The phantom tyranny of numbers.pdf (422.07 kB)
Older Voters: A phantom tyranny of numbers? A response to Berry: Young people and the ageing electorate: breaking the unwritten rule of representative democracy
journal contributionposted on 2012-11-05, 15:06 authored by Scott Davidson
This article is a response to Berry's arguments on the impact of population ageing as potentially marginalising younger people in the democratic process. Berry constructs a pessimistic account where a powerful grey vote will enact an age-based ‘majority rule’ and posits this as a ‘democratic deficit’ that contravenes the ‘unwritten’ rules of democracy. This response argues that automatic assumptions of age-related majority rule are frequently based upon a highly flawed grey power model and the need to incorporate intergenerational and intra-family solidarity, as well as life-cycle factors into these debates. This response agrees that older voters are likely to become much more important in electoral politics, but not because they will vote as a bloc or aggressively pursue material self-interest, but because ageing policy challenges may increasingly attain the status of valence issues in future elections.
CitationParliamentary Affairs, first published online in advance of print, 4 November 2012
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Media and Communication
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)