Talk:Suffrage

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removing[edit]

Removing:

The legitimacy of democratic government is derived from suffrage. The United States' Declaration of Independence, after listing the basic human rights, goes on to say:
"to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Beside the statement above being unneccessarily US-centered, legitimacy of democratic governments are in fact not per se derived from the suffrage, which is clearly shown by legitime democratic government successfully having quite different rules for suffrage.
-- Ruhrjung 09:53 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Putting it back in, with slight modification and with reasons that I hope change your mind.

1) A 1913 Webster's definiton of democracy:

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:

 Democracy \De*moc"ra*cy\, n.; pl. {Democracies}. [F.
    d['e]mocratie, fr. Gr. dhmokrati`a; dh^mos the people +
    kratei^n to be strong, to rule, kra`tos strength.]
    1. Government by the people; a form of government in which
       the supreme power is retained and directly exercised by
       the people.
    2. Government by popular representation; a form of government
       in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but
       is indirectly exercised through a system of representation
       and delegated authority periodically renewed; a
       constitutional representative government; a republic.
    3. Collectively, the people, regarded as the source of
       government. --Milton.

Notice that it is explicitly the people that are the source of democratic government. "Supreme power" is synonymous with sovereign power, which is traditionally described (e.g. by Hobbes, Locke) as the source of all other legitimacy in government. Unless you suggest other means by which the people might do this, it is clearly needed in this definition.

2) America is our oldest democracy and had the primary role in implementing mass-suffrage and defining its relation to democratic government. The Declaration of Independence captures that moment and so is an excellent historical source for this term. Also, the quote is short and to the point.

-- Pablo Mayrgundter 22:22 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

With all respect, I find this reasoning, as mentioned above, US-centered - as if the US-definition of democracy (or the US-understanding of democracy) has precedence.

It's however not to my liking to participate in perpetual re-editings, why I take it easy on the editing.

-- Ruhrjung 01:44 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I agree with Ruhrjung. Suffrage is very important in democracy, but clearly it is not a sufficient basis for legitimacy; many countries that we would not call democratic have had universal suffrage -- and even more have had the forms of suffrage comparable to the US in 1790. Moreover, the oldest "democracy" would be Athens. I have no objection in principle quoting the declaration of independence as an example of a democratic country that uses suffrage to legitimate itself. But I would not use this example as paradigmatic of anything. Those who find this US-centric should feel free to include a quote from Aristotle and from something from France 1789, and something from Edmund Burke, that would do well to balance things out I think. Nevertheless, for me the crucial issue is not whether the source be from the US, France, UK, or Athens, but that whatever the source may be it is made clear that this is just one way that deomocracies have legitimated themselves. Slrubenstein


contradiction in census suffrage[edit]

The article asserts that universal suffrage is suffrage granted independently of race, sex, belief or social status, and that equal suffrage is suffrage with no further grading, besides having the right to vote or not.

Now census suffrage is asserted to be the opposite of equal suffrage, which would mean graded suffrage, but is further explained as suffrage limited to a specific group of people, which are two completely different kinds of suffrage. --MarSch 09:56, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

If I understand correctly, a regulation that you have to be white skinned and show 100$ or more in cash to be able to vote is neither universal, not equal. To require 100$ in cash, no matter if you are negro or white is universal suffrage. To require that you are beyond 18 (or 21) years of age and of sound mind, but absolutely nothing else, is equal suffrage.

Emancipation[edit]

I added the word emancipation to this page to help deliver more clarity. Suffrage is a term used under very specific conditions, while emancipation covers it and broadens the view of what is happening. In my encounters with the English language I have noticed that there are sometimes too many words (the English dictionary is often twice or even three times as thick as dictionaries in other languages), and severe competition arises to get a word 'in.' Quick examples: galaxy and milky way are the romance and the English words of one and the same meaning, but milky way is now only used for our galaxy, while the other milky ways are not allowed to be called that way. The words pigeon and dove are the French and the English word for one and the same, but the word dove is now used only for a subspecies of the pigeon family. The over-abundance(!) of many words in English makes both for some aggravating ánd wonderful linguistic moments. Let's cherish it, but also remain careful when we end up in each other's hair. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FredrickS (talkcontribs)

yo?[edit]

O.o wow....guys just leave the stupid thing in. its quite pointless to argue about it and it just waste server space(?) and time. lol —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.210.27.112 (talkcontribs)

Children as the suffrage oppressed[edit]

> young people under the voting age make up 20-50% of the population in some countries, and have no political representation.

