Universal Suffrage

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Universal Suffrage

 

a system of electoral rights under which the right to participate in elections to representative bodies is granted to all citizens who have reached the age established by the law without any electoral qualifications whatsoever.

Universal suffrage—one of the major principles of electoral rights which determines the conditions of citizens’ electoral rights and the degree of democracy of a given society—has a very pronounced class character. The meaning of universal suffrage is different in socialist and bourgeois societies. According to the Constitution of the USSR (art. 135) universal suffrage means that all citizens who have reached the age of 18—regardless of their race or nationality, sex, religion, educational or residential qualifications, social origin, property status, or past activities—have the right to participate in elections to all the representative bodies of state power. Women enjoy the same rights to vote and be elected as men, and citizens in the armed forces have the same rights to vote and be elected as all other citizens.

The right to be elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR is granted to citizens who have reached the age of 23. Citizens who have reached the age of 21 may be elected deputies to the supreme Soviets of the Union and autonomous republics, and citizens who have reached the age of 18, deputies to local Soviets. Only persons who have been declared legally insane do not have the right to vote. Before the adoption of the Constitution of the USSR of 1936, representatives of the exploiting classes were denied suffrage. This temporary limitation was made necessary by the bitter class struggle.

The universality of elections is an important and effective form of participation by Soviet citizens in the formation and activity of the bodies of state power. This principle is guaranteed by the political base of Soviet society (the power of the toiling people) and its economic base (the socialist economic system and socialist ownership of the implements and means of production) and is ensured by the procedure of compiling voters’ lists, organizing election precincts, holding elections on nonworking days, and providing the opportunity for citizens to vote when away from their permanent residence (on long train trips, on ships, and in hospitals), as well as by the absence of any kind of poll tax.

Soviet legislation establishes the organizational and legal forms for citizens’ participation in elections and for control of the conduct of the elections by the public. It also establishes criminal responsibility for persons who use force, deception, threats, or bribery to prevent Soviet citizens from exercising the right to vote and be elected.

The constitutions of the majority of bourgeois states pro-claim universal suffrage. However, because of a whole system of limitations (qualifications) and various reservations and amendments provided for in the legislation itself, large numbers of voters—primarily representatives of the toiling people, soldiers, and women—are barred from participation in elections.

V. V. KRAVCHENKO

References in periodicals archive ?
(4) Promised the vote after abolition, they were told to wait in ease it jeopardised the vote for black males--just as British women, included in an early draft of the Charter of 1832, were told to wait in case it jeopardised manhood suffrage in Britain.
In the final chapter, Lehning creatively uses the Boulanger affair to show just how close to failure the republican reliance on universal manhood suffrage actually came.
Hemmings does not add a lotto an already well-trod story save that he stresses how the writings of Major Cartwright and the Duke of Richmond, who routinely moved the adoption of annual parliaments and universal manhood suffrage in the Lords during the 1780s, were central to Hardy's radicalism.
Without an account of this broad context, it is impossible to understand how and why a consensus emerged within the Republican party that race should not limit the rights of citizenship and that civil equality and manhood suffrage were essential attributes of freedom.(8) In a remarkable, if temporary, reversal of political traditions, Congress now sought to identify and protect the equal rights of all Americans.
. The Manhood Suffrage bill was proposed, which would give the vote to all men but not to women.
Unfortunately, Queen Victoria had signed the Order of Separation prior to NSW granting manhood suffrage, and when the first Queensland election was held in April and May of 1860 a NSW roll from which about a third of the names had been removed was used.
In 1848, he helped implement universal manhood suffrage, and abolish executions and slavery.
Consider, for instance, the contrast between the Swedish and German electoral systems: in Sweden (like Britain) an undemocratic suffrage limited socialism's political representation until after the turn of the century; in Germany, the introduction of universal manhood suffrage for the Reichstag opened the way for socialist successes at the national level and made the defense of liberal privileges in local institutions all the more important.
They peaked again after the introduction of universal manhood suffrage during the Second Republic, when the Second Empire severely restricted colportage, the system whereby itinerant peddlers sold cheap chapbooks in rural areas.
In that month Emmeline was back in the USA where she heard that Asquith had announced that a Manhood Suffrage Bill would be introduced at the next parliamentary session, which would allow amendment for the enfranchisement of women.
Part II will describe the creation of the internal view, how it led to manhood suffrage, and how, at the same time, it continued to disenfranchise women and blacks.
The sudden introduction of universal manhood suffrage in France in 1848 translated from dream to practical prospect the political hopes of parties and movements which might succeed in mobilizing public opinion.