Suffrage is considered to be a basic human right by people that support democracy. It is defined as the right to vote in general. However, in modern times, the actual word suffrage has to do with participating in elections held publicly in order to choose political representatives. There is also the possibility to become a candidate to hold a public position as a representative of a certain group of people. When candidate eligibility is enacted, together with the right to vote, this is known as full suffrage.
Suffrage is mostly viewed as the act of electing political or public representatives, but suffrage also deals with, for example, activities such as a referendum, political campaigning etc. All in all, suffrage applies to the right to vote in a legal framework.
In democratic systems across the globe, voters can participate in democratic elections to decide who will represent them in a Parliament, Congress, Senate and a national, municipal as well as federal government. Also, there is a voting process in which politicians and leaders can call upon their citizens in order for them to contribute and cast their vote or influence decision making with their opinions on various issues of national, local or federal interest which is known as a referendum. For example, a few years ago in Sweden, there was a national referendum concerning the shift of the monetary system from the Swedish Krona to the EURO. The people voted down this option and Sweden continues to use Swedish Krona as the regular national currency to this day. In the US, a handful of states like CA and WA have given the opportunity to their citizens to make suggestions, propositions and even vote on the passing or vetoing of certain laws,
Today, the vast majority of the democracies in the world do not discriminate suffragists by sex or race, an issue that will be addressed here in the coming posts.