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ianwilkins

Talking politics around the campfire

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""It is no longer policy for Boy Scouts to be involved in any political activity even if it's non-partisan.  The closest one gets today is Memorial Day observances and 4th of July picnics.  They do have 3 MB's on citizenship that seem to give some kind of political education and we do say the Pledge at opening flags.""

 

I invited the County Board of Elections to our Round Table. They set up a display of the new voting machine/method. Talked about recruiting Election Judges (adult position. Paid!) to work the polls, and student volunteers to help.   Fairly successful, new to some folks.  

 

:) that's citizenship, not a political activity.  Voting is a citizenship issue, who one votes for is political.

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:) that's citizenship, not a political activity.  Voting is a citizenship issue, who one votes for is political.

 

"You should exercise your right to vote"

"Ok, who should I vote for?"

"The one that best exemplifies scout values"

"I thought you said I should vote?"

 

:rolleyes:

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@@ianwilkins  The really sad part of this all is that the corruption just keeps getting worse no matter where in the world one happens to be.

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We normally have non-politicians speak to fulfill the requirements in S-FC. They are usually public figures of sorts in that they may work for the government (appointed, not elected) or are members of the military. When they speak on citizenship they have always been quite good.

 

This last year I made the mistake of allowing on ASM suggest a local politician. He was given the scope of the discussion and told what needed to be covered. He took 30 minutes (we had requested 45-60) and he spoke mostly about legislation he had introduced rather than about citizenship. VERY disappointing. He couldn't have given it any less attention had the room been on fire.

 

One of my Scouts noted as he left for the evening, "Maybe he would have stayed longer if there were TV cameras around." ;)

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Well, one of your boys learned something about the political system.... :)

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Strictly speaking, voting isn't a right in the US.  States vary widely on whether/which ex-felons can vote; if it was a right, I don't think states (IA, KY, FL) could prohibit ex-felons from voting even after completing their sentences.

I guess this is sort of a philosophical issue, but I think I disagree. If you have a right, but can be deprived of the exercise of that right through your own conduct, under criteria that are clearly set forth in the law and after due process, it's still a right. It's just that you have forfeited that right.

 

Another example is the right to personal liberty and right to travel, both of which have been recognized by courts as fundamental rights. If you are convicted of a crime and are sentenced to incarceration, you lose the right to decide what you are going to do, and where you are going to go, for the period of time that you are in jail or prison, and if you are released on parole, sent to a halfway house, etc., you now have some control over your personal liberty and travel, but it is limited. None of this changes the fact that those rights are rights.

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If it was a responsibility, you could be compelled to do it, like jury duty.

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Just because something is a responsibility does not mean you can be compelled to do it.

 

Participating in the political process is a responsibility, but no one can compel you to do it.

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Not to be picky, but isn't voting a responsibility...not a right?

I believe it is both, and I tell the boys that during our discussion of First Class requirement 5.

 

If voting were mandatory (as in Australia) perhaps then it couldn't be considered a right.

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Not to be picky, but isn't voting a responsibility...not a right?

Being informed is a responsibility that ought to be a duty.  Voting is a right, often exercised in near-total ignorance.  Of course, no right is absolute (yelling "fire" in a crowded theater and all that).

 

 

"The success of democracy presupposes an informed electorate."
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We normally have non-politicians speak to fulfill the requirements in S-FC. They are usually public figures of sorts in that they may work for the government (appointed, not elected) or are members of the military. When they speak on citizenship they have always been quite good.

 

This last year I made the mistake of allowing on ASM suggest a local politician. He was given the scope of the discussion and told what needed to be covered. He took 30 minutes (we had requested 45-60) and he spoke mostly about legislation he had introduced rather than about citizenship. VERY disappointing. He couldn't have given it any less attention had the room been on fire.

 

One of my Scouts noted as he left for the evening, "Maybe he would have stayed longer if there were TV cameras around." ;)

We did the same thing, a County Commissioner who is a neighbor. While he is a good guy and tried to do a good job they are always "running"...it is just their nature.

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I believe it is both, and I tell the boys that during our discussion of First Class requirement 5.

 

If voting were mandatory (as in Australia) perhaps then it couldn't be considered a right.

 

 

 

Being informed is a responsibility that ought to be a duty.  Voting is a right, often exercised in near-total ignorance.  Of course, no right is absolute (yelling "fire" in a crowded theater and all that).

 

 

"The success of democracy presupposes an informed electorate."

 

 

I guess my point is that voting is not a right spelled out anywhere in the Constitution. It seems more implied than anything.

 

Agree with your comments though.

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The Constitution creates no rights.  To a greater or lesser extent, the Constitution protects rights from government.

 

Rights have been found to exist that are not even mentioned in the Constitution ("right" to "privacy")

 

This language seems to clearly recognize that citizens of the U.S. have a right to vote:  Amendment XV, Section 1: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

 

Or so the argument goes.

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