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YABO713

An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter

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I think it should be 21. Most 18 year olds still have no clue about adult problems. Who am I kidding, hardly anyone should be allowed to vote in America. Most people lack the critical thinking skills and knowledge needed to make an educated, informed vote. Just talk to one of Trump's biggest supporters, for the most extreme example.

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It's only 18 because you can serve in the military at that age. People who get drafted are still a vast minority of the population, though. Much less than they were, back in the day. Voting age was 21 and up, back when life expectancy was only 30-40 years. Life expectancy has doubled, since 1800.

 

Not really an issue I'm all that passionate about; everyone's going to have a different opinion on it but the way I see it is that people have a lot more time now, to educate themselves before voting.

 

It does really suck that the babyboomers in office who can declare war, have kids in their 30s or 40s. A draft isn't likely to affect them personally.

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Yes. I would anchor voting age to the minimum age necessary to drive a moped.

 

Point being, we have a minimum age threshold because we understand that there is a greater chance an 18 year old is able to process information more effectively than a 10-year-old.

 

Yet, when we say something similar re: cognitive correlations based on educational attainment, everyone becomes elitist and undemocratic.

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I've seen  some studies that suggest that we are not really "adults" until about age 25.  I have no interest in looking them up right now.  But if we were to change the voting age back to 21 or say 25 based on psychology and brain development, then wouldn't we need to make the same change to the age at which one is considered an adult in court.

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Yes. I would anchor voting age to the minimum age necessary to drive a moped.

 

Point being, we have a minimum age threshold because we understand that there is a greater chance an 18 year old is able to process information more effectively than a 10-year-old.

 

Yet, when we say something similar re: cognitive correlations based on educational attainment, everyone becomes elitist and undemocratic.

 

Educational attainment is not the be all and end all processing information.  Education is also a little more out of reach for poorer and generally  minority families.  The educational requirement could provide an incentive for those in the "in" group to make it harder  for the "out" group to attain the requirements.

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^Very fair point, education itself could become a political tool.

 

However, I agree, but neither is age. Yet we are comfortable setting an arbitrary requirement for one and insulted by the other.

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I've seen  some studies that suggest that we are not really "adults" until about age 25.  I have no interest in looking them up right now.  But if we were to change the voting age back to 21 or say 25 based on psychology and brain development, then wouldn't we need to make the same change to the age at which one is considered an adult in court.

 

Personally, I don't think so. When you're being judged in court, it's based on your life-long record anyway. I suppose you could also argue for a 3 tier system, though, who the hell would want to deal with even more complex laws?

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I've seen  some studies that suggest that we are not really "adults" until about age 25.  I have no interest in looking them up right now.  But if we were to change the voting age back to 21 or say 25 based on psychology and brain development, then wouldn't we need to make the same change to the age at which one is considered an adult in court.

 

Personally, I don't think so. When you're being judged in court, it's based on your life-long record anyway. I suppose you could also argue for a 3 tier system, though, who the hell would want to deal with even more complex laws?

 

My point is that, if someone is being "accused" of a crime, shouldn't they have had a chance to have voted for the individuals within the system?

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I've seen  some studies that suggest that we are not really "adults" until about age 25.  I have no interest in looking them up right now.  But if we were to change the voting age back to 21 or say 25 based on psychology and brain development, then wouldn't we need to make the same change to the age at which one is considered an adult in court.

 

Personally, I don't think so. When you're being judged in court, it's based on your life-long record anyway. I suppose you could also argue for a 3 tier system, though, who the hell would want to deal with even more complex laws?

 

My point is that, if someone is being "accused" of a crime, shouldn't they have had a chance to have voted for the individuals within the system?

 

I think that an elected Judiciary is one of the greatest flaws of our state.

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This probably would have no affect on Presidential elections as information (and misinformation) is so widespread because the election is so widely covered by the media.

 

However, I have often wondered what we could do to get more people more involved and more educated in the "smaller" (though perhaps almost nearly as important ) elections - U.S. Senate Races, House races, state rep. races, judges, city council persons, etc. Information about these races is much more difficult to find. I have a feeling that a.) many voters don't vote at all in these races because they know they don't have enough information b.) misinformed individuals just vote for the "D" or "R" on the ballot sheet, c.) some people vote just based on name recognition (hence why we have people with who were criminals getting re-elected to positions of prominence!!)

