "one vote for every person". Simply put, there are members of society who just don't deserve to have their voice heard as loudly as others. There used to be laws, even in the U.S., that citizens had to own land (IE, have a stake in the country) before they could vote. Other places require voters to be tax payers. Neither are terribly bad ideas, depending on the country (it's more difficult to own land in, say, Luxembourg, but in that country everyone pays taxes).

It's not really much different with this law. People with children (IE, a stake in the long-term stability and future of their country) deserve to have their voices heard a little bit more than people who are just wanting to get by until they die. The latter tend to be more selfish and ask "what can the government do for me?" instead of "what can I do for my country?"

I'm not asking you to agree with the idea. But the idea has merit, and it isn't some crazy, half-cocked, hair-brained idea come up with by liberal (in the American sense) socialists who are trying to use it as a tool to gain power.

It also could make a great segue way into reopening the abortion debate in Germany. After all, if children are full citizens from the time of birth, complete with the right to vote, how can we deny that to them only a few months before?

So does this mean that sinc... (Below threshold)
hermie:

So does this mean that since they will be old enough to vote, they'll be old enough to work and pay taxes?

No, it's an assumption that... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

No, it's an assumption that a child, given all the faculties and powers of reasoning of an adult, would vote for the same laws or individuals as the parent. It's an assumption that those who don't have children have little interest in the future of their country or that older people who do have children would vote only to benefit the future. It's an assumption that those with children would be better informed to make better choices for the future. That's too many assumptions.

Are people with children more likely to vote for the future welfare of the country than those who don't have children? That's debatable. It's also open to opinion of what is indeed better for the future.

In my family alone the parents and children who have grown to adulthood have a myriad of opinions. In essence, if I were allowed to cast a vote on behalf of my children years ago, it would have gone against the political beliefs of at least one of them when they grew up. My son votes differently than I do. How would my vote have benefited him in his opinion?

You mean that post WASN'... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

You mean that post WASN'T a satirical entry??

Well this would give a whol... (Below threshold)

Well this would give a whole new twist to the campaign tactic of kissing babies and handing out lollipops...

MikeW- I don't think you s... (Below threshold)

MikeW- I don't think you should be allowed to vote until you are 25 in the United States. Or at least out on your own paying your own way.

Scrapiron- I think I agree with your assessment, I have a saying; "There is no difference between a socialist and a communist. Ask a socialist the difference and they can not tell you.
There is a difference between communism and socialism.
Communism is enslavement by force.
Socialism is enslavement by vote."

I don't think your first as... (Below threshold)
Gandalf:

I don't think your first assumption makes any sense at all. The Free Democrats aren't pretending that the children's votes would be what they would want, otherwise the provision for parents to vote for the child wouldn't be included. But it is a way to have childrend represented in the electoral process.

The real assumption here is that parents would (hopefully) do what is in the best interest of the child, regardless of what the child thinks, until such a time as he can fend for himself. It's no different than a parent picking a bed time for the child or his lunch options. Only this particular choice might affect other people. This is called responsible parenting, something that conservatism claims to support.

It's not an assumption that "those who don't have children have little interest in the future of their country", it's a realization that they don't have as much interest (big difference) as those with children.

I do think people with children tend to vote less socialistically than those without (also, those who are married vote more conservatively than those who are not).

"You mean that post WASN'T a satirical entry??"

No. Though I personally don't agree with the idea, I see no fundamental ideological problem with it based on my conservative principles. And I don't think anyone here can build an argument based on conservative principles against it.

My beef has been that this post was designed to make fun of supposedly liberal German lawmakers who came up with an apparently retarded idea.

The idea wasn't by liberals, but by libertarians. The idea is not retarded even while we may disagree with it. If the American conservative movement continues in such idiotic and self-righteous attitudes and thoughts, we'll not only minimize ourselves but the very principles we say we stand for across the globe.

In short, there entire existence of this discussion bothers me. We're supposed to be better than this.

"Who in the world thi... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

"Who in the world thinks that a four-year-old can understand the complexities of foreign policy?"

Whoa, the grave spinning over at Irony Memorial just tipped the richter scale.

As others note above, it ha... (Below threshold)
meep:

As others note above, it has nothing to do with children actually voting. This is about increasing the electoral power of parents. Most parents would keep the extra votes for themselves to use until the kids become legal adults and don't depend on their parents' discretion for voting rights.

I could see this causing trouble in families where mom and dad have different political preferences. And definitely problems where the parents are divorced.

All people are equal, some ... (Below threshold)

All people are equal, some people (in this case, German parents apparently) are just more equal than others.




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