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    Lowering the Voting Age is not a Reform

    opinion.jpg

    The same parliament that has disapproved of the pre-printed ballot a few months ago, today wants us  to applaud its ‘historical’ vote on lowering the voting age to 18.

    I don’t see why this as an advancement in the Lebanese democracy. It is bringing to an unsound system around 300 thousand new voters who are particularly vulnerable to election malpractices like unregulated media and campaign spending and severe populism.

    It is true that the legal age in Lebanon is 18. That’s not an inescapable argument. In the USA, the age for the assisted driving license is 16, army serving age is 18 (17 with parental permission), alcohol drinking is 21, and to be president it is 35. Should all those age limits converge in order for the system to be coherent?

    My understanding of the previous voting age (21), is that voting is a process that requires you to build up your own opinion through a period of close follow up on politics and politicians, that allows you to make an educated judgment based on your own experience. That’s the period between the legal age of reason (18) and 21.

    The Lebanese Parliament should first support REAL reforms, enforce them and then allow the 18-21 to vote.

    Rami Harfouch

    One response to “Lowering the Voting Age is not a Reform”

    1. Hadi says:

      Rami
      I honestly dont see the argument of the ‘maturity’ acquired between 18 and 21 as a valid one, for a couple of reasons:
      1- the first one is that in the same law, the lebanese is mature enough to enter political parties , to be part of public function etc etc at the age of 18 while not being able to vote at the age of 18. I tend to compare the right of voting to such issues, rather than the example of driving in the US, it is not about regrouping all rights in one age group, it is rather about being coherent regarding your political rights.

      2- the second one is rather philosophical :) , maturity is not really measured by age, u can find people who are 15 and make more mature judgements than people who are 40. And mostly your argument about ‘making an educated judgement’ doesnt really hold, as the vote recognizes the fact, that the vote of a doctor has the exact same value than the vote of a non educated peson. So from this point of view, ur argument doesnt hold either.

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