 

In today's "electronic voting" era, I say we transform the voting experience. People should be able to click on a screen about a candidate and learn about that person's platform and background. What experience does this person have? What makes them a good candidate? What are there accomplishments? Perhaps there could be a video message from that candidate outlining the core principles of their campaign. There could be a list of endorsements (For me...did the NRA endorse this person?? What about the major pharmaceutical companies? Newspapers?). Perhaps there could be analysis from different media organizations - a few blurbs from CNN, FOXNews, New York Times, The Plain Dealer, etc. Same organizations for each candidate so that candidates can't crow about "unfair" and "fake news." In simple terms, a modern day voter can have the chance to educate themselves AT the voting booth.

 

I do believe this would allow voters to - at least in some cases - make decisions more about the issues than the political party or name recognition while at the same time, encouraging people with very busy lives who don't have the time or the means to educate themselves to make a trip to the voting booth and make a more informed decision. I think it would surely help to increase voter turn-out in "off-year" elections. I don't see how it would be worse than what we have now.

 

If you did this though, I think voting would have to change to a multi-day activity (which should happen anyway....) as I think, if done properly, people would spend a lot more time in the voting booth!

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In today's "electronic voting" era, I say we transform the voting experience. People should be able to click on a screen about a candidate and learn about that person's platform and background. What experience does this person have? What makes them a good candidate? What are there accomplishments? Perhaps there could be a video message from that candidate outlining the core principles of their campaign. There could be a list of endorsements (For me...did the NRA endorse this person?? What about the major pharmaceutical companies? Newspapers?). Perhaps there could be analysis from different media organizations - a few blurbs from CNN, FOXNews, New York Times, The Plain Dealer, etc. Same organizations for each candidate so that candidates can't crow about "unfair" and "fake news." In simple terms, a modern day voter can have the chance to educate themselves AT the voting booth.

 

I do believe this would allow voters to - at least in some cases - make decisions more about the issues than the political party or name recognition while at the same time, encouraging people with very busy lives who don't have the time or the means to educate themselves to make a trip to the voting booth and make a more informed decision. I think it would surely help to increase voter turn-out in "off-year" elections. I don't see how it would be worse than what we have now.

 

 

Biggest question here would be, "who controls the phrasing of the descriptions". Wording on ballots is crucially important and often subject to lawsuit

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Interesting idea but I would decouple the educational part from the actual voting booth.  Set up some "study booths" off to the side and run the rest like normal.  Keep things moving.  Otherwise it would be a staffing nightmare, disproportionately in lower income areas.

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I'll readily admit that this thought has some holes in it, but it feels like the voting age being 18 has something to do with being in the custody of your parents/guardians until that age (usually).  Someone like that might not be thinking for themselves at that point in time - they may be given instructions to vote a certain way or be restricted from seeing a holistic view of the political landscape.  I say this with a huge grain of salt knowing that this could be applicable in other situations, but it still feels like a legitimate reason why a kid shouldn't vote until they're an adult.

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I've seen  some studies that suggest that we are not really "adults" until about age 25.  I have no interest in looking them up right now.  But if we were to change the voting age back to 21 or say 25 based on psychology and brain development, then wouldn't we need to make the same change to the age at which one is considered an adult in court.

 

Personally, I don't think so. When you're being judged in court, it's based on your life-long record anyway. I suppose you could also argue for a 3 tier system, though, who the hell would want to deal with even more complex laws?

 

My point is that, if someone is being "accused" of a crime, shouldn't they have had a chance to have voted for the individuals within the system?

 

I think that an elected Judiciary is one of the greatest flaws of our state.

 

This is true.  But the voting can  refer to the legislature that makes laws and the elected politicians that would appoint and confirm the judiciary.

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since this thread is an academic thought exercise not limited by the constitution i'd like to suggest the following changes:

 

1.  proportional representation for state legislature and house of representatives(I mentioned this before)

2.  Staggered supreme court terms of 20 year terms in such way that one justice on the supreme court is replaced every 2 years (once each congress)

3.  if 1 gets done, then I can go along with the senate being elected by the state legislature

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since this thread is an academic thought exercise not limited by the constitution i'd like to suggest the following changes:

 

1.  proportional representation for state legislature and house of representatives(I mentioned this before)

2.  Staggered supreme court terms of 20 year terms in such way that one justice on the supreme court is replaced every 2 years (once each congress)

3.  if 1 gets done, then I can go along with the senate being elected by the state legislature

 

It's funny you suggest that...

