A forest kindergarten in Düsseldorf, Germany

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One of the lesser known facts about democracies is that they tend to skew income against children. In USA for example children are the poorest people in society, children are 26% of the population but 39% of the poor.  And this is true of all democracies.  This has one simple explanation and that is that children can’t vote.  If they could they would certainly vote for what societies seem to lack and that is better care for children.  In Europe for example in most countries, kindergarden is incredibly expensive but universities are mostly free.  No surprise there as university students can vote and kindergarden students can’t. So I propose a simple solution to this and that is to give one additional vote to parents on behalf of their children. Not a one vote per child as that may lead families with a lot of children to have too much influence in the electoral process but each family with children, one or many, should get one extra vote when election comes.  This vote should be exercised by the parents using their best judgement on behalf of their kids. It is my view that if parents got a custodian vote for their children democracy’s outcome would not be so skewed against the young.

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Carlos Gonzalez on April 27, 2011  · 

There are more parents than university students, And it is suposed that primary preocupation of parents are their chindren. But for what we see, policies about children don’t seen to be the principal key for parents to choose their vote. This plus vote, will be use with new better responsability?

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Larko on April 27, 2011  · 

Just a couple of minor points. (The voting issue is too complex to abuse your web space for my lengthy reasoning).

Rich parents do not have poor children, poor parents do. Perhaps poor parents have more children per capita than the wealthy. That would explain why children make a larger portion of the poor than of the population at large.

I would be cautious to put Europe under one single loop. There are countries in Europe with free or heavily subsidized day care as well as countries with very expensive kindergartens. The same goes to university education, both in terms of tuition and equal access.

Not even the EU has comprehensive directives in any of these two areas and those 27 countries are far from making up all of Europe.

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Nikolaj on May 7, 2011  · 

Just thought about the same thing a month ago. Though, we also agreed that giving half a vote to each parent to vote independently for the kids is a bit more fair. Otherwise it’s not clear which parent should vote. It is also better taking into account aging population of Europe and reforms in pension system getting stuck with politics.

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