Raise the voting age to 40

Millennials in democracies throughout the world are more disillusioned with their system of government than any young generation in living memory, a study has found.

A survey of nearly five million people showed that those in their 20s and 30s, born between 1981 and 1996, had less faith in democratic institutions than their parents or grandparents did at the same stage of life.

The collapse of confidence is particularly pronounced in the “Anglo-Saxon democracies” of Britain, the United States and Australia.

That’ll larn ’em.

28 thoughts on “Raise the voting age to 40”

  1. Or stop pandering to the snowflakes and (re-)start inculcating historical knowledge and understanding without softening the harsher bits of it, in the education system.

    Or offer obligatory sabbaticals in countries without democracies such as China, Russia or N. Korea…

  2. I’d like to propose a reason for this – the rise of career politicians. In days gone your local MP was probably someone who had achieved something and then went into politics with some real world knowledge. Today we get people so detached from the world they can’t see end of their nose…

  3. It’s hardly surprising that the generation that applauds “no-platforming” and “cancelling” should prefer a system that doesn’t tolerate dissent. The problem they face, of course, will be finding themselves on the right side of whatever system is ultimately imposed.

  4. Not sure the Baader-Meinhof gang was proof of widespread Boomer satisfaction with democratic systems back in the 70s.

  5. What BiC said. Looking at the current crop of careerists, there must be something wrong with you if you aren’t disillusioned with them…

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    Perhaps they don’t realise it but the problem is the size of the government and it’s constant interference in their daily lives, but they don’t know any better.

  7. Part of the problem is, in the UK, they’re all the same. You have Red Labour and BluLabour.
    What’s the point?

  8. They are disillusioned because they keep backing the wrong horse. Since they are convinced of the absolute moral and intellectual superiority of their beliefs and utterly disdain the opposition, they believe that, if the majority refuse to vote correctly, it is better to dispense with democracy and instead have citizens assemblies where on message advisors guide the process.

  9. Usually I blame Harold Wilson for everything, but this time it is Blair. It is no accident that voter turnout fell off a cliff subsequent to 1997 (look at the turnouts for the two elections in 1950). As BiC, Julia and C_D have correctly pointed out, we have developed since the 1990s an interchangeable managerial “professional” class of politician who know nothing else than politics. In many cases (primarily on the Labour benches) the non-political experience has been as yooman-rights lawyers (eg idiot Khan) or employments rights (eg idiot Burgon). Idiot Jess Philips for instance worked for her parents until she joined a NGO, so unemployable was she.

    But look what has happened recently. Boris has completely fucked up, he was supposed to break the cycle of drones like Brown, Cameron and May. HS2, Huawei, Green New Deal are all bad enough but Covid is just incomprehensible. On Twitter Hector_Drummond made a good point when he said that for years the Left have been warning us that the Tories would turn Britain into a fascist dictatorship and now that the Tories have actually achieved it, the Left are all in favour and in fact want stricter restrictions !

    I vote because it is my duty, but I usually vote for Monster Raving type candidates, more especially as my MP in his safe seat is an utter twat.

  10. Maybe it’s the reality that their peer group doesn’t have all the answers and emerging from their sheltered and pampered lives they actually have to make hard decisions and experience the consequences of their immature thinking

  11. Younger generation believe everything their parents do is wrong, but they have the answers. Here’s Tom with the weather.

  12. Ottokring,

    “As BiC, Julia and C_D have correctly pointed out, we have developed since the 1990s an interchangeable managerial “professional” class of politician who know nothing else than politics.”

    But when was that ever not the case? What did Heath, Atlee or Douglas-Home do before politics? Even Mrs Thatch only worked a couple of years using her degree before going and studying to be a barrister, and she was the first (and only) prime minister with a science degree.

    I think the problem is that there really isn’t much of an ideological battle out any longer. If Blair did anything, it was admitting defeat to Thatcher. In general (outside things like Covid and Brexit), government is pretty boring. Look at the pointless crap that most MPs debate, like the price of football shirts, or whether to ban wolf whistling. It’s hard to get people motivated around fractionally more or fractionally less tax.

  13. “If Blair did anything, it was admitting defeat to Thatcher.”

    Wrt to authoritarianism versus liberty, not convinced? Blair allowed a whole swathe of nonsense to be enacted through his tenure.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset


    Maggie wasn’t blameless and was responsible for a lot of the emasculation of local government and centralisation of their powers. It may have been in a good cause, beating loony left councils in mostly London, but it has left a legacy. We could do with stronger local government now to tell the likes of poisoned dwarf Hancock to fuck off with his lockdowns.

