Age-based voting!

(either nonsense, or da bom)

I've figured out how to make young people vote:

Change the voting system from geographically determined ridings to demographically determined ridings,

We live in communities of our age-peers, do we not?

Take me for example. I'm 28. I am Cupcake Man, Arts and Science '01, Class of '97 etc etc. These are the groups that set the context of my development and adolescent reference points the Snorks and Transformers etc. Unfortunately my age group (people under 40) doesn't vote much. So our political views aren't represented, politicians ignore us, and we become even more disillusioned with the vote.

Me, I vote, I do, but the electable pool of political talent (stress on 'electable' b/c I'm cynical) I vote for often has little in common with me, b/c they are pandering across all age groups in my geographically-determined riding, usually pandering to older votes who often have nothing better to do with their afternoons than go out and vote (Good for those old people - voting is fun!).

I argue that with the internet, political views are becoming more age-based than community-based. Look at marketing surveys - do advertisers care what 'people in Toronto' watch on television, or do they care what males aged 25-29 watch? It's more the latter. And see how efficient marketers are at meeting the needs of these 'consumer voters'. Politics could be just as efficient. Under the age-based voting scheme, People aged 25-29 would have a certain number of representatives, based on total population.

Let's take Canada (ok I admit, Canada is a country, a geographical entity, so I'm compromising but we have to start somewhere and Canada is enlightened enough to listen), which has 32 million people. Let's divide that into 1000 seats, or 32,000 per riding.

If ages 25-29 make up 5 per cent of the population, then people in my demographic - ie those aged 25-29 get 50 seats, guaranteed. The only people who can elect those 50 seats will be people in my age group. Same goes for any other age group (maybe do it in increments of 5 starting at age 15). Our voices will be heard. You could then split it into male and female votes too ie 25 of the seats are determined by women voters, 25 by men. Now, you could still have political parties, and any politician could still run for any seat. 60 year old pasty white lawyers could run to represent '25-29' voters, if they wanted, but they'd probably lose to people who are more in tune with what 25-29 years olds want. All issues would be redefined based on age. People would think more about the future b/c the youngest demographic would be the most cherished AND have the most future votes. Woodstock all over again. Global warming solved just like that. It would get results, I promise you. Baby boomers might still throw their (more precisely allocated) weight around, but this more democratic citizenry would be politically engaged, ie would give a shit and be happier. Accidents of geography will be overcome by the internet. Once we achieve the blah-blah-blah global village (perhaps a long way off) and everyone has an wifi signal planted in their cranium, all national geographic boundaries will finally melt away and that's when I'm running for the age-based Web 2.0 Omniparliament!

Contrast with another idea - cumulative voting. Votes that pile up over a lifetime, like money! And then when you die they finally count. You live your entire life just to finally have your say...murder will be a thing of the past as it increases electoral unpredictability (erp, this is the exact opposite of age-based voting, but would prob be a lot cheaper to administer). Ok I'm gonna stop now.

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