Around the world, old, rural voters count more than young people in cities


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/05/around-the-world-old-rural-v.html


#2

Interestingly in the UK electoral boundaries have become skewed over time to favour urban areas, Wales and Scotland, at the expense of much of England. (As an aside, both Wales and Scotland are primarily rural, but also generally more left-wing than the country as a whole. This might very well highlight a flaw in the hypothesis behind this study…)Plans to address this, using exactly this sort of equal voter basis, have been delayed for years by both the Liberal Democrats and Labour, on the basis that it would favour the Conservatives…


#3

If anyone should have disproportionate influence in elections it should be young people since they are the ones who will live with the consequences for the longest.


#4

One acre, one vote


#5

Brexit was a dumb decision but it was just a national popular vote, it wasn’t worked out via voting areas.


#6

I was unaware Andorra had cities.


#7

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


#8

Anecdotally…

We recently had an old friend over for dinner. She’s traditional Republican and classically conservative…which means she is sick at heart over the ascendancy of Trump, the neocons, the tea party, and the alt-right. She would have really liked Ike.

After a few glasses of Pinot, I launched into my diatribe about the Electoral College with the prevailing arguments about it having outlived its original purpose to become a detriment to our Democracy. My wife demured so she could watch the fun.

Our dear friend, who is an honest, compassionate person - a true credit to true conservatives anywhere – simply said: “If we get rid of the Electoral College, Republicans will never win.”

And there it is. Our present situation summed up simply.

Alas.


#9

I don’t favour the abolishment of the Electoral College, but it must be reformed to assign electors proportional to the percentage of the popular vote within the state and to demand accountability from the electors in following through. Combine that with preference voting on the popular level and the U.S. would have a vastly improved system.

It won’t happen in our current political climate, of course, so we can look forward to elderly and rural people selling out the futures of the young and urban dwellers for at least another two decades.

True, but the demographic breakdown outside of Scotland reflected the split between rural and urban and also between old and young.


Registered Democrats (mostly young and/or racialised) who didn't vote cost Hillary the election
#10

Breaking the electoral college does not prioritize the urban areas over the country. Fly-over states still get equal Senate representation and the electoral college gives them an advantage in the House. There is not part of the federal government that isn’t majority representation of rural voters.

That’s the part where all these complaints break down. Having the coasts elect a president and all other positions of power unequally favoring the rural states if more fair than the current system.


#11

Not denying the split, it’s clear. But the result wasn’t down to rural votes counting for more.


#12

Maybe if young people actually voted at the same rate their parents and grandparents did (at least in the USA), this would be much less of a problem.


#13

#14

That’s mostly a myth. The typical age breakdowns are 18-29 (11 years), 30-44 (14 years), 45-64 (19 years), and then 65+ (~10 years until average death expectancy). So of course the 45-64 group has the largest percent of voters (40% this election versus 19% for 18-29 year olds) and if you do a very ugly extrapolation it puts 18-37 at 33%, which is less but not as dramatic as people want to think.

Now if you are talking about the US’ abysmal voting turnout, well it’s almost like there are continuous voter disenfranchisement campaigns. States that make it easier to vote have higher turnout (though EC does play a part in turnout).


#15

Take your point but it was only on the agenda because of the FPTP election the previous year, where the urbanites are naturally gerrymandered


#16

This was my source for the comment, especially the second graph from Pew.

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/16/478237882/millennials-now-rival-boomers-as-a-political-force-but-will-they-actually-vote


#17

The stupid thing is that the general population also recently voted to keep said FPTP system which disenfranchises them.


#18

Why? 1 person 1 vote - that’s democracy. Anything else is unfair.


#19

More to the point, a lot of those disenfanchisement campaigns are aimed against college students (which goes back to @Nell_Anvoid’s comment, above).


#20

A metro area with 40,000 inhabitants… I guess that counts as its one city.