Companies. On April 23, 1848, took place for the first time in France the election of a constituent Assembly by universal suffrage. Until then, census suffrage gave the right to vote to a minority of owners on the ground that, holding a certain fortune, and contributing by their taxes to the State budget, they had an interest singular to participate in public affairs : the errors of the policies could weaken their heritage. According to this principle, the right to vote in generalized encourages the promises demagogic towards those whom they do not cost anything.
The election of 1848 ushered in a transformation of the French company that has developed over decades, as were “invented” the skills and duties of voters
The universality of suffrage, it, establishes that the elector is based on the single citizenship. This was the great break in the governance of our societies : it is not the individual interest and heritage which legitimizes the right to choose our leaders, but the equal membership of voters in the nation. Universal suffrage claimed that the social body was the common good of all those who construct it through their work, their capital, their ideas, or their commitments, and who demonstrate by voting an interest in its future. Not not, the electorate has been able to be expanded (gender, age), according to this principle, the entire adult population.
Such exercise of sovereignty does not, however, sprung from a simple act. Alain Garrigou has shown in his fascinating social History of universal suffrage in France (Threshold, 2002) that democracy has developed as a “social technique” giving the voters of the rules of conduct, including as individuals. She has called for their education (public education required), their participation in the financing of the State (universalisation of tax), the authorization of political parties of…