Franchise (Meaning):- The preamble of the Indian Constitution declare that sovereignty rests in the in the hands of the people. So people exercise their supreme power through their elected representatives. Moreover the public is the source of entire power of government. Therefore, Citizens have the right to elect their representatives. This right to elect is known as suffrage. Also This is an important political right. Since the modern age is the age of democracy. However, in our country every adult citizen has been granting the right to vote; This system of suffrage called Universal Adult Franchise.
Conditions of Franchise:
- In our country all males and females who have attained the age of 18 years have the right to vote.
- But this has to kept in mind, that suffrage is not only a right but also a duty.
- Insane or mad person, declared insolvent by the court or person who are not citizen of India do not have right to vote.
- Moreover the creator of our constitution decided to grant it to all citizens without any discrimination.
On 17th November 1949 these words had said in the constituent assembly:–
“without universal adult franchise, democracy is meaningless”.
Franchise is a unique provisions of our constitution. So it has so many advantages; therefore the following are the characteristics:
- Equal importance of vote to every citizen.
- Also it is in conformity with the principle of equality.
- All citizens participate in administration.
- So change of government is possible peacefully.
- Political education to people.
- In conclusion it instill self respect among citizens.
- As democracy means participation of people in administration, therefore universality of franchise is desirable.
- A representative who is related to all should be elected by all.
- Unless franchise is universal there is no hope of a government which aims at public interest.
- According to the opinion of thinkers like Maikale and Hensigen, the uneducated ignorant people also get the opportunity of franchise.
- It is also said that it should not be granted to a majority of people as it increases political instability.
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