More thoughts on setting an age limit on voting in a Democracy

The point of setting a maximum age limit is to restore the approximate relative influence of young people that they enjoyed during the very successful years of US democracy during the 19th and early 20th century. The upper age limit must be low enough to exclude sufficient number of people from voting so that the younger voters can have an appropriate level of influence on voting and policy-making. According my calculations from census bureau data, about 32% of the population is over 55, but only 16% is over 65, and only 7% is over 75. The 55 year age limit results in a significant shift in voting power to young people. Setting the age at 65 is much less effective and by 75 there is hardly an affect at all. In terms of numbers, 55 works great as an upper voting age limit.

Modern era of longer lifespans exposes fatal flaw of democracy: the need to disenfranchise the old

Assuming that a democracy is strongest when the demographics of the eligible voters are younger, we can redefine the eligibility for voting rights from the current eligibility to all adults to a new eligibility of all young adults. In other words, we need disenfranchise adults after they reach a certain age. This mimics what nature did for us in the 19th century. Older adults will continue to enjoy long lifespans and pension-like benefits. They will lose the opportunity to vote after a certain age.

Consent to be Governed: the test of Ferguson-inspired protests

We need this information about the non-participating members of the community. The journalists have the skills to obtain this data. Unfortunately, they do not yet have the incentive to get this data. While one or two dissenting opinions may support a publication of an article, we need an extensive survey across the entire community. If the evidence is going to make a difference in the government-by-data approach, then we need at least as much evidence of the non-protesting population as we have of the protesting population. The protesters have been so vocal that this sets the bar pretty high.

Democracy: Government by “now it is our turn”

This recent Understanding Our Divisions post by George Will was very thought provoking.  The part that caught my attention was his focus on the word democracy. Democracy is rule by the people.   But instead of focusing on the word people, focus instead on the first part.   Saying we have a democracy is saying…

Achilles Heel of Democracies

I continue to follow the unfolding drama of Venezuela and Ukraine.  They have reached an unfortunate stage where there doesn’t seem to be any kind of deliberative solution.  In each case, some side needs to establish some calm and normalcy so that a peaceful economy can resume and allow for the return of more democratic government in the more distant future. On an…

Veto by minority

I am no scholar of government or of the US government in particular.  My understanding is very basic and mostly what I learned several decades ago.  But I am thinking about our government in context to government-destabilizing protests in Ukraine and Venezuela (with more interest on Venezuela that is getting virtually no attention compared to…

Consent to a democracy

Countries with democratic governments and win popular elections can experience uprisings to challenge that government.   These uprisings are significant to make convincing news coverage: clearly a lot of people are upset and even supportive of a some form of change.  It is not clear that these groups represent a majority.   Even at the…