TOP Q (5): Should Parents, On Behalf Of Their Children’s Interests, Get Extra Votes?

Michael Kinsley has a daring suggestion:

[E]xtend the franchise to children, but let parents vote on their underage children’s behalf. In effect, parents would get an extra vote for every child. How would this solve the entitlement problem? It wouldn’t, directly. But it would revise the allocation of political power to more closely reflect who has the most at stake. It would reward long-term thinking rather than short-term thinking. Right now seniors are all-powerful because they vote in such large numbers, while young people must rely on the good will of their parents and grandparents to protect their interests. Every politician invokes “our children” as the most important consideration on every issue, and then, having done so, is free to ignore them.

So, today’s open philosophical question is, “Should Parents, On Behalf Of Their Children’s Interests, Get Extra Votes?”

And also, there are a couple of topics which I think got short shrift by way of comments in large part due to the website being down, beyond our control, for a full 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday of this week.  If you find them interesting, consider giving these questions a shot too:

3rd TOP Q: Can Virtues Conflict Or Must Every Truly Virtuous Action Be Approvable According To Every Other Virtue As Well?

TOP Q 4: What Obligations Is Someone Prominent Under When She Is Perceived To Speak For A Group?

And of course, the first two TOP Qs are also still interesting even several days later:

1st TOP Q: “How, If At All, Can People’s Claims To Simply Intuit That There Is A God Be Rationally Refuted Or Supported?”

2nd Top Q: “Is It Unfair To Call All Religions ‘Scams’?”

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Doug

    An interesting idea, but do we really want some of these people to have 10 and 12 votes because they want to have sex but not care for those children? Not saying it isn’t an interesting idea, just thinking of the drawbacks to this as well… I would think that a version of this might be okay but I am just thinking of the people who would use this idea to just have more children so they can vote more and not to try and have children because they want children.

    • Daniel Fincke

      yeah the “quiverfull” movement already exists as a right wing religious strategy of massive breeding for cultural and political influence

  • http://godlizard.com godlizard

    I seriously doubt this would result in a more progressive electorate, especially when you factor in the much higher birth rates among the deeply religious. By this system, an obedient Catholic couple with 10 children would have the same voting power as 3 average-size families, and they would vote as they were told. It would change the political landscape in dramatic ways, strategists would focus on campaigning for the “high volume” voters. And, we’d all but lose the young, single crowd, the ones who “rocked the vote” in 2008 — they already are prone to apathy as it is, how would they feel if they had 1/10th the voting power of one particularly fertile Mormon?

  • Meko Soell

    Doesn’t that amount to eugenics?

  • http://outofthegdwaye.wordpress.com George W.

    Most Voters can’t even manage to vote in their own interests. So how, then, should we expect them to vote in their Child’s interests?


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