Filosofisch Café

Too old to vote?


Ought senior citizens be deprived of their right to vote? Some, perhaps increasingly many, think so. Drawing on views advanced by ordinary citizens and professional political philosophers, Andrei Poama (Leiden University) examines during this edition of the Filosofisch Café two arguments according to which one might think that it is democratically justified to disenfranchise senior citizens. 

Dr. Andrei Poama
Dr. Andrei Poama

The first argument is that senior citizens lack the capacity required for the right to vote to be meaningfully exercised. The second argument is that, irrespective of whether they have that capacity or not, senior citizens can (and often do) exert an unjustifiably disproportionate amount of influence over electoral outcomes, as compared to less old (albeit not necessarily young) citizens. Based on these two arguments, this Filosofisch Café explores various forms of disenfranchisement – such as test-based disenfranchisement at the polls, age-based weighted voting referenda and age-based disenfranchisement lotteries – and highlights the practical difficulties, as well as the moral problems that each of these forms of disenfranchisement entail. Andrei Poama’s intervention is based on research conducted with Dr. Alexandru Volacu (University of Bucharest).


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Café Hofman, Janskerkhof 17A, Utrecht
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