President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was probably one of the most gifted of the American Presidents and wrote the constitution at the age of 33 whilst a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress. With a distinguished CV he became President at the age of 57.
In the 1960’s President John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation and made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
Relevant Thomas Jefferson quotes.
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
The Right to Vote
It is only since 1928 when all persons over the age of 21 years in the UK obtained the right to vote in general elections, referred to as universal franchise. The right for women to vote achieved by the Suffragette Movement was the last major battle in that cause.
Before that there were restrictions on who could vote, usually according to wealth and land holding. It was always argued that the ‘ordinary’ people didn’t have the intelligence or education to be able to make a reasoned choice.
This universal franchise worked quite well from 1928 to 1949 because the people then had the choice to support a party that would champion better conditions for the working class, whilst higher class people could vote for a party that supported business and banking and the wealth creators.
Introduction of the Welfare State
It all changed in 1949 with the advent of the welfare state. Now there was unemployment benefit, sick pay, and the National Health Service free at the point of use to all. Now any political party that offered the greatest benefits would achieve the most votes.
The problem with this, as some of the population are now aware, is that the benefits of the NHS and welfare state have been ramped up so much by political parties eager to win elections that it has gone past the point of being affordable.
Left wing supporters of the Greens, the Liberals, and Labour are still baying for ever more to be spent on the NHS, demanding a higher minimum wage and more workers benefits even though this means higher taxation and unaffordable costs to indigenous manufacturers.
Worst of all there are a huge number of people in the UK who are dependent upon unemployment benefits and other government aid and have the right to vote. Why I say that is because they will always vote for a party that offers them more, which is bad for the country as a whole.
Maybe it is time to change the rules, like the changes presently being floated with regard to immigrant benefits. I believe that to qualify to vote you should be naturalised as British, have a National Insurance Number, and pay tax, or do voluntary or community service on a regular or permanent basis. There should be no vote unless a person contributes to the country, no free rides for men or women.
This would be incentive to work as an alternative to a life, or many years on benefits. Making a vote something that has to be earned by working also encourages low unemployment. It also reduces the political impact from those who only wish to sponge off the state and not contribute to the gross national income.
Young people going into work straight from school would be able to vote within 6 months of starting work whilst those who go to university and not paying taxes will have to wait until they get a job post university. This in itself will give incentive to vocational studies and work as a real alternative to university.
If you are indigenous you must be employed and have paid national insurance and tax for the whole of six months prior to voting date, or for the self employed the submission of tax returns together with tax payments due on 31st January and 31st July. New businesses could submit a first six months account to qualify like employed persons.
Those drawing an old age pension and those who have worked and paid taxes for many years and then retired living on their own means would retain the right for life. Those who served a full term of at least five years in the military or had received a life changing injury during service would earn the right for life.
Making the vote conditional makes it something worth working for and is more likely to encourage that right to be exercised.