That 17 percent of the population consist of infants, toddlers, children and teenagers under the age of 18.
The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany feel that there are 14 million people, that are disenfranchised and ineligible to vote and they are proposing a bill to correct that by striking part of the German Constitution to let children vote.
In Germany one must be 18 to be eligible to vote and some states have an exception for 16 year olds, but the FDP does not think that is fair to children too young right now to vote.
The believe that babies should have the same power and decision making ability as do adults about the affairs that affect Germany. One example given in the Telegraph article, is that toddlers should be given the ability to take stand on issues such as whether German armed forces should be deployed abroad, whether they understand the ramifications of such discussions or not.
The law is proposed as part of a review of voting rights which its champions hope will be in force for the federal elections in Germany next year.
According to the FDP chief, Dirk Niebel, "The Constitutional Court has ruled that election regulations have to be reformed anyway, so we should take advantage of the occasion to enforce children's right to vote."
In looking into this a little further, other reports say that this proposal is more like the one brought up in 2003, that was rejected. The children would not be able to actually vote, but the parents would have the right to vote in the child's name.
That proposal was not accepted.
A similar proposal was defeated in 2005 on constitutional and practical grounds. Opponents made the objection that parents would vote their own wishes and not those of their children.
A two-thirds majority would be needed to change the German constitution to allow children to have voting rights.
According to the German Constitution, Chapter 3, Article 38, number 2, it says, "Any person who has attained the age of eighteen shall be entitled to vote; any person who has attained the age of majority may be elected."
This latest proposal, which has the backing of "some members of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the free-market liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP)," is to strike Article 38 from the German Constitution, thereby giving babies, toddlers and teenagers the right to a vote.
In looking up this issue I ran across Don Surber's entry on it and I had to laugh because he asks, "But wouldn’t this make abortion vote-tampering?"
I wonder how that would work here in America... let us take Evangelicals as just an example, many of which have large families, would a law like this mean that those families would get X amount (however many children they have) more votes than people that do not have families?
Really makes you wonder what those German lawmakers are thinking when proposing hair-brained schemes like this.