Under the democratic system, election becomes a political obligation because it is the process where the public chooses who and how the government should be managed. It is the process wherein the voting public are given the chance to choose people that will represent them. It consolidates the voice and opinion of the populace and transforms these into what is called the political representation (Watt 2006). Ergo, political representation defines the value of the act of voting that in effect produces a political contract. It is a contract between those who govern and being governed. It ensures that the interest and welfare of the people will be the primary responsibility in managing the state’s affairs. As a political obligation, widespread participation during election also seals responsibility and accountability for those people elected in position (Bernard Manin 1999). It is through the votes casted by majority of the people that that a nation can ensure that its government will act on the best interest of the people. The accountability of the governments is in the hands of voters that can distinguish whether governments are acting in their interest and can be sanctioned accordingly. Thus, voters enable responsibility for government performance. A person’s right to vote is a powerful weapon that can sanction incumbent and can place more competent candidates. When it comes to policy-making electoral procedures, such as referendum among others, the exercise of the right to vote can make a big difference, thus it is imperative (Chandler 2001). The right to vote is also a social responsibility because this is a citizen’s direct commitment and contribution to the whole gamut of the democratic process. Broad participation during elections guarantees that candidates are being elected with confidence. The right to vote did not come naturally. Two decades ago, one has to be white, male, powerful and wealthy to be able to vote. The attainment of the public’s right to cast their votes and their voices be heard is the product of a long history of men and women for civil and political right. For some countries, the struggle for their rights to vote was accompanied by their struggle for national sovereignty and independence. There were people who suffered persecution and even death in asserting and demanding this right. In the United Kingdom, during the 1800, only three percent of the adult population was entitled to vote – those who are rich and male. By 1832, it merely increased to five percent as certain leaseholders and householders were allowed to vote. With the Second Reform Act in 1867, it again increased to 13 percent as voting was extended in counties and boroughs. It was only in 1918 through the Representation of the People Act that all men over the age of 21 were allowed to vote. Women were also given the right to vote, but only if they are over the age of 30. Women also could sit in the House of Commons. In fairness, UK is one of the first countries that implemented the reform allowing women to participate in the election. In 1928, women were given the same voting rights as men by allowing all adults over the age of 21 to vote. In 1969, the voting age was lowered to 18 years of age.
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