Dürfen wir Kindern das Wahlrecht vorenthalten?

Abstract
Up to a certain age, young people are denied the right to vote. In this paper, it is argued that this general exclusion from democratic participation is unjustified and should be abandoned. After a short survey of some of the pedagogic, legal, and political arguments that have been brought forward to support a liberalisation of electoral law in favour of children, the essay presents a basic moral argument against any age limit with respect to voting rights. First of all, it is argued that the right to vote is grounded in a fundamental claim of human beings to equal participation and, therefore, can be denied only for severe and cogent reasons. Subsequently, the essay purports to establish – and defends against objections – that there are no such reasons that sufficiently justify an age limit. The paper concludes with some remarks on practical consequences of the argument.
Keywords children's rights  right to vote  democracy
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