I firmly believe that everybody should have the right to vote (with the qualification that I agree in the current "age discrimination") - however this is quite different to the statement that everybody SHOULD vote.
Last election we had millions of our dollars poured down the collective drain in an effort to persuade everybody to vote regardless of whether they had any idea whatsoever about what they were voting for.
Now while the concept of merit based voting would initially seem to hold some kind of solution - along the lines of intelligence testing etc - I am actually against this for a number of reasons. However primary amongst these is that I would actually prefer the future direction of our country to be decided by: a group of illiterate fools who had nevertheless found out about the issues that concern them, made value judgments on these and come to a conclusion about what party(s) best serviced them and decided to vote; than a group of super-geniuses that just turn up to a pollsters booth with the intention of voting for who they pseudo-randomly decide is best.
This is regardless of the fact that the latter would probably actually result in a better overall result for the country.
Next election what I would like to see is an equal number of ads to the "little orange man" pointing out that while voting technically is as easy as ticking a box, the responsibility that attaches to that right is to make an informed decision. Which means more than just listening to party political broadcasts, more than just voting on polls, and far more than just voting for who you did last time.
That group of voters [sic] who do not know why they are voting for someone, having come to a conclusion that they best fit their values - this is the group I would disenfranchise (for that election). One of the prime ironies in democracy is that a country gets the Government that it deserves. And for that I weep for you NZ.