In any democratic society right to vote is the most important ingredient. Many countries that have very strong economic foundation and peace, have found their secret in the ballot. Likewise communities who have been able to influence decisions made by their governments have been able to do so because of one voice they speak as a community. Du Bois argued that men can only be effective in the society if they have the power which is entrenced in the best public opinion of their own communities. He cited that, ‘weapon in the modern world is the power of the ballot’ (Du Bois, 2006, p.124). Du Bois in his view said that, universal suffrage is the fundamental of a democratic society. To achieve this universal suffrage, however, there is a heavy price to pay such as losing of life due to opposition from the group who feel threaten by the law.
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Many nations in the world that have plunged into unending civil wars-extremism and sectarianism- are due to the fact that they were not able to uphold the spirit of right to vote. Some of them have ruled their countries with an iron fist, denying the citizens right of choosing whom to lead them. Every time elections approaches or is closer, politicians always campaigns for the vacant positions to represent the interest of their people in government. Most of this candidates promise their voters a lot of things which they end up, however, not doing them at all. Therefore there is no party that is not interested to what is happening in the government as Du Bois wrote in his book that, there is no social class that is so good, so true, and so indifferent as to be trusted wholly with the political destiny of its neighbors; that in every state the best custodian of their own welfare are the persons directly affected; and therefore this can only be achieved by arming every hand with a ballot (Du Bois, 2006, p.124). And surely this is the only point a voter can express his dissent view by voting whom he believes, will defend his interest in the making of the laws.
Without the power to vote, the disadvantaged group will never have power to defend themselves. This is because a person who has a right to vote is entitled to participate in formulating laws and regulations by which he or she is governed by. In recounting the condition of racial discrimination against the African American community in United States, it was noted it was very difficult to create a population of black artisans, laborers and landholders in the South as a result of the fact that the existent public opinion and laws took away their rights and voice in determining or rather formulating the laws that governed them and their societies (Du Bois, 2006). He expounds that ‘Today the black man of the south has almost nothing to say as how much he shall be taxed, or how those taxes shall be expended; as to who shall execute the laws, and how they shall do it; as to who shall make the laws, and how they shall be made’ (p.125). Without their people’s elected representative their plights will not be addressed at all. Du Bois also said that sometimes efforts are done during critical times to convince lawmakers in some states to just listen to the black man’s side. This happened because the black people were not given the right to vote therefore, they had no representative to present their issues.
The superior group may also use a double system of justice; which treats other groups of people by undue leniency and practical immunity; while others the law is applied to the fullest. This eventually, makes the inferior community to feel that the law is nolonger protecting them but, is a tool of injustice and oppression; and therefore, they resort to criminal activities as witnessed in the Negroes community in the southern part of United States in the last thirty years (Du Bois, 2006). The inferior group which is discriminated will consider their convicted friends as martyrs and victims; this leads to evolving of gangsters, highway robbers, murderers and rapists. He argued that ‘To leave the Negro helpless and without a ballot today is to leave him not to the guidance of the best, but rather to the exploitation and debauchment of the worst’ (p.127).
Ignorance is another factor that contributes to the oppression of inferior groups. Interestingly, the oppressive regime always takes advantage of the ignorance of these communities to marginalize them in terms of resources whereby little amount of money may be allocated for such community while the rest of the bigger portion is channeled elsewhere as witnessed in the state of Georgia whereby almost a two thirds of the spending on public education goes to the white schools as compared to the Negro schools. Because this inferior communities cannot raise their complains and have no knowledge on the law processes they fall victims of discrimination. Finally they are ensnared by selfish members or groups who will misuse them. Basically with such kind of people-poorly trained, inadequate school facilities and without political rights- state should not expect anything out of them apart from crimes.
With continued discrimination, fault line of tribal or racial hatred develops which leads to mistrust. They will go to separate churches, they will live in separate areas, separate gatherings, travel separately, separate in public and finally begin to study in different colleges. Following this point, the very representatives of the two races or communities, who for the welfare and common advantage of the land should have sympathy and total understanding, are usually alienated from each to the point that one believes that the other is evil.
Suffrage empowers people economical and socially. As a result of poverty, these families finds themselves in a state whereby they cannot afford to sustain their lives and therefore they breakup, each going his/her own way to look for money. It has been found that the average size of Negro families surprisingly decreased since the war and this was because of economic stress (Du Bois, 2006). Young people were highly affected. In line with this, most of them were forced to postpone their marriage age and oftenly lead to a country of immorality such as prostitution and homosexuality.
In conclusion the right to vote is a fundamental ingredient or rather right in a democratic society. This is because it gives the communities powers to articulate their needs. It also gives the communities an opportunity to choose their own leaders who can represent their interest in the writing of laws that governs them and therefore bringing about equal representation of all race and tribes. It was also found out that it unites the communities in the sense that they can express their dissent views without fear of discrimination. It also encourages equal distribution of resources to all people. Finally the communities can appreciate the diversity of their own backgrounds in terms of language and race and utilize for the development of the country, without which sustaining even the smallest group in that particular society such as the family would become a problem. Notably, a community without the rights to vote cannot sustain strong families and as a result, the rates of vices such as immorality and crimes among other is very high.
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