(MENAFN – Swissinfo)
Most countries claim to have universal suffrage. However, no country in the world is fully implementing it. Dealing with this paradox requires a new approach: Make voting rights portable, advises democracy columnist Joe Mathews.
This content is published February 24, 2021 – 9:00 am February 24, 2021 – 9:00 am Joe Mathews
How can we make universal suffrage truly universal?
Such questions must be asked showing the paradox of democracy. Universal suffrage – a term meaning that everyone has the right to vote – is described as a fundamental feature of modern democracy. But there is no country where universal suffrage is actually universal.
That may surprise you, as more than 100 countries claim universal suffrage. However, what is meant is that there are no differences between voters based on gender, race, ethnicity, wealth or literacy.
In fact, all democracies prevent many of their citizens from voting, and do so without an apology. In Switzerland and many other countries, children and young people are deprived of the right to vote because of their age. Many countries limit the voting rights of people in prison. Most democracies deny equal rights to members of their population who do not have a nationality, residence or other legal status. And there is much opposition to movements seeking to expand suffrage for children, prisoners and non-citizens.
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