 

Thomas Jefferson himself believed that there needed to be a Constitutional Convention every twenty years to adjust the document to modernization and westward expansion. I think your rotating SCOTUS would be a reasonable and practical fix to a modern issue affecting the non-political branch of our government.

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since this thread is an academic thought exercise not limited by the constitution i'd like to suggest the following changes:

 

1.  proportional representation for state legislature and house of representatives(I mentioned this before)

2.  Staggered supreme court terms of 20 year terms in such way that one justice on the supreme court is replaced every 2 years (once each congress)

3.  if 1 gets done, then I can go along with the senate being elected by the state legislature

 

4.  increase the House of Representatives to at least 1,000 members, in order to decrease the power and profile of each individual member, increase local accountability to members, make lobbying more difficult, and create a citizen:representative ratio more akin to other advanced democracies. The Canadian House of Commons has 338 members for a country of only 35 million. In the UK there are 650 seats for some 60 million. Why do we have 435 seats for 330 million?

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since this thread is an academic thought exercise not limited by the constitution i'd like to suggest the following changes:

 

1.  proportional representation for state legislature and house of representatives(I mentioned this before)

2.  Staggered supreme court terms of 20 year terms in such way that one justice on the supreme court is replaced every 2 years (once each congress)

3.  if 1 gets done, then I can go along with the senate being elected by the state legislature

 

4.  increase the House of Representatives to at least 1,000 members, in order to decrease the power and profile of each individual member, increase local accountability to members, make lobbying more difficult, and create a citizen:representative ratio more akin to other advanced democracies. The Canadian House of Commons has 338 members for a country of only 35 million. In the UK there are 650 seats for some 60 million. Why do we have 435 seats for 330 million?

 

We'd likely have to confront the dilution of the urban or rural vote to an even greater extent, depending on how the apportionment went

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i like one and two.

 

just make all the districts square blocks of equal x size and be done with it.

 

number two is an interesting idea and well worth a try.

 

i do not like three at all. i suggest the opposite. rather than restrictions, make election day a holiday and make voting mandatory, or offer a small tax break incentive for voting.

 

the low voter counts are very troubling. giving up is the worst thing you can do.

 

 

 

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1000 members may be too large to effectively govern.

 

I agree, larger numbers are better suited to parliamentary systems.

 

Which is what America should be. A nation as diverse as ours cannot possibly be effectively represented by two parties. It may have worked when most Americans were of British, Scottish, Irish and German descent. So many people are feeling left out in our two-party system that political instability and geographic fragmentation is a likely result. This could be mitigated somewhat by reducing or completely replacing corporate/wealthy campaign funding with governmental campaign funding. But two parties can't possibly meet the complex needs of a diverse nation. As I've said before, what in the world do I, a Clevelander, have in common with someone from Pigsknuckle, Alabama or Cowlick, Montana?? I have much more in common with an East Coaster than them, and yet there are still major differences between Cleveland and the East Coast.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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There are factions within each party though. WHile there are 2 parties there are numerous groups that make up each party. WHere the system has gotten skewed the last 40 years is that there is not enough diversity amongst party. There used to be liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats who would cross lines frequently. The idea of gaining zero support from the other side was unheard of 30 years ago.

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In parliamentary systems all those parties form coalitions.  In the American system our parties are the coalitions.

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In parliamentary systems all those parties form coalitions.  In the American system our parties are the coalitions.

 

I agree, the only problem is many of our voters don't understand this which may be an inherent problem with it. So many voters on the fringes of both parties can't handle the presence of all the filthy casuals messing up their supreme goal of total ideological purity, and of course they know that America totally secretly agrees with their fringe views and if it wasn't for "corruption" or something they'd totally be winning in landslides.

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Well, they can do that in our system too, and have, albeit far less frequently. I basically agree that multiparty with proportional representation is preferable. I just get annoyed in the current system because I think some people's expectations of the political process are far too unrealistic, and they get in the way of any progress or compromise.

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Given how our parties are so diverse right now, there is virtually no reason to need political parties other than for POTUS.

