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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 10:53
    Here's a rather interesting idea from Reiko Aoki, Director Centre for Intergenerational Studies, at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, in a letter to The Economist.

    SIR – You talked about the significance of the elderly voting-age population in Japan as a factor in determining government transfers, such as pensions and health care [special report on Japan, November 20th]. The median age of voters in Japan will reach 65 within the next 15 years. We should seriously consider giving children a vote and having their parents use it on their behalf. Parents with children under 18 would then control 37% of the vote.

    Why should we give children a right to vote? Because intergenerational income distribution became a contentious public-policy issue with the establishment of public-pension systems. It may seem outrageous to extend the vote to children, but the extension of the franchise to women was also opposed. That historic change was achieved through the democratic process and resulted in a dilution of the voting power of the male-only electorate. Greying populations require such a fundamental democratic change.


    [special report on Japan, November 20th: http://www.economist.com/node/17492860]

    How about this this novel idea to tinker with One Person One Vote?
  2. 12 Jan '11 13:00
    Originally posted by FMF
    Here's a rather interesting idea from Reiko Aoki, Director Centre for Intergenerational Studies, at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, in a letter to The Economist.

    [quote]SIR – You talked about the significance of the elderly voting-age population in Japan as a factor in determining government transfers, such as pensions and health care [special report on Jap ...[text shortened]... nomist.com/node/17492860]

    How about this this novel idea to tinker with One Person One Vote?
    Why should children be given the right to vote? Why not? I mean, governments around the world are spending money from future generatoins, so why shouldn't they have the right?
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 13:06
    Originally posted by whodey
    Why should children be given the right to vote? Why not? I mean, governments around the world are spending money from future generatoins, so why shouldn't they have the right?
    Why should children not be given the right to vote? Well one reason might be because they are children. Did you read the OP? The proposal is for parents to be given votes to cast on behalf of the children they have. Any on-topic comment?
  4. 12 Jan '11 13:50
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why should children not be given the right to vote? Well one reason might be because they are children. Did you read the OP? The proposal is for parents to be given votes to cast on behalf of the children they have. Any on-topic comment?
    Same argument. You could also argue that one should have more sway the more dependents they have to care for. Why wouldn't they?
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 14:13
    Originally posted by whodey
    You could also argue that one should have more sway the more dependents they have to care for.
    Well why don't you then?
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Jan '11 15:00
    Originally posted by FMF
    Here's a rather interesting idea from Reiko Aoki, Director Centre for Intergenerational Studies, at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, in a letter to The Economist.

    [quote]SIR – You talked about the significance of the elderly voting-age population in Japan as a factor in determining government transfers, such as pensions and health care [special report on Jap ...[text shortened]... nomist.com/node/17492860]

    How about this this novel idea to tinker with One Person One Vote?
    I like the idea.

    The children are going to be the ones to pay for the public expenditures that the aging will demand. So, having someone vote on their behalf makes sense.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 15:03
    Originally posted by sh76
    The children are going to be the ones to pay for the public expenditures that the aging will demand. So, having someone vote on their behalf makes sense.
    Are you suggesting that the mandates politicians have based their overspending on for decades were in some way obtained without the support of voters with children?
  8. 12 Jan '11 15:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why should children not be given the right to vote? Well one reason might be because they are children. Did you read the OP? The proposal is for parents to be given votes to cast on behalf of the children they have. Any on-topic comment?
    Hey, this is just like old times again!

    The idea is dreadful. It essentially just means giving extra votes to parents, since it would be likely that the adult in question would vote according to his or her own conscience, not in accordance with the wishes of the child (some parents, I suppose, would honour their children's wishes once the kids reached an age of political awareness, but there would be no guarantee of this, and obviously young children are scarcely going to be in a position to express a meaningful political opinion anyway).

    The OP implies that it's a problem for old people to hold the balance of electoral power because they might... what... vote for increased pensions? Is it any better if the parents of six children can vote multiple times for increased family allowance?

    If one is really worried about the participation of the young in politics, why not reduce the voting age to 16?
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Jan '11 15:31
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Hey, this is just like old times again!

    The idea is dreadful. It essentially just means giving extra votes to parents, since it would be likely that the adult in question would vote according to his or her own conscience, not in accordance with the wishes of the child (some parents, I suppose, would honour their children's wishes once the kids reached a ...[text shortened]... worried about the participation of the young in politics, why not reduce the voting age to 16?
    But isn't the parent of 4 children in essence representing 5 members of society anyway? Why shouldn't that be reflected at the ballot box?
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Jan '11 15:34
    Originally posted by FMF
    Are you suggesting that the mandates politicians have based their overspending on for decades were in some way obtained without the support of voters with children?
    Well, first of all, I don't believe in mandates. If you win, you govern to the best of your ability.

    I absolutely think that governments in many western countries have run up enormous deficits for no compelling reason because they are not thinking of and aren't really forced to care about the interests of the next generation.
  11. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 15:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    But isn't the parent of 4 children in essence representing 5 members of society anyway? Why shouldn't that be reflected at the ballot box?
    But, rather like Teinosuke suggested, parents with 4 children might cast their family's votes for a Safety Net Party, even if the 4 'children's votes' might "better" be cast - with an eye on future debt - for an Austerity Party.
  12. 12 Jan '11 15:35
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why should children not be given the right to vote? Well one reason might be because they are children. Did you read the OP? The proposal is for parents to be given votes to cast on behalf of the children they have. Any on-topic comment?
    One other objection - what happens if the parents have different politics? Does Mum or Dad get to cast the vote on behalf of their kid?
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Jan '11 15:36
    Originally posted by sh76
    I absolutely think that governments in many western countries have run up enormous deficits for no compelling reason because they are not thinking of and aren't really forced to care about the interests of the next generation.
    Well haven't they been voted in - in part at least - by parents who "care about the interests of the next generation"?
  14. 12 Jan '11 15:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    But isn't the parent of 4 children in essence representing 5 members of society anyway? Why shouldn't that be reflected at the ballot box?
    OK, so what about a 60-year-old woman caring for her 90-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer's and is not in a fit mental state either to cast a vote or appoint a proxy? Shouldn't the daughter actually be considered to represent two members of society? And shouldn't this be reflected at the ballot box?
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Jan '11 15:41
    Originally posted by FMF
    Well haven't they been voted in - in part at least - by parents who "care about the interests of the next generation"?
    In part, yes. But if people with children (and thus who had more of an interest in seeing their interests protected) had more of a say, maybe things wold be different.