Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas

 I gather that 'elf on the shelf' is popular at this time of year, so here are some elves that I made last year:


Parts are almost all from Northstar's Frostgrave/Oathmark lines, though I did use a few GW bits including the old Bretonnian shields (featuring stag faces, which I gave a red nose).

One day I hope to use them in an Xmas-themed Frostgrave scenario, though I've not had the chance yet.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Attempts to lower the voting age in Canada

Canada will soon debate a private member's bill, sponsored by NDP MP Taylor Bachrach, proposing to lower the voting age to 16. I don't know its prospects of success, since it seems that there have been similar attempts in the not-so-distant past. Still, this may be useful for discussion on my democratic theory module next semester.


In a separate, though related, matter it seems there's a current legal challenge to the current threshold. It's argued that this minimum is an unjustifiable breach of Section 3 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that "every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly." 


I don't know much about Canadian constitutional law, but it's not obvious that lowering the minimum voting age to 16 would be much of an improvement. If every citizen has this right, and citizenship starts from birth, then presumably there should be no minimum voting age. Any age threshold will exclude some citizens who are below that age.


Perhaps exclusions of the very young may be justifiable breaches of this right, though this still leaves a question as to at what point this is justifiable. I've heard proposals to set the voting age at various points from 12 to as low as six before. If any of those are remotely plausible, then even 16 would be unjustifiable.

Friday, December 10, 2021

New Zealand to withhold cigarettes

New Zealand is poised to ban anyone born after 2008 from purchasing cigarettes or tobacco. This is an interesting move. It means that those currently able to purchase these products will still be able to do so, but those not yet able to do so will never be able to do so.


This could be seen as some form of age discrimination, but it could reflect the view that it's easier to justify withholding freedom from people that do not have it than to justify withdrawing a freedom that people already have - an asymmetry defended by Andi Schmidt.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Kimmich update

I recently mentioned the footballer Joshua Kimmich being a high profile vaccine refuser. (Perhaps I should describe him as merely vaccine hesitant, since his comments suggested that he hadn't ruled out vaccination in future.)


I've just seen that he's been ruled out until the new year, following a Covid infection. This isn't actually that far away now, so I hope it's not too serious. Still, perhaps stories like this - rather than stories of refusal - send a better public health message.