Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Children's Government

A Government for kids, by kids
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

What if we had an island out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where we could send our kids to see if they can govern themselves? The older kids and teens (who care) could be the people in charge, while the younger kids would be the citizens. This would only be for kids 6 to 16, of course.

To make profit, they could work jobs (mowing lawns, assembly line, toy making), tend cattle, and grow plants. They would have their own political issues (Headline: local toy factory goes under, 20 lose jobs), their own culture (play day!), and their own crimes (local serial mooner still at large).

Their own constitution would be issued (freedom of speech, religion, toys...) and the court system would be their own (run by "old people" which are 17).

We could use some other ideas from this site, like the Real Kids Restraunt [by mahatma], the Children's Olympics [by saker], the Fun Foods Camp [by Rexaldo], Kids Fun Day! [by sumidog123], Pre-stained Kids Clothes [by Steve DeGroof], extreme banisters [by po], and Real Life 101 [by Twibble] (note: all ideas in the above paragraph are not mine)

The great thing is it would be relatively safe. There’s no molesters, murderers, or parents to neglect and abuse. All the kids would know all the other kids. And with no one to discredit them, there could be some major scientific break-throughs; kids are smart, when you let them be.

[Please annotate if you vote]

tustin, Sep 15 2003

Lord of the Flies http://www.gerenser.com/lotf/
[Brummo, Oct 04 2004]

An Island In The Middle Of The Atlantic Ocean http://www.btintern...istan_da_cunha.html
[my face your, Oct 04 2004]

Battle Royale http://www.mandiapp...od/battleroyale.htm
A comedy [my face your, Oct 04 2004]

Boys Alone http://www.tinofyou...20coverpage.wps.htm
Children Left To Rule Themselves Experiment (Boys) [Renesis, Oct 04 2004]

Girls Alone http://www.channel4...alone_comments.html
Children Left To Rule Themselves Experiment (Girls) [Renesis, Oct 04 2004]

Quinn in the Morning http://www.warroom.com
To lead you out of the Sandstorms of Deception and into the Light of the Truth [tustin, Oct 04 2004]

Remote Controlled Ritalin Dispenser http://www.halfbake...Ritalin_20Dispenser
Ritalin, Bah. [tustin, Oct 04 2004]

just a suggestion http://www.halfbake...20-_20relocation_5d
[po, Oct 04 2004]

Camp Rising Sun http://www.risingsun.org
perhaps something like this? I wnet to here! [~synergy~, Oct 04 2004]


       Thank you for pointing that out, I'll look up the definition of citizenship again and delete that from my idea.
tustin, Sep 15 2003

       This will work fine until Bush feels that the children may be on the verge of developing weapons of mass destruction.
Worldgineer, Sep 15 2003

       I guess I didn't add there IS a police force; what country doesn't have that, [jutta]?   

       And this country is coming from america. I doubt kids will want to... well you have a point there [Worldgineer].
tustin, Sep 15 2003

       what bp said.
po, Sep 15 2003

       We are already inadvertently performing this experiment on ourselves. School is the lab; we lock children up together in institutions for most of their young lives, and then hope that they will behave in some adult way when they get out. The society that you see around you is the result.
Fussass, Sep 15 2003

       Does a poopy diaper count as WMD?
DeathNinja, Sep 15 2003

       [DeathNinja], these kids are old enough to be out of dipers. Although it could count as a WMD if it's big enough.
tustin, Sep 15 2003

       oh, i just spotted the link.   

       and sorry [buddha_pest], [Kreuner], the one i deleted the annotate of, of my stupid hypocritical behavior
tustin, Sep 15 2003

       // good children //   

       What the hell is that?
DeathNinja, Sep 15 2003

       ya know guys, a crossant is one of my favorate foods. the only one in my house that likes fish bones is the cat on my back porch.
tustin, Sep 15 2003

       The part about sending the kids to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is such a pleasant thought in itself, the rest of the idea isn't so important. Unfortunately for your cat, I have to croissant this one.
Amos Kito, Sep 15 2003

       And you know, the ones that aren't are at an evolutionary disad.... who am I kidding? :)
Madcat, Sep 16 2003

       I'm sorry [shift] but I have to fight you on that one. Children may be selfish by nature, I'll give you that one, but the CAN be taught NOT to be that way. They can be nasty and taught not to be, they can be brutish and taught not to be, and unlike your unpopular belif, some parents acctully CARE about their kids and would not rather leave them in the wilderness. A steriotype easily countered.
tustin, Sep 16 2003

       I have just read the summery for the lord of the flies and want to point out some differences between my idea and the anarchy that occurred.   