This is not generally true. In some select countries parents can cast multiple votes, that is they also cast votes in the name of their children, since it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children as they see fit and elections decide to a large degree what future their children will have.

In fact this should be made compulsory all over the world, since the "only adults, 1 per person" voting rule means single and DINKY lifestyle is more electionally valuable to politicians than couples with kids. In order to win single and DINKY votes, you just need to talk or write laws, like allowing homo marriages and decriminalizing drugs and other pro-indulgence measures. To win parent votes, you need to act at great cost, like finance better primary education, build new children hospitals and kindergartens, etc. So when the voting power of singles vs. parents is 1 to 1, politics will try to win singles simply because it is cheaper. This deteriorates the society and contributes to the population decline spiral of many modern democracies.

In fact, USA is the exception among rich countries. In USA more are born than die every year. Elsewhere deaths prevail over births, even though life expectency is long in rich countries. If parents could also cast votes for their kids, not just themselves, their votes would be more valuable to politics and more would be spent on making child-rearing attractive again. 195.70.32.136 19:52, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is the place for advocacy of voting reform - Paul 18:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Probably not, but better on the talk page than in the article! And if anyone can document his claims that parents of minors are allowed to cast multiple votes on that basis, it would be important to include that as an additional variation. Mdotley 19:13, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Suffrage around the world[edit]

Would it be usefull to add a list (from the CIA world factbook) of what countries have what form of suffrage (if any) they have? --Guyjin 01:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

That might be difficult to keep up to date. There might be some value in giving statistics on how many countries have multi-party democracies (with citations) but this is hardly where people come to find out which countries are "democratic". - Paul 18:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
The present section on Suffrage around the world looks a little random. I think that it should be deleted. Of course we could try to add as many countries as possible, but that would end up as a huge list. nielsle

Exclusion from suffrage[edit]

Social class: "Many countries also discriminate on the basis of ...psychiatric record ...very strongly correlated with class and race." Really? This should at least have a citation! - Paul 18:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC) ǎ

I am confused as to why race is not a category here. The vote has been denied (officially and unofficially) to members of particular races in numerous countries; the United States and Australia spring to mind. --Helenalex 10:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Now there is a race section, but it is ridiculous! South-Africa is mentioned, and New-Zealand too, but no mention of the United States!!! What about all the discrimination there, huh?83.77.44.240 (talk) 01:01, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Um... did you read the section? The US is mentioned quite prominently. --Helenalex (talk) 03:46, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

In the Naturalization segment, I am wondering why the right of running for an office is mentioned. It seems related, but there might be a better article for it. Je007 23:08, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Suffrage in Washington, DC[edit]

The article asserts that "Residents of Washington DC have been excluded, in whole or in part, from voting...", which is patently untrue. Residents of Washington DC who are U.S. citizens enjoy voting rights similar to those of U.S. citizens in the 50 states, including the right to vote for municipal officeholders, Congressional delegates, and the president and vice-president.

The rhetorical gist of the paragraph is that DC residents are excluded from _representation_ in Congress, historically for the reason described in the paragraph, currently because, as a simple political matter, Congressional Republicans would block any legislation or constitutional amendment providing for representation of DC in Congress, as such a measure would virtually guarantee the addition of 2 Democrat-held seats in the Senate and 1 in the House.

But the article conflates these two concepts, and should be corrected.

Corkybucek 19:33, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

So, fix it! Mdotley 19:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Manhood suffrage[edit]

I have corrected the definition of 'manhood suffrage' based on the Oxford English Dictionary: "manhood suffrage now chiefly hist., that form of popular election in which the right to vote is granted to all male citizens of sufficient age not disqualified by crime, insanity, etc."

The previous definition, that it meant equality between male and female voters, didn't make any kind of sense. --Helenalex 10:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Under U.S. suffrage: "No national right to vote"[edit]

This is an interesting quote from the article, especially since the US Department of Justice prosecutes individuals for preventing people from voting under 18 U.S.C.A. § 241

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured--

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

The Supreme Court upheld the application of this statute to local elections in US v. Olinger 759 F.2d 1293. Anyone who has taken a Constitutional Law course in an American law school would recognize that the right to vote is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. I cringe at the thought of a US citizen not a resident of any state reading "No national right to vote" and believing that they had no right to vote in a federal election. This article needs more citations. Legis Nuntius 01:42, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Age suffrage[edit]

