Moral Philosophy and Politics 7 (2):255-279 (2020)

Attila Mráz
Sciences Po Paris
In this paper, I offer a solution to the Capacity/Equality Puzzle. The puzzle holds that an account of the franchise may adequately capture at most two of the following: (1) a political equality-based account of the franchise, (2) a capacity-based account of disenfranchising children, and (3) universal adult enfranchisement. To resolve the puzzle, I provide a complex liberal egalitarian justification of a moral requirement to disenfranchise children. I show that disenfranchising children is permitted by both the proper political liberal and the proper political egalitarian understandings of the relationship between cognitive capacity and the franchise. Further, I argue, disenfranchising children is required by a minimalistic, procedural principle of collective competence in political decision-making. At the same time, I show that political equality requires the enfranchisement of all adults, regardless of cognitive capacities, and that the collective competence principle does not ground adult disenfranchisement. This justifies the progressive legal trend that holds the capacity-based disenfranchisement of adults to be incompatible with liberal democratic principles.
Keywords right to vote  political equality  democratic equality  voting capacity  children's franchise  children and democracy  cognitive disability  mental disability  disability rights  CRPD  franchise capacity
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Reprint years 2020
DOI 10.1515/mopp-2019-0054
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References found in this work BETA

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.
Law’s Empire.Ronald Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Capable Deliberators: Towards Inclusion of Minority Minds in Discourse Practices.Thomas Schramme - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
Universal Enfranchisement for Citizens with Cognitive Disabilities – A Moral-Status Argument.Regina Schidel - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.

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