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A paragraph I do not really comprehend

Yet if 16 and 17-year-olds are to be given the vote, the uncertainties about their effects suggest the proposal be justified on principled terms rather than its potential effects on turnout.

 

thanks you in advance

 

 

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the uncertainties about their effects suggest the proposal be justified on principled terms

---->  what does it mean?

Also with turnout in mind, the consultation contains proposals for piloting alternative forms of voting.

 

There is another sentence and I do not understand how "turnout" interpret here.

 

This is only part of the sentence, or at least the thought. It starts with "yet" which is a negation of what came before. I would like to see what came before with this please. 

 

Turnout is how many people come out to the poles to vote. 

This matters beyond Scotland. Two of the three main parties at Westminster – Labour and the Liberal Democrats – have publicly stated their support for votes at 16. It can be argued that Scottish practice with the referendum has been driving broader debate on this issue. Yet if 16 and 17-year-olds are to be given the vote, the uncertainties about their effects suggest the proposal be justified on principled terms rather than its potential effects on turnout.

 

abstracted from

 

http://theconversation.com/pay-attention-to-scotlands-voting-age-debate-it-could-be-heading-south-29193

 

Ok. Thanks. 

 

I am not a lawyer so perhaps I'm not the one to analyze this sentence for you. Principled terms I think is a phrase used in law. It seems like a term that legal writing uses frequently enough, yet there is no definition that I was able easily to find and copy here for you. 

 

I'll try to write out somthing simplified that is my closest guess as to the meaning:

 

If 16 and 17-year-olds are to be given the vote it's uncertain what the effects will be. This suggests that the proposal should be analyzed based upon the intangible qualities that could be of benefit (it should be evaluated on principle) rather than the actual number of people that show up to vote. 

 

 

 

An example of evaluating this on principle could be perhaps in a country where 17 year olds serve as soldiers, can get married and have children and drink and drive and can live separately from parents they "should" also be allowed to vote on what happens to them in these circumstances. On principle, how can you send someone to war when they cannot vote on policies that send them off to war. There are many reasons that could be argued on principle that giving younger people the right to vote could be of benefit to society. I think the author is saying that the other reasons other than the tangible number of votes should used to evaluate whether or not the younger people get to vote rather than just a desire to increase the number of people voting because there is no way to know what the result will be when they come to vote. You don't even know IF they will come to vote and what they would vote for so you need to judge it more on why you think that it is correct, right for the younger people to have the vote based on principle.

I hope that I'm right and that I made it more clear for you. That's a doozy of a sentence for someone just learning English to have to figure out and even a challenge for an English speaker with no legal background.

Maybe someone with a legal background can chime in here and tell me if my guess was correct?

Hi, Dorothy

 

Thank you very much especially your rephrasing and sprawling interpretation.

Hi, Bruce

 

very grateful for your elaboration on my question.

 

Bruce, my man! Thank you from me too. 

 

The thing that might be a little confusing in the quote is that the word "principled" tends to be used in law in a particular way that it is not the same as in every day language. I looked up a bunch of quotes using "principled" and "principled terms" and what I deduced from it was that principled terms were terms that relate to a fundamental principle rather than concrete facts and events. Considering that I'm not a lawyer, that is a highly suspect definition I came up with solely based upon looking at examples. It's quite odd to have a word that seems to be used so frequently and understood within the law but for which no definition can be found on-line. 

 

I found the term "principled terms" pretty much solely in reference to the law, quotes from judges and lawyers and articles written for them. 

 

Hope that helps! 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the key point everyone has missed here is the context, I believe the article is discussing the potential effects on voter turnout by lowering the voting age in the UK which is currently at 18, to 16 or 17. They are also discussing how this has affected Scotland which currently allows voters this young and how this has affected the current political situation there (perhaps to do with the independence debate). as a caveat, my interpretation may be completely wrong though.

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