SUFFRAGE A. Definition of Suffrage B. Theories C. Qualifications D. Compulsory Suffrage
What is Suffrage? Suffrage is the political right and obligation of the citizens to vote in public elections of candidates for public office.
There are several conceptsabout suffrage, W.J. Shepardsaid that there are five basictheories….… AND WHAT ARETHOSE THEORIES ????
Theories of Suffrage Suffrage as an Attribute of Citizenship. Only citizens of the city-state had the right to exercise suffrage. Suffrage as a Vested Privilege. Only the rich who owned property, especially the landed gentry, had the vested right and privilege to vote for their public officials. Suffrage as an Abstract or Natural Right. It is an innate right that man exercises when he becomes an adult regardless of his qualifications or disqualifications.
The Ethical Theory. The exercise of suffrage under this theory makes man an asset to his community for its main objective is to improve not only his personality, but also mold him in the matrix of responsible citizenship. Suffrage as a Government Function. This theory presupposes that suffrage is a function of government. It is government that prescribe certain qualifications of an individual qualified to vote.
Qualifications for SuffrageCitizenship. - it is required that a voter must be a citizen of his/her state.Residence - it is also necessary that the voter must have a legal residence in a certain electoral area or in the place where he/she proposes to vote within the state.
Age - it is also required that the voter must be majority age which is the age of maturity.Literacy - he/she must be literate enough to be informed of the issues and qualifications of candidates so that he can better discharge his responsibilities as a voter.
Compulsory SuffrageOne of the weaknesses of the democracy is the lack of interest of a large number of eligible voters to in the electoral process.One important reason is: * many voters do not go to the polls on election day because the political candidates have nothing new to offer except empty promises. * they lack the appeal to encourage and stimulate the non-voters to vote.
The Advantage of systemcompulsory- Compulsory voting broadens the electorate thus the vote would be a more accurate reflection of the representative will of the people.- Includes more citizens to take concern with issues, the programs of competing political parties and the qualifications of the candidates.
- Tends to minimize graph and corruption. Voters may no longer be bribed by the political candidates to go to the polls in as much as they are under legal compulsion to do so.- enables the minority party to be on an equal footing with the party in power. Under this system, the opposition party will not suffer the difficulty of getting its supporters to vote.- every voters is given equal importance. Equality of suffrage becomes a reality as every qualified voters is compelled to go to the polls to decide for him/her self shall
References :Nebres, Abriel M. Political science made simple. p. 55Ayson, Florentino G. Fundamentals of political science. p. 156-163