       1. authority- the island they were on in the lord of the flies was practically unknown and no one knew the boys were on there. This would be regulated by America, resulting in knowledge of their existence and if anarchy were to set in, the children would be taken out of there before anyone was killed.   

       2. arrival- the children going over to the island would be going voluntarily instead of, as in lord of the flies, being stranded there.   

       3. civilization- the island the boys are stranded on has no civilization whatsoever. This island will be furnished with houses, apartments, roads (or trails of sorts since no one can drive), and other facilities.   

       4. Social services- children can't exactly fight fires, so firemen can come to the island and help. One thing that was a great killer on the lord of the flies’ island was fire. The first fire swallowed up a yung'un with out a name. That won't happen on the island of the kids' government. And if it did, that child won't be forgotten easily.   

       5. police- there will be a police force so there will be none, if not very few, of these brutal murders like poor Simon's.
tustin, Sep 18 2003

       so its more like summer camp then (or what I imagine summer camp to be like)
po, Sep 18 2003

po, Sep 18 2003

       Lord of the Ringing Flies...   

       One conch to rule them all...   

       Lord of the Flying Dancing Rings?   

       Oh, and, somebody please buy Kreuner enough lagers to pass out.
RayfordSteele, Sep 18 2003

       [tustin], you're an idiot.   

       First of all, if you were still sixteen (which you may be) you probably wouldn't like being shuffled off to an exotic location with a bunch of other teens and kiddies and a ruling police force. Just a guess. I mean, parents are bad, but they aren't (usually) that bad.   

       Secondly, seeing as how you would be one of the oldest persons on this fictitious island, the weight of responsibility for the welfare of the others would fall squarely on your shoulders. You would be the one accountable for order, governing and the like (not that you would be proficient) and would soon learn that it's a hateful position to be in and nobody is ever grateful to you.   

       Third, on your seventeenth birthday you would be removed from the island. You would reenter society as (hopefully) a more thoughtful, compassionate human being, someday falling in love, and having children of your own who are then taken from you to serve your stupid experiment.   

       To sum up, you are an unqualified, feckless teenaged boy sopping up some valuable time with your ridiculous goo-gahs about social theorem. I won't tell you how to live your life, because frankly I don't care, but please be good enough to leave the Halfbakery out of it.
k_sra, Sep 19 2003

       //would be regulated by America//   

       There they go again...
squeak, Sep 19 2003

       //This would be regulated by America

...bad luck Muslim kids

Terrible idea - I'm sure someone somewhere must have mentioned Cambodia by now.

(<note for Unabubba>//They are nasty, brutish, and short// ...Hah! How Dickensian, as is this idea.
this is actually a bit of a very famous Hobbes quote about society without despotic control: "...No arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." - from Leviathan. But you probably knew that.</note for Unabubba>)
custardlove, Sep 19 2003

       See my links for why it is a very bad idea to let kids try to rule themselves! Channel 4 here in the UK ran 2 experiments which have been dubbed "Real Life Lord Of The Flies"
Renesis, Sep 20 2003

       Haven't read the book, but I've seen the movie. For some reason I really enjoyed the scene where "Piggy" died. I know, I'm evil.   

       Oh, and this idea is utter shite.
RoboBust, Sep 21 2003

       Sorry, have been busy and not able to defend myself from criticism.   

       [k_sra], please allow me to clear some points up CALMLY before I get ticked and start WRITING IN ALL UPPERCASE WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!   

       Ahem. 1. You, referring to the sixteen year old, would not be the only one there. Fortunately, I come to think that there is more than one teen out there who doesn't have his/her head in the stratosphere.   

       2. The police force doesn’t rule. (Thank you, Spanish teacher, for teaching me attention to detail, or I probably wouldn't have caught this... flaw)   

       3. It is more like a summer camp, [po].   

       4. This is regulated by America, land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE. Your children are NOT, NOT, NOT, forced to do this. If you are BRAVE enough, you may sign you child up. And apparently you are not Ms./Mrs./Mr. [k_sra], or you would not be attacking my person. This direct attack to ME, the editor, is a description of your liberal view (no offence to anyone else).   

       Thank you,
tustin, Sep 28 2003

       //There they go again...//   

       I'm sorry to bother, but why is it that everyone HATES America? From the Liberals at home to the European counties. What is wrong with us?   

       Am I answering my own question when I say, "'Cause we're free?" Free? Free to make our own living? Free to say what we want without getting our heads literally cut off? Free to praise who we want, where we want, how we want? Free to strike down our government when it gets out of hand? Free to have our posterity follow their dreams? Free to make a profit? Free to report news with out our government breathing down our throats? Free to be safe and secure in our home with out the worry of random searches and secure of our person, property, or posterity? Or free to defend ourselves against un-abiding evil?   

