Allowing parents the right to vote on behalf of their children

An article in the Age (27 July 2007) reports an idea promoted by Evan Thornley* of allowing parents the right to vote on behalf of their children under 18. 

Mr Thornley suggests that this would represent a natural shift in our democracy – the further development of our original structure which restricuted voting rights to the upper class, to allowing women and certain minorities to vote, to lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.

Mr Thornley states that moving the ‘one vote, one value’ to a ‘one person, one vote’ structure would create incentives for political power to consider the inter-generational concerns of families and youth. 

Mr Thornley states:

‘For example, Australia is currently at the bottom of the OECD in early childhood development investments.  This would be likely to change if this idea came to fruition.  It would mean that their families would have a say in our society in equivalent proportion to their actual numbers of people.’

In my view there is no reason why there should not be a trial – say over a certain number of years in a Local Government situation, and at least 2 or 3 general elections. 

A plebiscite to determine whether the trial should proceed could be a starting point.  An independent evaluation process at the end of the trail would determine the outcomes.

* Mr Evan Thornley, Member of Victorian Parliament


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