Dumbing Down the Voting Age

I have an article published this morning in Crisis, on the necessity of reappropriating and reinstantiating beautiful liturgical music, which the Church describes as her greatest artistic treasure. What we hear in all too many parishes is, quite simply, unfitting for house of God and public, liturgical worship. As always, comments, critical or otherwise, are welcome.

In yet another political inanity, with the vast swath of legislators apparently wondering what to do with their time, P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker now wants to see the “provincial voting age lowered to 16”, and to that end “he’s introduced a bill in the legislature to make it happen”

As said legislator continues his rather muddled reasoning, apparently unaware of the strict limits of democracy set up by its founders in ancient Greece:

By getting 16-year-olds involved in this process when they’re still at school — they live a fairly structured life, most 16-year-olds are at home — there’s an opportunity to harness to them and introduce them to politics and explain why this is important.”

In other words, get them to vote for the Green Party before any semblance of developed reason takes hold, and they realize the insanity of such an act of reckless democratic participation.

As Bevan-Parker continues to argue:

They (he means 16 year-olds) have full-time jobs, they pay taxes often, they can leave school voluntarily, they can get married, they can start a family they can drive a car

Yes, but they cannot drink a beer, and most are immature, educated only in the most light of senses, and unaware of the long-term implications of their actions, like casting a vote.

I am with de Tocqueville and Chesterton and the ancient Greeks on voting, that such a privilege should be reserved to a certain number, under rather strict conditions, including a certain age, maturity, education and, most of all, independence from the government, usually by means of land ownership. There is an argument to be made (and the Greeks made it) that those whose votes can be bought, sold or otherwise manipulated should not be able to cast a ballot, until they gain independence. John Paul II warned of the growth of the ‘Welfare State’, which vitiates societal cohesion in more ways than one.

As de Tocqueville foresaw in his journey across America in 1831, unless State intrustion is limited, those who are independent will be over time be enslaved by the growing number of dependents, in the tyranny of socialism.  That is why the Liberals (and the Democrats down south of us) are the dominant Party: They just promise more largesse, and the greater number of recipients of said largesse, the more votes are guaranteed (that is, bought, with your tax dollars, including teenagers, most of whom do not ‘pay taxes’, but are the recipients of much government coddling, from education to health care to all sorts of ‘free’ goodies).

Any Party that dares to promise a scaling back of the now-insane levels of government expenditure, even just a prudent slowing down of the unending dollars ex machina, well, is seen as a bunch of old, crabbed, miserable and overall uncharitable Scrooges.

So we continue on a course to nowhere good, and giving the vote to even more teenagers, most of whom know not their right hand from their left, nor a Liberal from a Conservative from a Green, nor even what those terms do and should imply, well, such will only accelerate our progress over the cliff.