Skip to main content

Eight-month-old Rupert, in his mother Noelle Depape's arms, reaches for NDP leader Jack Layton at a community centre in Winnipeg.

Fred Greenslade/Reuters/Fred Greenslade/Reuters

Cue the baby cooing.

As the nation hurtles toward election day, candidates are pulling out all the stops to win the mommy (and daddy) vote - from Michael Ignatieff's "Family Pack" of spending promises for daycare, tuition and home renos to Stephen Harper's pledge to double tax-free savings limits.

But Canadian glad-handers have nothing on Hungarian politicos. They're looking to give mothers an extra vote in elections, the Guardian News Service reports.

Story continues below advertisement

Although Hungarians gave the idea a thumbs-down in a survey, members of the conservative Fidesz government are considering legislation to enforce the contentious policy.

Jozsef Szajer, a senior Fidesz official, says the idea is inspired by a concept developed in 1986 by American demographer Paul Demeny, who argued that children "should not be left disenfranchised for some 18 years; let custodial parents exercise the children's voting rights until they come of age."

Mr. Szajer points out that 20 per cent of Hungary's population are children, and adds that the aim is to gain support for the new voting system "not just in Hungary but in Europe."

But Tom Ginsburg, a law professor at University of Chicago, questions the fairness of increasing votes for moms. "Overweighting votes for those with families undermines the rights of those who choose not to have families," he told the Guardian.

And what about the dads?

What's your view? Should parents get extra votes?

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.