Would you apply the same criteria to voting if they are old enough to read and write, ie about 5?
No - and I don't think a 5 year old could comprehend something like the OHS programme. An 8 or 9 year old? Maybe. At least to the limited extent of how it relates to their day to day lives. Which is as much as most of us do, if we're honest.
I'm a firm supporter of 16 year olds being be able to vote in elections - they pay tax, they can get married, etc.. Are they a picture of cognitive perfection? Heavens no, but one could point to counter-examples at any age. And they'll be around to live with the consequences a lot longer than the rest of us.
What about undue influence, if a councillor comes to your school and is presented by your teachers to talk about this wonderful scheme that they should support, where is the balanced viewpoint?
That rather depends on whether or not the teachers support it. I'd say they're equally capable of stirring up the PTA's towards an anti response - especially those schools with large catchments and hordes of well-connected parents arriving by car every morning.
Will children be able to understand and balance issues such as the impact of potential traffic diversion (though to be fair the council and councillors struggle on this)
I don't think _any_ of us, for or against, knows what the outcome will be. Even most of the proponents will have a price that they're unwilling to pay, a set of circumstances that makes the scheme unjustifiable. I'm sure that the council and councillors do. Equally, any rational opponent should, I hope, have a that's-not-so-bad-after-all scenario in mind. (There will be some who just don't like change, or don't agree with the message that change is needed, but I think that's a minority)
Edited to ask : Are you aware of children being encouraged to respond to the consultation by parents, teachers or campaign groups?
Personally no, but I don't live that close to this one. I wouldn't be surprised if both camps try to play the numbers game - although honestly I think turning consultations in to a popularity contest as seems to have happened in the last few years is a rather silly distraction from the actual aims of the consultation process (which is supposed to be, to discover and, if necessary mitigate, hardships and disbenefits caused by a scheme). "52:48 YOU LOST GET OVARR IT HA HA" doesn't really do anyone any favours.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was june 23, 05:09pm by wulfhound.