       This here is what our Constitution is based upon. But times change, and it is slowly deteriorating, those freedoms questioned above. Our money is being taxed from us and given to people who sit on their asses all day while we work ours off. Now free speech rights only apply to liberals, and when we conservatives speak, our heads our cut off. The word “god” has now become a household ONLY name, if any reference of Him gets out at school, we are punished. Our guns, guaranteed to us to protect us from out-of-hand government, are being taken from us with laws. Our kids can’t take many jobs anymore, unless they’re Black, Hispanic, Mexican, or anything other than white. Our media is so biased now; no one can get the complete story anymore. In the case of Elian Gonzales, they just broke in and took the boy to return to Cuba; I’ll give you the argument that he was an illegal alien, but now they’re giving drivers’ licenses to those over in California. And now the liberals, the French and the Middle East is coming together to fight our resolution against Sadam Insane.   

       God Bless America and [squeak], are you French?
tustin, Sep 28 2003

       Being one of these children the majority of you are throwing around disrespectful stereotypes about, I am disgusted. Children have only prejudices their environment, e.g parents, friends, enemies have taught them. a baby can become a right wing conservative just as easily as a bleeding heart liberal depending on these factors, until this human becomes old enough to form its own prejudices. if you have ever watched small children who have not learned these prejudices or fears yet, (which i do on occasion) they will just walk up to someone and say, hello, my name is( ), whats your name? with the sole purpose of making friends. Besides, I thought this was what mao's communist revolution was about; destroy the old and educated, let the young take over and become farmers. Major scientific breakthroughs? there could be major scientific breakthroughs if you bastards would STOP SENDING US TO SCHOOLS TO TRAIN US TO BE GOOD LITTLE OBEDIENT EMPLOYEES AND STOP SQUASHING OUR NATURAL CURIOSITY OUT!!!
monk, Sep 29 2003

       At first I thought it was a quaint idea. Then you started "defending" yourself. Now even if its a cute idea, it is tainted by your hatred toward other cultures([squeak], are you french?) and your misplaced self righteousness. Just because America is free and brave does not make its government, or you, either of those. Speak with some respect towards others and stop giving us Americans a bad name.
countzero, Sep 29 2003

       oh, and i voted against it. It's just the same "kings and peasants" hierarchy on a smaller scale. bet you think it would be cute to see little five year olds farming and tilling the land and ten year olds pondering beakers full of chemicals and teenagers presiding over it all, levvying crippling taxes and creating laws. its a load of crap.
monk, Sep 29 2003

       Oh, dear little [tusty], I didn't mean it as a personal attack, I got sidetracked by the inferiority of the idea and let that dislike bleed into my thought processes of you. Of course the editor is invited to stay at the bakery. Of course, I shouldn't attack you personally. I should only attack your idea. So, here:   

       [tustin], your idea is idiotic. What makes you think these imaginary people you have raising the germs of the future will succeed any better than a land full of struggling parents? The American economy would suffer from the deportation. The children would grow up disengaged from their own society in mind and spirit. Young parents would grow discouraged by losing their kids and birthrates would drop off. Having babies to keep would become an underground project. The American people would grow restive and fitful. Rebellion and anarchy would ensue.   

       But anything that puts you on a foreign island is a good idea to me. + (oops, I did it again.)
k_sra, Sep 30 2003

       Good point about the discouraged parents. I wonder how many women would go through the birthing process and separation for only the concept of their genes being passed on.
Worldgineer, Sep 30 2003

       1. [shift], I am a conservative and proud to be one, I am also a teenager, one of the few who doesn't have his head in the clouds, and I am old enough (well just becoming at least) to be aware of my surroundings and those who attack me politically. I can defend my position righteously and if I can't I will (a) find a way to and if that fails (b) say you are right and accept defeat sportingly. Two more things:   

       Tell me how I am saying stupid things,   

       And I don't listen to Rush, but to Quinn in the Morning, 96.9 FM, from 5:30-9:00 EST. [link]   

       2. I am not giving America a bad name. Just like every conservative out there currently, I hate the French for what they did to bush's war on terrorism. Now if I OFFENDED someone by calling a fellow member of this wonderful website French, So Help Me God. But she was called that because of her comment:   

       //There they go again...//   

       With all do respect, that comment deserved the counter comment.   

       3.your apology has been accepted. thank you, [k_sra]   



       This Is Voluntary!!!!   


