Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hungary considering Demeny voting

The Guardian has an interesting piece today about the Hungarian government's plans to introduce Demeny voting and give mothers extra votes for their children. This is being pitched as a democratic move, but its not; instead, the ruling Fidesz party - basically Catholic racists - is simply trying to strap the electoral chicken by giving extra votes to its core supporters, while explicitly denying those votes to groups who do not support them:

However, to counter concerns about the Roma winning more votes, Szájer said in the Hungarian case, the move would have "permitted the passage of a law giving mothers the vote on behalf of a maximum of one child".
(The Roma are a persecuted minority in Hungary, with a notably larger families than the rest of the population. Extra votes for children would boost their voting power significantly).

As I've said before, the key problem with Demeny voting is that it encourages the conflation of parents interests with those of their children (when, as we're seeing on climate change, on IP law, and all sorts of other issues, they are pretty much diametrically opposed). The Hungarian government's plan explicitly relies on this. But its not a democratic move; instead its just an undemocratic weighting exercise, every bit as objectionable as weighting by wealth or race. If the Hungarian government really cared about giving young people a voice, it would lower the voting age instead.