Elections

economic-dictionary

Elections are a process by which a group of people with the right to vote elect one or more other people for a given position or function.

Elections, in their most well-known and important facet, refers to the process by which the country's representatives are elected, both at the national, provincial or regional, or municipal level.

But in order to stand for both election and voting, a series of conditions must be met. That is, having recognized the so-called right to active and passive suffrage, the asset refers to voting and the liability to be voted.

Depending on the country and the type of election, one or other requirements will be established. Free and fair elections are only held in democratic countries, which does not mean that a country is democratic by having elections, these are only part of it.

Elections are commonly associated with the selection processes of the political personnel that will occupy the different institutions. But they also serve to elect the representatives of other positions, and not as many people can participate as they usually participate in the elections of public office, such as the election of the president of a soccer team or union elections. In the above examples, only those who have the right to vote will vote.

Active suffrage

Active suffrage is the right of an individual to vote in an election. To carry out this right, a series of requirements must be met:

  • Age of majority. Although this may vary by country.
  • Have the nationality of the country that calls them (in some countries, foreigners can vote in local elections).
  • Not be legally incapacitated to vote.

Passive suffrage

Passive suffrage is the right of an individual to stand for election in elections, and must also meet a series of requirements:

  • Meet the requirements of active suffrage.
  • Have no criminal or civil disabilities.

Historical evolution

If we look at a historical perspective, the right to universal suffrage has only recently been achieved, and its establishment has been possible thanks to the expansion of democracy as a form of government.

With the French Revolution, the first elections began to take place, but only a certain part of the population was authorized to vote, the so-called census suffrage. This practice was maintained for many years, until during the 19th century all men who met certain minimum requirements were allowed to vote, thus achieving universal male suffrage. And, finally, during the 20th century, universal suffrage appeared, which is what we know today, where everyone has the right to vote.

Obviously in dictatorial regimes elections were not held, they happened in more or less democratic systems.

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