A Solution to a Dysfunction of Democracy in an Aging Society


The UK hold a referendum to decide whether they should leave the EU in June 2016.  75 percent of young people voted to remain, but many older people voted to leave and won a majority.

17-year-olds expected to live in UK for many decades were not allowed to vote.  On the other hand, 90-year-olds had a voting right.

This is a good example of a dysfunction of democracy in an aging society.


A lot of developed countries also face the silver democracy problem like the United Kingdom.  A policy that is really bad from a long-term perspective is often implemented to provide benefit to older people having a short-term perspective.


Japan faces serious aging population problem.  Japan has issued a huge amount of government bonds to cover chronic revenue shortfall.  The amount of outstanding Japanese government bonds has increased to approx. USD 8 trillion.  This imposes burden of taxes on younger generations in the future.


To improve this terrible situation, I introduce an idea of new electoral system.  YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE GRANTED MORE VOTING RIGHTS THAN OLDER PEOPLE. 

For example, 20-somethings is granted 5 voting rights, 30-somethings is granted 4 voting rights, 40-somethings is granted 3 voting rights, 50-somethings is granted 2 voting rights, and people over 60 are granted 1 voting right.

In other words, we are granted voting rights in proportion to our average life expectancy.  By adopting this electoral system, younger people’s opinion that expected to live in their own country for many decades will be strongly reflected in politics.  Governments can avoid implementing short-term measures and pursue long-term policies.


I hope nightmares like Brexit will never happen again and a lot of countries adopt this electoral system.


If you want to learn more about this idea, please see the following posts. (Note: These posts are written in Japanese)

A Solution to the Vote-value Disparity

A Solution to Silver Democracy

A Solution to Disparities between Generations

 - 政治