Just as youth is famously wasted on the young, is the right to vote wasted on voters?
With the result of the Voice referendum reminding us of how hopelessly flawed the principle of one-man-one-vote is (the uninformed vote of one racist ignoramus counting for as much as and cancelling out the one vote of the informed humanitarian), one feels increasingly receptive to the idea of giving the vote to trees.
One's bitter disappointment with how humans voted in October's referendum coincides with the timely appearance in the online Noema magazine of Boyce Upholt's Giving Trees A Vote. The essay examines the state of the rights-for-Nature movement's long-standing ideas of "interspecies democracy".
The stimulating ideas are gaining ground. They have a charismatic advocate-activist in the philosopher Jonathon Keats. He wants to incorporate the world's plants and animals into our democratic systems.
Upholt reports Keats' observation that "human beings make up less than one per cent of the planet's biomass while plants and non-human animals together make up more than 80 per cent [and are] spread across the world's many biomes ..."
And so it follows, Keats and others like him insist, if we think in proper democratic ways about what humans should do for non-human living things, those non-humans' sheer numbers must be enabled to count for something in the great, biomassive democratic scheme of things.
We've no room here to do the big subject justice but do read the Noema piece for yourselves. Give your mind a romp among its refreshing suggestions of how democracy might be made fresh and green and all-species inclusive.
Already heartening successes include, Upholt reports, how a Costa Rica city has declared pollinators - bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats, and the city's native trees and shrubs "citizens" whose green rights and roles must be taken into account in holistic urban planning.
How about it, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr?
I'm so embittered by the referendum result that I feel like giving the vote to trees instead of to humans. Trees exude a calm, contemplative, wise intelligence while every No-intending human vox-popped ahead of referendum day gibbered like a wild-eyed pork chop.
But alas, not even interspecies democracy's leaders are suggesting something as radical as that. It is my idealistic lot in life to always be too far to the left of everyone.
But it will not surprise if the ACT, always nation-leading in progressive reforms, is the first Australian jurisdiction to enable some form of votes for trees.
Perhaps it can be introduced in time for next October's keenly-anticipated ACT Assembly elections. Perhaps those of us who have a proven commitment to trees might be given extra votes to cast. Perhaps my continuing history of talking to trees (always talking to them as my equals, never down to them as my inferiors) and of growing them in my garden should entitle me to some extra enfranchisement.
The compact arboretum of my suburban garden has 14 Australian native trees all planted by me, all testifying to my green idealism, to my botanical patriotism. What if, then, a progressive interspecies-democracy electoral reform entitled me to 15 votes - my trees' and my own?
And while on the subject of big, green, democratic ideas for cities and voters, I further suggest that extra voting rights be given to car owners who resist the dramatic "auto-besity" trend to gigantic, planet-trampling, gas-swigging SUV monster cars.
Suddenly those of us who drive small, gas-sipping vehicles are surrounded on the streets and in car parks by hulking juggernauts that make us feel like pixies driving elfin cars.
No wonder some enlightened cities of the world, including Paris, have lost patience with the juggernauts' cumbersome, dangerous, ostentatious, planet-mocking brutishness. Those cities are about to impose parking fees based on vehicles' size (including size of engine) and weight.
Progressive, planet-respecting legislation of the kind the ACT excels at might instead of just penalising the juggernautists, reward every pixie-citizen who owns an elfin car, giving that sensitive and responsible driver augmented voting rights.
For example, my planetary and socially responsible ownership of a petite three-cylinder 1.0-litre VW Up! would entitle me to two votes in parliamentary elections instead of the usual paltry one.
Again, this reform would acknowledge how the nonsense of one-man-one-vote ignores that some voters are twice as intelligent as others and twice as likely to use their votes wisely, humanely, altruistically.
Meanwhile, how is one to explain the sudden, crazed uptake of giant vehicles?
The popular song Penis Size And Cars diagnoses that people, especially men, with shortcomings and low self-esteem often choose ostentatious vehicles that lend them some artificial swagger. That analysis would explain why men like me with oodles of self-esteem are quite at ease at the wheels of dainty cars.
But why this trend, now?
Reporting of the phenomenon comes with owners' rationalisations of why they feel they need these monsters but one suspects sheer swagger has a lot to do with it.
But perhaps, too, our unusually fearful times are a factor. Perhaps folk subconsciously feel the need to drive a car that to them (in their delusions) looks and feels like a mighty fortress against the menaces of pandemics, of wars galore, of a burning and boiling planet.