I don't know how true the dates are, but some information from Ani DiFranco's website for Righteous Babe Records - in the section on "vote, dammit!" - included info about the voting age in the US being lowered to 18 in 1971 after protests that men who could be drafted to Vietnam at age 18 couldn't vote about the war (and other issues) until age 21. Although I am Canadian, I find this compelling and expect that there are other examples of relatively arbitrary voting ages that are later changed to better reflect democratic principles. (As an aside, I still find it strange that here in Canada, you can drive a lethal weapon at age 16, vote for your national leader at 18, but you can't drink until age 19. Go figure.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.112.84.62 (talk) 21:18, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

What happens in this case?[edit]

Say someone lives in Florida from October-March and in Illinois from April-September. The voter lives in both for roughly six months. For local elections, where does he get to vote? Does he get to vote in both states? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.141.111.2 (talk) 18:00, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Ineligble to vote[edit]

"Sometimes citizens become ineligible to vote because they are no longer resident in their country of citizenship. For example, Australian citizens who have been outside Australia more than one and less than six years may excuse themselves from the requirement to vote in Australian elections while they remain outside Australia (voting in Australia is compulsory for resident citizens)."

This is a bad and misleading example. Australians do not become ineligible to vote if they are residing outside Australia. They are excused from the inconvenience of compulsory voting, but they are still eligible to vote provided they go to the trouble of visiting an embassy or consulate, or going through the rigmarole to get a postal vote.Eregli bob (talk) 02:09, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Universal suffrage and "the short-lived Corsican Republic"[edit]

I don't know what this sentence means: "The short-lived Corsican Republic (1755–1769) was the first country to grant limited universal suffrage for all inhabitants over the age of 25." a) what is limited universal suffrage? Sounds contradictory. b) What precisely is it that they were first at? The whole of the rest of the sentence ("limited universal ... age of 25") or some (unspecified) part of it? Tom Beaton (talk) 08:06, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Just follow the internal link to Corsican Republic and read "A national parliament, or Diet, was composed of delegates elected from each district for three-year terms. Suffrage was extended to all men over the age of 25. Traditionally, women had always voted in village elections for podestat i.e. village elders, and other local officials, and it has been claimed that they also voted in national elections under the Republic.". Universal suffrage in this case means suffrage for all men and women without wealth or any other limitation than age. But the French article is more accurate, there are references to other historical cases in Scandinavia, Italy or Switzerland, whereas it is not clear if elections really took place during the Corsican Republic. This was however an important step before the French Revolution as the Corsican constitution was written by Rousseau. --Minorities observer (talk) 18:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Opposite of equal[edit]

The section on equal suffrage mentions it is the opposite of using graded votes where some people might get more votes than others based on various criteria.

I would like to know if there is a term (maybe 'graded suffrage'?) used to describe this opposite system of suffrage which reflects various criteria.

For example a 'geniocracy' idea is promoted by raelians where geniuses get more votes, but I don't know what to call it. Ranze (talk) 22:09, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

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Universal suffrage[edit]

The section currently states "Where universal suffrage exists, the right to vote is not restricted by sex, race, social status, education level, or wealth. It typically does not extend a right to vote to all residents of a region; distinctions are frequently made in regard to citizenship, age, and occasionally mental capacity or criminal convictions"

Is this an appropriate definition of universal suffrage? 79.97.226.247 (talk) 23:24, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Looks fine. I'll move the neutrality tag. Whizz40 (talk) 06:05, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

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shared sovereignty=wot?[edit]

termnoinlink..81.11.218.113 (talk) 15:46, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

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Clarification request[edit]

I don't quite understand this sentence, and it would benefit from a clarification:

In Britain the Queen can vote, but in practice it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election.

This invites multiple interpretations:

  • The Queen is able to physically go to a polling station and cast a ballot, but the vote would be considered invalid/illegal afterwards.
  • Legal scholars have interpreted it to be unconstitutional, but the issue has never been tested in a court of law because the Monarch doesn't vote anyway.
  • The Queen is completely free to vote if she wants, but doesn't do it out of tradition (similarly to Denmark where the constitution doesn't mention whether the Monarch can vote, but chooses not to (and isn't registered in the electoral database).)

If someone with access to literature on this issue could clarify it, and add a source, it'd be much appreciated. Respectfully, InsaneHacker (💬) 21:39, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Prevention of suffrage by sex[edit]

Why is there no separate section on preventing women from voting? It seems most nations have done this and it's one of the most egregious human rights and civil rights violations that rulers, even in democracies, have imposed on citizens. Tshane3000 (talk) 05:23, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Should be a prominent heading under "Forms of Exclusion from Suffrage " Tshane3000 (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

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