“Ah, mom! Do we have to go?”
“Everybody has to vote, Johnny. If you don’t, you’re disenfranchised.”
“I want Spiderman to win!”
“Now, Johnny, don’t be silly. Spiderman isn’t running.”
“I can vote for anybody I want to!”
“I just hope I can fit the stroller into the booth so your sister can vote, too.”
This scene is the earnest product of Miles Corak’s fevered imagination. Corak is (according to Reuters) an intellectual at “Canada 2020, a Canadian progressive research group.”
Works like this. Corak figures “rising income inequality and declining social mobility go together.” Which group has less income than kids? Therefore which group therefore “suffers most” from declining social mobility? You got it, baby. Babies.
Infants have no job prospects. Couldn’t get an interview if they begged. Nobody will hire them. Blatant—and legal!—age discrimination rages, my friend, positively rages.
“Older individuals, and those with more education working in higher-skilled occupations, are more likely to vote,” Corak writes… “But, in addition, there is a broad bias by virtue of the simple fact that children are disenfranchised. Children’s rights are not adequately recognized and they have a reduced political voice in setting social priorities.”
“Children,” Reuters quotes, “are one of the last categories of humans denied the most fundamental right of citizenship: the right to vote.”
To prove to you that Corak doesn’t live entirely in a bubble, he added, “When you first hear about [child voting], it sounds like a crazy idea.” Amen. It does. But after you cogitate over it a while, why then it…still seems like Corak has been spending too much time in the Canadian winter without his coat.
In his favor, Corak says he didn’t originate the idea. He blames a guy named Paul Demeny. Social scientists call lines of infants at the polls “‘Demeny voting’ in his honor.”
Demeny’s version is a little different than Corak’s because Demeny recognize that children and infants do not possess—how can we put this politely?—the intellectual prowess to decide between, say, Joe “Wakka Wakka” Biden and George “Jeb” Bush, the two candidates most fret will vie for this nation’s top spot in 2016. (On the other hand, if it were these two gentlemen, maybe the only ones who could be talked into voting would be children.)
Not only is Junior too stupid to vote intelligently, he also can’t reach the machine to register his opinion. Solution? Let mothers vote for their children. Demeny says this is “justified by logic and justice”. Reuters agrees that mother-proxies are “a data-backed view: Mothers are best at spending shared resources on their offspring, which is why state child support usually goes to them.”
Whither fathers? After requiring they fund the enterprise, forget them. The brutes.
Now this idea, representative voting, is not silly. It is after all true that a family of eight—mom, dad, and six currently ineligible voters—has more at stake than a confirmed bachelor. Why shouldn’t the larger family have more say? As it is now, the bachelor has four times the voting power of either the mom or dad. Social injustice indeed!
But then doesn’t the man who has ten-thousand acres of Wyoming stashed away in a corner have more riding on the country’s prospects than does the fellow who rents month-by-month a single-wide trailer in Tornado Alley, Oklahoma?
Maybe votes should be partitioned by a formula which weights land ownership and family size equally.
Consider too that the aged; those eighty and over have have expended their stores of “social mobility”. These people aren’t headed to the future, but to Florida—if I may employ the euphemism. Infants and newborns, on the other hand, have decades in front of them. The value of their social capital is two orders of magnitude larger than the elderly’s.
That means the weight of children’s votes should be larger than the weight of adults’ votes. Kids who, through say an inheritance own land, would be allocated the largest number of votes. Fair is fair.
We haven’t nearly finished. It is obvious that a man (or woman!) who through intelligence and hard labor employs and therefore provides a living for a hundred men (or women!) is more in the game than one of this man’s (or woman’s!) wage earners.
We have to factor in intelligence, too. Those who can correctly identify their country on a globe should receive twice as many votes as those who admit to watching wrestling on television.
Hat tip: Hot Air, where the Reuters article was originally linked.