Enfranchising incompetents: Suretyship and the joint authorship of laws

Ratio 24 (2):154-166 (2011)
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Proposals to lower the age of voting, to 15 for example, are regularly met with worries that people that age are not sufficiently ‘competent’. Notice however that we allow people that age to sign binding legal contracts, provided that those contracts are co-signed by their parents. Notice, further, that in a democracy voters are collectively ‘joint authors’ of the laws that they enact. Enfranchising some less competent voters is no worry, the Condorcet Jury Theorem assures us, so long as the electorate's competence averaging across all voters remains better-than-random



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Author Profiles

Joanne C. Lau
Virginia Tech
Robert Goodin
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Enfranchising the Youth.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (6):732-755.
Why the Voting Age Should Be Lowered to 16.Tommy Peto - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (3):277-297.
Enfranchising the Youth.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (6):1-24.
Against a Minimum Voting Age.Philip Cook - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):439-458.
Capable Deliberators: Towards Inclusion of Minority Minds in Discourse Practices.Thomas Schramme - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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