       I have said that at least three times already and everyone MISSES IT!! This Is Voluntary, Not Mandatory. The parents and the child must agree.
tustin, Sep 30 2003

       Kids have no money, thus little stake in the outcome of government. I don't think they'd really care about self-governing their little Utopia, especially if it's close to the beach. "What are they talking about? Underfunded pension plans? The diving here rocks but I am so off this island when I turn 18."   

       Plus, as a parent, I don't think I'd want my kid to volunteer himself off to an isolated sociology lab, neither for his sake nor my own.   

       Nobody brought up health care. Would Doogie Howser go along in case somebody got acute appendicitis, or needed a quick needleful of penicillin? Would there be a JrFDA to regulate Ritalin?   

       (Maybe someone did bring up health issues, if I missed it it's because it was buried in the vitriolic namecalling.)
smallrocks, Sep 30 2003

       //Just like every conservative out there currently, I hate the French for what they did to bush's war on terrorism.//   

       Stereotype, stereotype, stereotype. False, false, false. Not every conservative thinks like you (thank God).   

       Fishbone. -
Pseudonym #3, Sep 30 2003

       [tustin], if you want to be politically informed then there is one thing you need do: you must question *everything.* Don't just question what's said by what's left of the US Left, but what it being said and done by *all* parties to political debate. The only truth in politics is that there is more to any given situation than you know. So, homework exercises: play a rigorous game of Devil's Advocate when next you listen to Quinn In The Morning. Repeat the exercise with Left and Centrist politics.   

       This is a forum full of experienced, educated compulsive arguers - people who will bicker for days on end about, frexample, the rules of physics in relation to goldfish trapped in bowling balls. No matter how schooled you are in the art of arguing and no matter how fervently you believe, the massed ranks of the halfbakers will, well, fuck you up. Stick around, though, you can learn a lot here. I have.   

       Anyway, enough about your politcs and the nature if this place and onto the idea. For me the problem with this idea, apart from the fact that the colony would quickly dissolve into desperate feral blood letting, is the assumption that the US can just sashay into any territory and install its own government for its own purposes. Oh hang on...
calum, Oct 01 2003

       Well said that man.
lostdog, Oct 01 2003

       maybe we should put this in the millithbakery, as this is clearly only 1/1000th baked.   

       Instead of a fully baked croissant, we can give this a fishbone, which will fertilize the soil, grow wheat, get milled into flour, and then get baked into a croissant someday. But right, now, it's definately fertilizer.   

       oh, and kindly NOTsaying that I'VE never put fertilizer up here too....
sophocles, Oct 01 2003

       //I hate the French for what they did to bush's war on terrorism. Now if I OFFENDED someone by calling a fellow member of this wonderful website French, So Help Me God. But she was called that because of her comment//   

       So one's comments can identify you as 'french?' Are their national attributes so instantly and globally recognisable? Don't you think that's a little racist?   

       So, you 'hate' the french, as an entire people, because their government did what? Refused to ignore the advice of the united nations? Strongarmed their own view onto another country? Acted on extremely sketchy intelligence? God forbid, because they decided they might like to protect their own interests?   

       The war in Iraq may have turned out to be the 'right' thing to do - but it's still way up in the air at the moment. As for Bush's war on terrorism - what has Iraq been shown to have to do with that? Nothing, as yet, except for a massive publicity stunt. If you have to complain about the lack of direction of the so-called war on terrorism, I suggest you ask the so-called leader of the free world what happened to the search for Bin Laden.   

       Your opinion may differ from other peoples, but if you begin to hate them for that, you are on the way to becoming like those fools who flew the planes on 9-11. Hate us for disagreeing with you, if you like: we'll stick with pity for the specimin of youth you and others like you are becoming.
yamahito, Oct 01 2003

       [tustin] You've asked for an anno to go with my fishbone... My advice is to go away and think about the merits of this idea. Then stop pissing in the wind.
Jinbish, Oct 02 2003

       I'm shocked. My first reaction to the idea was how viciously halfbakers can lay into someone whose only crime is that of being terribly naive.   

       Then I looked closer, not at the idea, but tustin's comments. Now I'm shocked and angry, not at the behaviour of halfbakers, but at the manipulative words of an ugly little troll, trying to seize the moral high ground by provoking people to angry words while looking as innocent as they can.   

       The mask has slipped. Fishbone.
st3f, Oct 02 2003

       Okay, as I have said above somewhere in this mess of attacks of every single kind, if I am cornered and can't get out, I will say "you’re right" and give up. So here it is:   

       I am sorry for calling you a French person [squeak].   

