One Man, One Vote system is in vogue today, which means each person should have the right to one vote. However, in the nineteenth century John Stuart Mill criticized this system. Sedgwick also supported Mill’s viewpoint. They are of the view that the people, who are more educated, pay more taxes and are advanced in age, should be given more votes than those who are younger in age, who are illiterate and who do not pay any tax. Taine also said that, “Votes should not be counted, they should be weighted.” These thinkers consider education, property and age as basis for the grant of more votes.
According to this view two systems are used:
(1) Plural Voting:
According to this system the same person is given right of separate voting for paying taxes at one place, for having property at another place and for being educated at the third place.
(2) Weighted Voting:
According to this system more educated, more taxpayers and elderly people are continuously given the right to plural voting against those who are poor and younger. According to the amended Constitution, this system was introduced in Belgium in 1833. But after the First World War (1914-18) the Communist Party staged a big demonstration against it. Consequently, in 1921 when the Constitution was again amended, the Weighted Voting system was completely abolished.
Merits of this System:
In this system the merits of Universal Adult Suffrage have been included, but its drawbacks have been removed. It means that in this system everybody has been given one vote. Besides the provision for giving more votes to the learned, the aged and the property-owners, against the illiterate, the young and the non-tax paying peoples, has been made, so that the government is not run only by incapable and uneducated persons.
Demerits of this system:
(1) This system is against democracy and the rich people have more influence in it.
(2) It is difficult to fix the standard for granting the plural voting right.
(3) It is not desirable to discriminate on the basis of property.