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The Rise of Gerontocracy? Addressing the Intergenerational Democratic Deficit

What implications does the ageing of the population have for Britain’s democracy? This powerfully-argued study, written by ageing-issues expert Dr Craig Berry on behalf of IF, analyses data on demography and voting patterns to present the case that our democracy is at serious risk of being undermined as a growing elderly population exerts more and more influence at the ballot box. In the years ahead, this will come at the expense of a younger generation who will find that they are being increasingly disenfranchised.

This study calls for urgent action from policy-makers to try to help re-engage young people with democracy, a process that could be achieved through such radical measures as lowering the voting age to 16, as well as giving young people political training and encouraging them systematically to get themselves elected to legislative bodies. Dr Berry warns that if such actions are not taken, Britain faces the bleak prospect that the growing political divide between younger and older generations will widen into a chasm.