This morning I heard NPR interview Bob Dole. He was 92 and was committed, albeit grudgingly, to vote for the Republican candidate, Trump.
92 years old! “Almost 93,” he said.
I got to thinking about how much influence Bob’s one vote has in a world where he will, in all probability, not be around much longer to experience (or endure).
So here’s a guy whose vote has the same impact as an 18 year old voter, but where the implications of said vote will have very little impact on Bob’s life whereas the 18 year old’s life will be impacted for the next 60, 70 or 80 years or more.
Shouldn’t the 18 year old’s vote count for more than Bob’s? Surely the youngster has much more to lose or gain by their choice at the polls than Bob. Bob will most likely not see the end of the next president’s term, much less the next inauguration. Yet we treat Bob’s vote as having the same impact, the same weight as that of someone who will have to live with Bob’s vote for the rest of a, hopefully, long life.
That strikes me as considerably unfair. But how would a society adjust for such influence vs impact imbalances? How about vote tokens based on a combination of age and maturity.
If we agree that around the age of 40 a person is at their most cognizant regarding the country, the world and their workings. That 40 is also an age where persons might have children of an non-voting age and who best to represent a child but their 40 year old parents? And if we agree that the combination of age and experience makes for a good metric for providing the most equitable voting weight, then how about something like this:
• At 18 a person has an available 70 vote tokens with which to cast their vote.
• At 20, 80 tokens.
• At 30, 90 tokens.
• At 40 a person has 100 vote tokens — the maximum weight.
• At 50 their tokens drops to 90.
• 80 tokens for 60 year old’s.
• 70 tokens for 70 year old’s.
• 60 for 80 year old’s.
• And 50 for 90 year old’s.
• And if a person lives longer than that, well we’ll just give them 50 from then on.
This way, at least Bob’s and the 18 year old’s votes reflect their influence in respect to the impact their votes will have on theirs and others’ lives.