The Ballot

The use of the secret ballot provides some protection against cooercion and fraud, and is practically universal in application for the election of representatives. The vote may be for the local representative only, or may be a combined vote for multiple purposes, eg. the election of a President, a Senator, and a local representative, depending on the country.

Among the negative practices that are known to occur are:-

– actual or threatened physical violence against voters;
– concealed pressures, such as those exercised by some employers;
– bribery, consisting of gifts of money or other rewards for voting as directed;
– impersonation of duly qualified voters by others;
– voting more than once;
– shifting voters from districts where the result is certain to others where it is doubtful;
– nullification of ballots by altering counting of ballots;
– Gerrymandering:- altering electoral boundaries to achieve an advantage for one party;

and some other practices, which would not normally be possible in well-regulated society.

– the disappearance of ballot boxes completely;
– the use of counterfeit ballots to increase the count;
– using the identity of a person already dead, but whose death has not been reported;
– extreme physical violence, even murder.

Comparison Chart

Item of Comparison Greek Direct Democracy Modern Representative Democracy
Political Parties None Required Two or more
Selection of Representatives None Required By Party System
Election of Representatives None Required By General Election
Election of Officials Lottery Appointed
Top Military Posts Election Appointed
Top Financial Posts Election Appointed
Campaign Fund Source None Required Political Parties/Donations/Private
First Allegiance To the People To the Party
Attitude of Officials Community Duty Well-paid Career, Power
Constraints on Voting None Yes, with few exceptions
Predetermined Assembly Majority No Yes
Exclusion of Minority Interests None Probable
Restraints on Communication No As deemed necessary
Transparency Always and immediate After time limit expiry
Corruption Little opportunity Commonplace
Majority View Fully represented Poorly represented

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