The right to parliamentary vote, and associated complexities and responsibilities

Right. This is going to be extremely un-PC:

When an extensive police presence is needed outside the station to prevent a gaggle of football club supporters in a pub on one side, and a bunch of supporters of another football club supporters in a pub on the other side from causing major public disturbance and risk of bodily harm to themselves and others, ‘because our team is better than yours’, is it not time to question whether such people are more entitled than children to undertake important societal responsibilities, such as voting?

I suggest we either lower the voting age to 12, or introduce some sort of measure to test whether people are capable of complex reasoning and responsible behaviour before letting them anywhere near the polling booths.

I suspect many, if not most, 12-year-olds would perform better against such a measure than people who need police babysitting for the sake of sport.

I know, I know; it represents something else: tribal identity, community, ritualised warfare, and so forth. But being able to tell the difference between real and pretend warfare should surely be something we can expect from adults carrying the right to vote? Are they able to tell the difference between actual war, and games of war or ritualised pretend forms of war, if they confuse football games with a really good reason to beat the living sh*t out of people?

Can we reasonably assume that they can compute chains of reasoning that lead to balanced conclusions regarding the justification for causing harm to others? (Which is something I personally really like to see in people who, through the democratic process, contribute to decisions regarding war, resource distribution, and the criminal justice system.)

I am not confident about that.

Note that I didn’t stoop to calling them f**kwits.


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