What if kids could vote?
We adults love to expound on our wisdom and brilliance. We live in hierarchical societies, largely, where the elders of our group or nation are often deemed to be the wisest. This makes perfect sense from a historical perspective because the oldies in the tribe were the ones who had witnessed multiple significant things: 1. Edible food vs inedible food. 2. How to win huge battles against those rotters who live over the hill and try to steal our pigs. 3. How to lead others to fight and work. However, conflict could emerge when the elder is no longer physically able to dominate the group. A pack of lions will replace its alpha when the alpha ages and loses his formidable power. Our ancient primate ancestors would never choose a physically weaker leader, but we intelligent, brain-heavy humans may well do so. These long-lived humans with vast experiential memories may think kids are just cuckoo bananas!
Right and wrong
Here begins the defence of kids! If a boy picked up a bowl of slime and threw it on top of a teacher, would you decide the boy was guilty of being a rotter or clap? Please don’t say clap.
You’d instantly remonstrate with the boy and seek his expulsion from your tribe/class for being a terror or at least receive a mighty punishment. You have a moral compass and know what is right and what is wrong. Of course you do. Now, how about if a factory tipped a huge barrel of hazardous slime into a river. Is it wrong? Of course it is! However, herein lies the problem. A child sees from a simple perspective of ethical (right) and wrong (unethical) behaviour, but adults weigh other factors in, too. “Ohhhh, that company provides a lot of jobs for the country and invests a lot of money in it.” Does that make the action right? Possibly not, but should we consider things on such a large scale? Can’t it still just be wrong and punishable? An idea exists called Utilitarianism (what a mouthful). It’s quite simple - you do what results in the most benefit in any situation. Is there more utility to the company continuing or to punishing them for polluting a river and therefore the world?
I think the time has come. Let the adults (and me) keep their justice system and elections, but we’re going to add a final step to both - Kid Court. If a president wants to be chosen, they will be selected by the adult, voting population, but before the final president is picked, they have to be judged by kids. Kids will cut through the noise and rubbish and ask REAL questions. They won’t be blinded by OTHER factors.
Kids can see who is great and who isn’t. The same would apply for punishments and justice. Kids would be able to make the final decision when crimes are committed.
There’s just one huge catch, one massive hurdle, one epic barrier. Your moms and dads (mostly moms) are the absolute monarch who rules your house. If they decide something, you’re done for. If they think a certain thing, you may be lumped in with them. You’ll protest, “I demand a vote. Give me suffrage! I shall…I shall not be moved…I shall…I shall not….” To which your mom will offer to buy you ice cream. “Well…alright. Salted caramel please.” The battle is lost when salted caramel ice cream is on the field.