 

George Washington begged us not to form polarizing political parties, yet here we are

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I like the idea of some sort of voting by proxy in the House, and maybe the Senate.  The election then isn't a winner take all to decide who goes to Washington to represent your district, but rather to declare who carries your vote to Washington.  There would obviously have to be some cap on how many people could carry proxies (i.e.- be representatives), and voters could then choose amongst them.

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I like the idea of some sort of voting by proxy in the House, and maybe the Senate.  The election then isn't a winner take all to decide who goes to Washington to represent your district, but rather to declare who carries your vote to Washington.  There would obviously have to be some cap on how many people could carry proxies (i.e.- be representatives), and voters could then choose amongst them.

 

I'm not 100% sure I follow you. So would the Rep be bound by his/her districts decision?

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Our party system definitely forces us into adversarial positions. Case in point - I'm pretty ambivalent on the issue of abortion. I don't necessarily think it should be banned, but I also more or less think that after conception even if it can't feel pain yet, that's a life.

 

But I know the pro-lifers gave me Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, and other various GOP nutjobs, so I don't really care for the pro-life movement. All social and political movements in the country have to 'pick a side' and that's limiting to the civic debate.

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Our party system definitely forces us into adversarial positions. Case in point - I'm pretty ambivalent on the issue of abortion. I don't necessarily think it should be banned, but I also more or less think that after conception even if it can't feel pain yet, that's a life.

 

But I know the pro-lifers gave me Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, and other various GOP nutjobs, so I don't really care for the pro-life movement. All social and political movements in the country have to 'pick a side' and that's limiting to the civic debate.

 

Bingo. There are one issue voters - primarily on abortion. That has made that bloc a monolith for the Republicans. In part, because of pandering by the right. But, also in part to shaming by the Left.

 

Again, I am a Conservative looking for a party right now. I am mildly against abortion except in the case of incest, rape, or risk to the woman's health. However, I believe we should be pragmatic and make contraceptives more readily available to women.

 

If I say that in a Democratic gathering, I am a sexist.

 

If I say that in a Republican gathering, I am a libtard.

 

See my problem here?

 

I would love to see a return to regional parties that have only a loose affiliation to the big tent parties. That way, the "Know-Nothing" anti-immigrant, anti-trade factions that will inevitably evolve in AL, MS, KY, SC, etc. can be weened away from other Conservative factions.

 

Same goes with the Democratic-Socialists on the left.

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^ I actually think that your view on abortion is fine.  Although, there are some inherent flaws on who would determine whether a rape or incest actually occurred or who decides when the health of the mother is in danger.  but none the less I think many Democrats have the same view and even Pelosi said there is room in the party for pro-life politicians.

 

You probably line up well with moderate/conservative democrats.  This is just based on mt online interaction with you.  I don't know you personally.

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^ I actually think that your view on abortion is fine.  Although, there are some inherent flaws on who would determine whether a rape or incest actually occurred or who decides when the health of the mother is in danger.  but none the less I think many Democrats have the same view and even Pelosi said there is room in the party for pro-life politicians.

 

You probably line up well with moderate/conservative democrats.  This is just based on mt online interaction with you.  I don't know you personally.

 

My family are all lifelong democrats based more on their pro-union stances than anything else. That bloc is dwindling fast, though.

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I feel like what would have a Rockefeller Republican in the past is now more likely to be Democrat.  I think that block of moderate republicans from New England is disappearing too.

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^ I actually think that your view on abortion is fine.  Although, there are some inherent flaws on who would determine whether a rape or incest actually occurred or who decides when the health of the mother is in danger.  but none the less I think many Democrats have the same view and even Pelosi said there is room in the party for pro-life politicians.

 

You probably line up well with moderate/conservative democrats.  This is just based on mt online interaction with you.  I don't know you personally.

 

Many Democrats who are actually elected politicians are cool with it but there *are* those in the activist class (Robert Gibbs' "professional left") who would call him a raging sexist or whatever and try to run him out of the party or see him as "just as bad as the Rs." This goes back to my post above from yesterday. Purity politics are the worst, and these activists have no grasp of the basic idea that politics is about finding the middle ground, the compromise where all sides are a little bit disappointed.

 

It's the same as all the tea party primarying going on on the right.

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