The one great step that led to what we know consider the ideal of democracy was the upsurge in the francize of the populous. Historically democracy prior to the renaissance were but a prop for a hierarchy, a way to give tacit support to a ruling body, family or individual. Power had ever and was ever in the hands of the minority, separated by position, financial condition, or physical strength. The appearance of democracy was of course well-advertised, suggesting that a majority of the peoples chose by some form or other, generally a one man one vote system, the government that supported the elite whilst theoretically governing in a fair and wholly arbitrary way. The fly in a democracy’s ointment was and ever will be the make up of the voters, and how those votes are divided and subdivided to give a representative parliament, congress, assembly or committee.
Enfranchisement is a word used to describe the particular set of principles or requirements that designate an individual right to be a voter within any elective system. Such rules of entitlement are very specific to every individual governmental system both in their allowances and disallowances, oft designated from the very outset of the hierarchy, for hierarchy it most definitely is, and without question requiring constant update and finagling as ideas of those entitled changes through modernization and liberalization, liberal in this instance being spelt very importunately with a small letter ‘l’.
Natural alterations of enfranchisement through modernization would be inclusivity of gender, dismissal of land of financial requirements, lowering of the age of entitlement to align with other legal consent codifications, removal of educational standards and of course racial or language barriers. Each one of these changes would present a major alteration in both the voting and representative structures, each separate change exponentially increasing true representation. Such alterations to voter eligibility require careful and accurate amendments to law, generally dealt with by parliamentary act, constitutional amendment or the complete rewriting of the articles of incorporation. Such alterations to voting rights are generally deemed as being irrevocable, either by universal agreement or by the simple measure of discarding any old legislation. Hence for example changes in British parliamentary voting rights automatically override all previous legal documentation, or in the case of the French republic we find ourselves participating in, honoring and accepting wholeheartedly the fifth writing of a constitution recognized as a living and breathing document as opposed to an arcane and often absurdly dated historical text that is considered beyond correction or alteration. Legal systems, voting systems, governmental structures develop, improve, modernize, empower, include and enfranchise naturally through the progression of time. The only ongoing requirement is an integrated and fully accepted inability to retreat, back track, separate, or divide. Inclusivity is not a subject that should raise even the mildest quibble in an enlightened populous with only the basest of educations.
I personally am no fan of democracy in any form, to my mind the inherent weaknesses far outweigh the positives. By admission I am a monarchist, a believer in a hierarchical system based at best on merit or worst quite arbitrary luck, but I am ever open to persuasion.