Voting - Right or Privilege?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MJDuncan1982, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Here's a serious question I pondered today after listening to NPR:

    Is voting a right or a privilege? And if it is a privilege when is it appropriate to deny it?

    The discussion involved people convicted of felonies who completely lost their right to ever vote again.

    What, if any, are the perimeters of voting?
     
  2. fubar
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    fubar Member

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    American citizen. 18 years old. Registered.

    Some states don't allow felons to vote. They figure felons have forfeited some rights because they have victimized society, i guess. They could move to another state if it means that much to them. People frequently cross over to New Hampshire from Mass ( Where I suffer ) due to our anti-constituitonal gun laws and absurd tax rates.

    First, people often confuse rights and priveledges, or worse - they see them as the same thing.

    I suppose, if pressed, I would have to say that a felon's right to vote shouldn't be taken after their prison time. I have argued, by quoting the Declaration of Independance that our Rights are given to us by God, and the government can't legally/rightfully supress them. It is clear that this is what the founders believed when they wrote the Bill of Rights.
     
  3. eric
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    Very simple, the answer lies in taxation. People think this country was founded for religious freedom, wrong !

    Taxation without representation was the reason. So very simply if you pay taxes then voting is a right. If you don't, then it is a privilege !

    Personally I feel if you don't pay taxes, then you have no right to vote !
     
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  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I wouldn't be upset if voting was regulated to those who have served the population (not counting hookers) in some capacity; or shown medical reasons why they could not.
     
  5. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    I think I'd lean more to the position of letting the right to vote be one thing without limitations. Yes there may be instances on the extremes of the idea which are inappropriate but they are probably rare.

    I'd probably say I'd rather guarantee that right to everyone, without exception, to ensure that it is never taken away from someone when it shouldn't be.
     
  6. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    Voting is neither a right nor a privilege. It is a gift to us, bought with blood.

    Just the same, voting should be the exclusive right of the those with the ability to understand it's importance, and the rationality and mental capacity to make responsible and intelligent decisions.
     
  7. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Okay so we say voting is a gift given us. But it was given to the citizens of this nation. The government, in my eyes, does not give us the right to vote and can therefore not take it away.

    And just who is going to decide who has the ability to understand the importance of voting?

    Too much posibility for corruption...I believe we give it to all adults to safeguard it for everyone.
     
  8. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    This government has the ability to kick in your door and shoot you.

    You don't think they give you the right to vote? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say they don't overly infringe on your Constitutional right to be able to vote. The government is after all based upon that Constitution, so they are inherently restrained in this regard. Just the same it is, in the end, a government of fallible human beings, and all political power is derived from the barrel of a gun. You retain the 'right' to vote so long as they chose not to point their guns at you and tell you you no longer have that right.

    In the end, they might not have the 'right' under the Constitution to take away your vote (with the exception of certain circumstances), but they certainly 'can' and could.

    If instead you speak of the inherent worth of human beings and their right to freedom and self rule, we are back to the price of blood. Certainly those things are true, but they are not free. These are concepts our founding father's wrestled with their entire adult lives.


    Unfortunately, it isn't something that is ever likely to happen, so we needn't worry about it.
     
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  9. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    That's a good point and I don't totally disagree, but I don't know how I feel about letting convicted felons vote for judges, county attorneys, state justices, etc. There is a reason felons have their voting rights taken away, not just because they've been bad.
     

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