Good idea

If the young will line up to sing badly for national attention or eat worms for money, why not get them to compete for political office? That notion seems more suitable for a Hollywood treatment than an actual country, but it has apparently taken hold in parts of Russia, where political leaders have begun to worry that parliament is a little too heavy on middle-aged men.

Perhaps fearing that the under-30 set could take their political concerns to the streets, President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party decided it needed to reroute the young into the political system. So it decided earlier this year that at least 20 per cent of its candidates should be under 28 years old. But scaring up young people to enter politics turned out to be easier decreed than done. Russia’s youth may have soured on a political system increasingly controlled from Putin’s office. Or, perhaps like the young in too many other places, they just think politics is boring.

Ultimately, after the 60 contestants are whittled down, at least three are expected to be awarded party seats in the Duma, the Lower House. Russian politics is not exactly a model of dem-ocracy, of course, but may-be, for those trying to interest young American voters, a political reality show might not be such a bad idea. Let’s face it; looking at the demographics, it could hardly hurt. — The New York Times