Children's suffrage and the principle of sustainability

The electoral system in modern democracies only allows those citizens who have reached a certain age to vote, i.e., children are excluded from this right. It also means that their interests are less represented than those of retired people, which makes the emergence of structurally biased social security systems more likely (and in fact they are biased). By giving suffrage to children – so the argument goes – this structural bias could be corrected, as the population is growing older and it is consequently more interested in shorter term goals. In a more generalised form we could even state that not only demographic, but also financial or environmental sustainability arguments might support the introduction of suffrage for children: as children 'represent the future', their voice would strengthen the weight of long-term considerations in general. The paper will analyse arguments and counter-arguments about the above questions.