Idea alert

In a letter to the Economist, Hitotsubashi University professor Reiko Aoki suggests extending the vote to children.

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.

Michael Kinsley considers.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.