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Lower voting age to six to tackle bias against young, says academic. 

It’s a Guardian headline, since you ask

The head of politics at Cambridge University has called for children as young as six to be given the vote in an attempt to tackle the age bias in modern democracy. Prof David Runciman said the ageing population meant young people were now “massively outnumbered,” creating a democratic crisis and an inbuilt bias against governments that plan for the future.

Children and teenagers are of course renowned for their conscientious forethought.

In the latest episode of his podcast, Talking Politics, he said lowering the voting age to 16 was not radical enough to address the problem. He said: “I would lower the voting age to six, not 16. And I’m serious about that. I would want people who vote to be able to read, so I would exclude reception [age-children].”

Ah, a voice of moderation.

“What’s the worst that could happen? At least it would be exciting.”

Professor Runciman has, we’re told, pondered other options, such as giving extra weight to votes cast by the adolescent – in effect, allowing them to vote twice or one-and-some-fraction – but has dismissed these suggestions as, and I quote, “insane.” Given the professor’s desire to enlist an army of the credulous and hormonal, allegedly to save the world from the elderly and middle-aged, readers may be raising eyebrows as to his motives. And indeed, an alternative explanation does in fact present itself:  

Runciman suggested the Brexit vote might not have happened with a radically lower voting age.

And,

“If 16- or 17-year-olds voted in the 2017 general election, there is a chance that Jeremy Corbyn would now be prime minister.”

And then, quite suddenly, all became clear. Well, when we’ve done fretting about the catastrophic unfairness of primary-school children being unable to vote in general elections, perhaps we might turn our attention to the number of leftist educators who wish to exploit the unworldliness of your children in order to further their own socialist preferences.

Comments

WTP

As for social security, last year I calculated that if the money that I’ve paid into SS since I was nine years old had been invested into a S&P 500 indexed mutual fund, I would have over $800K more for retirement as of today. And I don’t reach “full” retirement age for another ten or eleven years.

Ray

You have two starting conditions. One, everybody votes. Two, a system exists to transfer money from those who earn it to those who don't. Will this result in peace and prosperity for centuries to come? No. Because politicians will use the money raised to increase the size of the group transfered to who will then support them. Eventually the earners become to few to exert political influence and can be taxed at will. They will vote with their feet and the economy collapses. To prevent this the starting conditions have to be changed. Either not everybody votes or redistribution stops.

Chester Draws

Ah, Ray, but you miss an important point. Not everyone who gets money transferred to themselves will remain in that group. So they vote on the basis that one day they will be a nett payer.

Provided the system allows for this, by not being closed to entry, so not an aristocracy, then people won't necessarily vote to take.

Also people aren't always selfish. A lot of people are a lot of the time, but we can think collectively as well. No man is an island and all that.

David

I bought an indulgence for the HTML fail.

Bless you, sir. May your socks never be mispaired or unwittingly worn inside-out.

Zionist Overlord #73

Ok, I caught the Heinlein reference, but I can't seem to find a Bastiat one. I think we're overdue for one, no?

And yes, Sue Sims. Absolutely.

Tom

Ah, Ray, but you miss an important point. Not everyone who gets money transferred to themselves will remain in that group. So they vote on the basis that one day they will be a nett payer.

That's deeply optimistic Chester. If Romney's numbers were correct, and I have no reason to believe they weren't, then 47% of the US population receives more from the government than they contribute. I find it hard to believe that number was higher in the past and decreased to that level in 2011/12(?) or whenever Romney used it.

Voting is a bit like unfettered immigration, you can possibly have both without a welfare state but if you have both, for everyone, with a welfare state you'll eventually run out of money. That's when things get nasty, or as the Chinese curse would have it, interesting.

Adam

I fully support giving 6 year olds the vote, providing that 6 year olds are allowed to run for election and serve in elected offices without limitation.

After all, how can children believe in a system in which they do not see themselves represented?

Surreptitious Evil

Adam,

That would be an improvement in many franchises.

Daniel Ream

[ Summons henchlesbians. ]

Don't make me get the magic crystals.

And I beat Darleen to the Obligatory Heinlein Reference by a good two hours and nobody noticed. No one reads the classics any more.

TomJ

Meanwhile, in Parliament

Muddle from Morporkh

I personally believe in One Man, One Vote. For practical purposes, I am the Man, and I will have the Vote.

I believe it is called the Vetinari system of electoral government.

You may now thank me for resolving this complicated issue.

Hal

You may now thank me for resolving this complicated issue.

Ahem, not so fast.

You left out the terrier. It's not going to work without a terrier.

David perhaps? Certainly not the henchlesbians, they'll be joining the Regiment.

Muddle from Morprorkh

On the one hand, the terrier denotes a disturbing degree of sentiment. One might wonder if a small black cat, of supreme indifference, may be more suitable.

On the other hand, it is the tradition, and the Vetinari system does hold to traditions wherever useful.

The small dog is included for a probationary period.

Hal

The small dog is included for a probationary period.

Oh, no, no. Not Wuffles. Or Mr Fusspot, who doesn't seem to be a terrier. The other terrier.

The one that smoke the cigars.

Daniel Ream

I believe it is called the Vetinari system of electoral government.

It never fails to amuse me how few Discworld fans notice that the whole series is as much Pratchett soapboxing his political and economic views as Heinlein was.

Hal

It never fails to amuse me how few Discworld fans notice that the whole series is as much Pratchett soapboxing his political and economic views as Heinlein was.

. . . . . . And?

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