Inspired in parts by Result of a goverment where extra votes can be bought, earned, or lost? and in parts by actual political discussions:

Let's take a society similar to the current North American / Western European ones. Kinds of politically stable, democracies, multiple parties. Demographically, the rate of children per woman is somewhere in the 1.5 region. Society is receiving some population influx from outside, but total numbers are holding stable / mildly declining.

And now, we change the voting system slightly. Let children vote! Okay, not really. Let their parents vote for them until they are 18! One of them, at least - an appointed voter, needs to be a legal guardian. At 18, that vote goes to the now-adult. This applies directly after birth - no pregnant women voting for two, but it's instantaneous as soon as the birth is registered. When there's multiple guardians (like two parents...) and they can't agree on who votes for the child, nobody gets to.

How would this influence society / politics over the short and long term? Would we even see a big impact?

  • $\begingroup$ Do pregnant mothers not only eat for two, but also vote for two? $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Dec 17, 2015 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Samuel good point, edited in some more rules $\endgroup$
    – YviDe
    Dec 17, 2015 at 18:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ in one sense this happens already, you "vote" with your dollars every time you shop in a free market economy. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Dec 18, 2015 at 1:40

3 Answers 3

  • As the average age of the voter goes down, there could be more policies for the longer run. Decisions that will pay in 30 or 40 years, not by next year. On the other hand, younger voters might be more impulsive, less prepared to think things through.
  • Tax breaks for raising children instead of tax breaks for buying houses.
  • More funding for education out of the overall budget, less for pensions.
  • In some parts of the world, more children correlates with less education. With better education, couples can effecively use birth control to postpone their children until they're economically established. So the voting power of educated, wealthy parts of society goes down.
  • Patchwork families are less likely to get the paperwork for the extra votes in order every time, so the influence of traditional nuclear families goes up.

None of those bullet points are absolute, but on average they might show up in the political landscape.


The liberal/democratic party wins.

By giving two or more votes to adults with young children you're essentially increasing the voting power of adults under the age of 45. They'll use those extra votes to vote how they would normally vote. So, let's see how that would be.

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Younger people tend to be more liberal or democratic in their political leaning. Fiscally speaking, I think this is because they haven't had a high paying job yet, it's harder to be fiscally liberal when you're handing over half your paycheck.

  • $\begingroup$ Explanation of down votes is appreciated, why do you think this answer is not useful? $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Dec 18, 2015 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ I can think of two reasons this might not work. Firstly, many teenagers are disillusioned with politics (my 17-year-old sister included) and don't want to vote at all. Secondly, if a right-wing parent is asked by their kid to register a vote for a left-wing party, what are the odds of said parent actually doing that? $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy First, the OP says "Let their parents vote for them until they are 18!", so who cares if the kid wants to vote or who they want to vote for? Second, the odds are low, which is why my answer is looking at the parents' age in considering the possible trends. The kids don't enter into it. $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Jul 14, 2017 at 17:46

Giving the parents voting power for each of the children they have can affect politics in two different ways:

The adults are honest and would use the vote for the benefit of the child they are voting for. This would lead to a increase in votes for politicians who look to improve education, or some other long-term investment.


The adults are selfish and would use the votes for their own benefit. This is more likely to happen and would lead to a increase in votes for the politicians who are currently winning within the portion of the society that have more children. There is a possibility of the higher economical classes starting to have more children to better manipulate politics, but this is unlikely.

In either case the tendency is to slightly increase democratic votes.


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