In UK General Elections, Lords, and some law-breakers (held in prison) cannot vote. Neither can the young (under 18) but the senile, short of being sectioned, may do so, even if they no longer have any idea what a ‘vote’ is. This is the essence of universal suffrage. What is more, recent (legal) immigrants, with not a shred of our heritage or culture to their being, and speaking fewer words of English than they have bangles, may vote.
Universal Suffrage is presented as a ‘given good’; a mark of a civilised democracy, a Great British triumph – an institution. Truly we are a nation led by fools, knaves or both. I am no scholar of history, but believe that one once had to be QUALIFIED to vote. And since the result of voting, is a bunch of people charged with managing the country, competence in the voter seems eminently sensible. So how did we end up in the current mess? I think politicians were behind it.
Observation of the modern political scene, leads me to the conclusion that any unrest in the general population is measured, in Westminster, for its advantage or disadvantage to each party. I surmise that various disenfranchised groups, as each one became a ‘cause’, were given the vote, in the belief of the party in power that it could be to their advantage. (Currently they are trying to gauge if 16 year old voters are an asset. Then it will be 14.)
Over the last century, a number of experiments were carried out that showed just how tractable (dupable) the typical individual is. Advertisers rely on it. Armies depend on it. Politicians delight in it. Voters divide into loyal-unthinking, the gullible, and the despairing-aware. The voting system has been twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools. It is endlessly tinkered with but never reformed in the interests of recognisable democracy. Were this to be addressed, the first requirement would be a CERTIFICATE OF VOTING COMPETENCE.
The bulk of competent voters would be drawn from the ‘despairing aware’ above. I suspect the gullible would remain beyond retrieval and just a few un-thinkers might be ‘turned’. Surely competence must be proved in many walks of life – why not in the matter of General Election voting, to install a government? I note that such discrimination is applied to jurors, yet no court of law has taken this country to war. Ignorance and stupidity are as limiting, to the human mind, as alcohol. I don’t know if there is a law against ‘voting while drunk and incapable’ but my point is surely made?
I offer the above as a viable case against universal suffrage and as an argument for a radical change in our voting arrangements, opening the way to SPOIL PARTY GAMES.