       Now that that’s solved out-of-court, for notes to everyone:   

       1. I still do not like the french. The reason? What they did to us in the war, how we have to save their ass constantly becouse they always have their hands in the air, and how they critizie that we're doing bad in Iraq YET they refuse to send their own troops over to fix our "flaws".   

       2. I don't drink and probably will never. (Please don't turn this into another controversy)   

       3. I try to be very careful about what I say, and listen to everyone (right, left, center). What I need to work on is WHAT I challenge.   

       4. Every one is somewhere on the political spectrum on different subjects. For the example, I am on the right side for the war but the center for abortion. Someone else could be left on the war, but right on something else.   

       5. I do not have to disclose my age to you. I will tell you that I am a teen. That's it.   

       6. The children on the island would not get riddlin. Please see the following link to another page on Halfbakery to see what I say. [link]   

       7. And now as much as I like to debate, may we get back to the idea this page is designated for, the Children's Government.
tustin, Oct 02 2003

       Many children are cruel and have no conscience. These bullies would likely be the ones agressive enough to push themselves up the chain to a position of authority in the Children's Government. Then the irrational things that they do would be without recourse. Imagine the school bullies in a position of authority.   

       The idea is idealistic, but the possibility of corruption is even worse than with an "adult" government.   

       Now if you take the summer camp idea and let the kids run the government (i.e. pass laws, vote on bills, etc) as a way to become more familiar with the political process, then this could be a good educational experience.
guardian2, Oct 02 2003

       Wow, based on the ratings at the top of the page, you sure managed to stir up some hate and controversy. :)
guardian2, Oct 02 2003

       yes i did...   

       I haven't thought of the possibility of a bully getting up to authourity... that's bad
tustin, Oct 02 2003

       Yeah, but we get the chance to vote him out next year.
Worldgineer, Oct 02 2003

       I don't like your point of veiw. Why is Bush a "bully"? he hasn't done anything "bulling" like. Meanwhile, your at the Bully Pulpit hating him. HATERS!!   

       (that felt good, I should act more like a liberal and say "hater" more)
tustin, Oct 02 2003

       The kids might become docile if you clip their gerunds.
Amos Kito, Oct 03 2003

       Though it doesn't seem to have worked for conservatives.
Worldgineer, Oct 03 2003

       I'm sorry, it's just... do any of you know how rather stupid you sound when you do that? Okay, I realize that I cannot spell, that doen't mean you have to do that. MOST people here can't spell, I am on of them. What's "gerunds"?
tustin, Oct 03 2003

       This is a disaster. What a shame. At least he's young enough that there's still hope.
waugsqueke, Oct 03 2003

       If only we had an island we can send him off to...
Worldgineer, Oct 03 2003

       *He No Know Me Very Well, Do He?*
tustin, Oct 03 2003

       you still here?
The Kat, Oct 03 2003

       well, it can at least kill off America's incresing number of fat kids. diddo Madcat.
~synergy~, Dec 06 2003

       Back to the actual idea - I was listening to All Things Considered on National Public Radio, and they had an interview with a writer who talked about how he and his friends were problem children and just too wild for their families to control - their grandmother had the idea of taking them out to a summer cabin she owned on an east coast island and leaving them there with bulk food supplies and essentially saying "grow up". He said it was a very transformative experience for him and played a big part in making him very independant and self-willed when he was an adult.
submitinkmonkey, Mar 31 2005

       Judges and others in real positions of power would be around that ages of sixteen. This is a kinda stupid idea, seeing from personal and recent experience. I am 14, my brother is sixteen. I have another brother and sister. Who gets in charge? Not my brother. What you are saying is that kids who are under 15 or sixteen are unable to make a valid decision. This is not true. Although it may be perfectly valid to put a 16 year old in charge of a 6 year old, it isn't the same if a 14 year old is more responsible than said 16 year old.   

       I love politics. Any Aussies please vote for me when I put up my election campaign for prime ministership of Australia.   

       Diplomacy: The art of saying 'nice doggie' until you can find a rock.
froglet, Mar 31 2005

       [submitinkmonkey] And what happened to the others? This sounds like something that might have been formative in Stephen King's life.
goldilox, Apr 01 2005


       Human form robots could be nice and growthful for the kids, and provide things of utility.   

       This makes the idea more about voluntary association among children. Having said that, I think kids often benefit from adults stretching their cognition.   

       Robots that can simulate a human,with AI engineered to provide 99.9th percentile of good parenting, could be at the situation improving things among the voluntarily associating children.
beanangel, Oct 15 2018

       I'm so sick of reading about politics that even translating beanyspeak in my brain is fun by comparison.
RayfordSteele, Oct 16 2018


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