CCR №4 (119) 2017
The voter as a “function”

Abstract.
For over two and a half millennia democracy has undergone an evolution. It has emerged along with monarchy and aristocracy as one of three forms of state, and was for the most part perceived negatively both by antiquity thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle and modern thinkers such as Hobbes and Rousseau, although the latter did not criticize democracy in principle, instead considering it unrealistic. But since the late eighteenth century, democracy has begun to be associated with complex humanitarian values, particularly freedom, equality, and recognition of human dignity. However, the essence of democracy – which is giving power to the people – has not changed. And since this essence is reflected, among other places, in the gradual expansion of the categories of voters and has led to universal suffrage, the author believes that democracy may lose the substance for which it was enthusiastically embraced two centuries ago. Based on this standpoint, the article discusses possible ways of neutralizing this danger, including a narrowing down of the electorate. The author believes that neither random selection nor voter qualifications nor unequal voting is appropriate to ensure a competent electorate. For this reason, the author suggests a different approach that can improve the meaningfulness of voting and the responsibility of the voter. With Leon Duguit setting the foundation of citizen participation in elections as a function and not a right, the author presents the reader such propositions as registering individuals as voters such as to oblige them to participate in elections, as well as introducing required testing to that one must pass to become a voter.

Об авторе

Mikhail Krasnov – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Tenured Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Krasnov M. (2017) Izbiratel’ kak “dolzhnost’” [А voter as a “function”]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.4, pp.13–29. (In Russian).

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