  15. Oh, I don’t know. What’s the point of being a Conservative if you have nothing to conserve? Or a capitalist if you have no capital?

    As a classic selfish boomer (born 1959) who makes his living out of real estate development and investment, the last forty years have been great for my kind, but I’m not so blind that I can’t see that it has been done at the expense of others.

    The Davos crowd that have ruled the roost since the demise of the USSR have been busily telling the world about the wonders of globabilsation and free trade in goods, services and labour. And it has been good. It’s been great …… for the Davos crowd. The benefits have accrued to a tiny sliver of the population and some workers in the Third World have been pulled out of absolute poverty – which is a good – but Brian & Jean Normal from Droitwich haven’t seen the benefit, they have seen plenty of the costs.

    Looking at that turnout, what would make you keen to perpetuate it?

  16. @BiND

    Not sure about that.
    Here in the delightful Soviet Socialist Republic of Wales, we apparently have a strong ‘local’ First Minister, who just stood up to Westminster and, erm, shoved us into a 2 and a bit week lockdown starting Friday.
    Giving local government more strength just results in more tinpot dictator wannabes.

    Minimum powers required to any government should be the way forward.

  17. Chernyy Drakon

    “Giving local government more strength just results in more tinpot dictator wannabes.”

    Especially when it is central government that will pay for their tinpottery. Other peoples money……..

  18. “What did Heath, Attlee or Douglas-Home do before politics?” Heath and Attlee had both been in the armed forces in war time. Not Alec, because he had a crook back. But even being a nobleman running the family estate is something – better, at least, than being a SPAD.

  19. As a certified boomer I recall a lot of people being upset with the “system” back in the late ‘60s and and ‘70s. But sometime in the ‘80s most of us had entered our 30s, buckled down and got to work, raised families, etc. and plenty did quite well.

    Where I think millennials do have a beef is that in so many locales where progressives hold sway they’ve made it tough for a young person to get ahead. I can remember starting out in San Francisco in the ‘70s and I could afford a small apartment on my own. These days you’d probably try to squeeze three or four people in there. Even with high interest rates in the ‘80s we were able to buy a house from a retired school janitor that we later sold to a techy marketing manager. According to Zillow that small house is now worth about $1.5M. Someone today needs to save up about $300K for the downpayment and even with low interest rates the monthly nut is steep.

    In many places we’ve made it hard on the young to get ahead. Some will one day inherit well and perhaps be able to live in their 50s as we did in our 30s, but if you don’t have such prospects you’re best off moving to Texas.

    The baffling thing is how many millennials support the policies that have made it so tough for them.

  20. PF,

    “Wrt to authoritarianism versus liberty, not convinced? Blair allowed a whole swathe of nonsense to be enacted through his tenure.”

    Fair point in that area. I’m talking about things like markets. Blair really didn’t have any ideological objection to them. He didn’t care if a private hospital was doing hip operations, if it was cheaper than the NHS ones. He did more to reform the NHS than anyone since (the Tories have been pathetic in this area).

  21. “Roman youth were told to come back with their shield, or on it. Later this custom declined. So did Rome.”

    Lazarus Long.

  22. Wonky Moral Compass

    Heinlein borrowing heavily from Plutarch on Sparta there. Anyway, I doubt we could rustle up enough homegrown Spartiates tough and disciplined enough to form a phalanx these days.

  23. Roman youth were told to come back with their shield, or on it.

    Spartans, I think. Told by their mothers. Stern lot.

  24. @ Bloke on M4
    Heath and Attlee were Army officers before going into politics (Sir Alec volunteered but was rejected on health grounds); Attlee also ran a charity in the East End. MacMillan like Attlee was an army officer later ran a publishing company. Churchill was army officer, journalist. John Major worked in a bank. Wilson was a civil servant.

  25. @ Ottokring
    Wilson was guilty of turning politics from a vocation into a source of income by massively increasing MPs pay. It got worse later but in the 1950s no-one went into politics for the money because Conservative and Liberal MPs and some Labour MPs used their other earnings/income to cover the excess of their expenses over parliamentary salaries, the poorer Labour MPs relied on sponsorship from Trade Unions. Wilson initiated the change to a political class like the Milibands. [In a few cases an MP was subsidised by her husband/his wife]

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