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sentatives May 21, 1919, and by the Senate June 4, 1919. It was duly submitted to the several states and ratified by the required number in time to allow the women to vote in the presidential election of 1920. The amendment reads as follows: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article."
Property Restrictions.—A restriction upon the electorate which exists in some states and is justified by certain reasonable arguments is that the right to vote shall be a privilege only of those who possess property of, or more than, a stipulated value. The fundamental argument advanced to support this restriction is that only the man of property has a real interest in the state. If the state prosper, his property and his rights to it are protected; if the state do not prosper, his property and his rights to it are endangered. The possession of property, too, is thought to imply something more than average ability in its possessor: thus such a restriction will on the whole operate to keep the suffrage in the hands of the intellectually worthy. It is only the man of property, according to this argument, who is entitled to participate in the government. He will have a better judgment than the average man and will be inspired by self-interest to advocate wise measures and to cast his vote for the best men. The man without property has nothing at stake, nothing to lose; presumably he has less judgment and less interest in the welfare of the state.
Most democratic states at the present day have discarded this restriction. In the first place, such a restriction places the government in the hands of the moneyed classes. There exists always under such circumstances a suspicion that legislation is class legislation, legislation not for the good of the whole state but rather for the material advantage of the propertied classes. Furthermore it is justly argued that a large class of persons may by education be unusually well qualified to exercise the suffrage but may never be able to meet the property qualifica
tion. Again, it is emphatically denied that the propertyless have no interest or stake in the welfare of the state. The property less class is composed mainly of artisans, laborers, farmers on a small scale, and the like. The stake of the propertyless class is their very lives. In a prosperous state there is work in abundance and the laboring man is in demand at good wages: in a misgoverned and unprosperous state the mills and factories shut down, money is hoarded, and the laborer suffers. It is to the laborer's highest interest that the state be well governed and prosperous. From the other side, too, the laborer has an interest in the state, for it is by his labor and production that under favorable conditions the prosperity of the state is maintained and increased.
The most conspicuous example of this property qualification for the suffrage is to be found in Japan. There the suffrage is extended only to men of twenty-five or over who have paid direct national taxes to the amount of ten yen ($5.00). Small as this sum may seem, it is largely responsible for the relatively low proportion of voters to the whole population-only about twenty-one in each thousand being admitted to the suffrage.
Breadth of Electorate under these Restrictions.—The above are the chief restrictions placed upon the electorate in modern democratic states. It will be seen that in general all male citizens of mature age and average intelligence and morality are given the vote. The consideration of no other phase of modern political conditions will so astonishingly reveal the difference between the present era and the past.
II. FUNCTION OF THE ELECTORATE Function of the Electorate.-The function of the electorate is to vote. Strangely enough, this function, which was so desired by men of past ages, is now not exercised by a very large proportion of those qualified. One of the problems of the modern state is to contrive means to induce the whole electorate to cast its vote. In an election of unusual interest, at
times as much as seventy-five per cent of the qualified electors vote; in local elections which are considered of little importance, the percentage runs far below this.
A curious experiment has been suggested, and tried on a small scale, in this connection. Czecho-Slovakia and Spain have introduced a system of compulsory suffrage, by which each qualified voter, if without reasonable excuse, is required to cast his ballot. Failure to comply with this requirement is punishable by fine, increase of taxes, or loss of political rights: It cannot be said that compulsory suffrage has appealed widely to political thinkers. The right to vote, to participate in one's government, is a privilege rather than a duty, and the voluntary exercise of this right is certain to be more conscientious on the part of the individual and more valuable to the state than its compulsory exercise. The voter who casts his vote under fear of punishment is of little value to the state: what is most desirable is the intelligent voter who after careful deliberation casts an intelligent ballot for men or measures which seem to him wise.
III. APPOINTIVE POWERS OF THE ELECTORATE Powers of the Electorate: Appointive.—The powers of the electorate are mainly appointive in the democratic states of the world. The degree of democracy which a state has reached is measured largely by the number and importance of the offices which the electorate controls. In the legislative department, the electorate controls the appointment of members of the lower chambers in all modern democratic states. In many states, as in France and the United States, the electorate controls also the appointment of members of the upper chamber. In the executive department, the electorate in democratic states commonly controls the appointment of the chief executive, except in certain states where the office is hereditary, as England, Italy, Japan, etc. In many cases this control is exercised by an intermediate body, as in France and the United States, but the essential fact remains true that the
ultimate control is in the hands of the electorate. In England the electorate controls the ministry, though it does not actually appoint the personnel of the ministry. In the judicial department, experience has, as has been explained, tended to take the control of appointments away from the electorate.
Importance of Electorate's Appointment of Legislature. -Because of the importance of the legislative department, the control which the electorate exercises over it is the most vital element in a democracy. However important a personage the chief executive may be, his functions are to a large extent determined by the legislative body. He is unable to obtain funds for the exercise of his authority without legislative sanction, he cannot promulgate laws for the state until these laws have been passed by the legislative body, he cannot carry on war without the aid of the legislative body. In short, the legislature is the heart of the whole structure of the government. It behooves us, therefore, to understand thoroughly the powers of the electorate as they are exercised in the control of appointments to the legislative body.
General Method of Appointment (Election).—The general method of appointment can be very briefly and explicitly stated. The territory of a state is divided into a number of districts, and the electorate in each district appoints a representative to the national legislative body. The boundaries of the districts may be determined on a basis of population, as is commonly the case in districts whose electorate appoints members of the lower house, or on a basis of administrative convenience (as in the case of the French départements), or historical unity (as in the case of the various commonwealths in the United States). Where the electorate controls directly or indirectly the appointment of members of the upper house, such members are commonly appointed from much larger districts than are the members of the lower house. Thus in the United States the number of members of the lower house is proportionate to population, but the number of members of the upper house is dependent upon the number of common
wealths in the Union. In France the members of the lower house (Chamber of Deputies) represent small districts (arrondissements), the members of the upper (Senate) represent departments (départements).
The appointee or representative elected is commonly he who obtains the greatest number of votes from the electorate. Rarely is a clear majority of all votes cast required; a plurality is commonly sufficient to elect under the laws in various democratic states.
Objections to Method. Strong arguments have been advanced to prove the injustice of the above method of election. These arguments are all based on the fact that election by plurality of votes deprives a large proportion of the electors of any representation at all. Thus in a hypothetical district containing 9,000 electors, of whom 3,001 are in party A, 3,000 in party B, and 2,999 in party C, party A might, under this system, elect its representative and leave 5,999, a majority of the voters in the district, entirely unrepresented. On a larger scale, it is conceivable that an actual minority party of the electorate may control the government by carrying a majority of the districts by a small margin and losing the remainder by a large number of votes. Thus, supposing there were 500 districts in all, one party might conceivably carry 260 with a total vote of 1,000,000 votes to 750,000, and lose 240 districts by a total vote of 250,000 to 1,500,000. The party which carried 260 districts would then control the government with a national poll of 1,250,000 votes, and the other party would be in the minority, although throughout the nation it had polled 2,250,000 votes.
Proposed Substitutes for Present Method: Proportional and Minority Representation.-Although the injustice of this method of the distribution of the powers of the electorate in electing representatives is acknowledged by political thinkers, none of the various schemes which have been devised to correct it has met with general approval. These schemes may be divided into two general classes; the first class being com