Monday, March 09, 2015

Will The Kids Be Alright At 18?

I feel I gotta get away...

Pete Townsend, "The Kids Are Alright" (1965)

The Yomiuri Shimbun is reporting a rise in the number of voters supporting lowering the voting age in national elections.

Well, sort of.

Yomiuri Shimbun poll takers found in a poll taken this weekend that 51% of the voters now favor lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, while 43% are opposed to the change.

When in June 2014 pollsters asked the public about lowering the voting age, only 48% were in favor and 45% were opposed.

Hmmm...far be if from me to rain on the expansion of sufferage parade but a 3% movement, up or down, is pretty much within the margin of error. (Link - J)

Not that this will retard the change in any way. The legislation will pass the Diet simply because no party wants to be seen as the one that voted against extending the franchise to young people. That only 32.5% of those in the 20-29 age bracket bothered to show up at the polls in December last year only reemphasizes the absurdity of this unstoppable reform.

As for the noises emanating from the Liberal Democratic Party's policy research council, that extending the vote to 18 and 19 year olds opens the door for charging youthful criminals as adults, I thought these mumblings were just so much vengeful nuttiness erupting in response to the Kawasaki middle school student killing. (Link)

However, I recall now the off-kilter and incessant intonations of "we want a society where heinous crimes like children killing their parents do not happen" during the first Abe Cabinet of 2006-7. "Children killing their parents" was the explanation of why a "morality hour," now "the morality curriculum," had to be inserted into the weekly school calendar, among other things. (Link)

Now these unseen legions of murderous youths are forcing he LDP to consider another change, one eliminating the legal loophole that has allowed them to run rampant, transforming Japan into an ungovernable, homocidal wasteland.

Or something like that.

So give them the vote, then lock 'em up.

Later - Upon reflection, that a proposed historic reform could be under discussion for nine months without a demoralizing drop in public support (on the order of 10 points or more) is an amazing thing, for this administration.

So yeah, let's call this a win!

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