None of this would guarantee that outcomes would be any better. But I do think companies should be allowed to experiment, whereas they are often faced by a rather fundamentalist stance from shareholders. In addition, I do think that shareholders who had held their shares for a period to qualify for whatever kind of loyalty benefit and who then challenged the management would send a very strong message. Much stronger than talking the language of long-termism but then pushing for structures that suggest investors' focus is primarily on liquidity. The two things don't sit well together.
That said I agree with the final comment in the Economist piece:
Better yet, the investing public, whose retirement savings have atrophied in the financial crisis thanks in part to the short-term way in which they were invested, may sort things out themselves, by demanding a longer-term perspective from the pension and mutual funds that they have entrusted with their money.
If that ever does happen I think we can say for certain that investing intermediaries would need to seriously entertain some of these sorts of structural incentives for long-termism. I didn't see Cadbury workers lobbying for hedge funds to have unrestricted voting rights...