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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Four great principles of Athenian democracy that modern democracies have not mastered

In  1792, Thomas Paine said that the Athenian democratic model will be much better represented by America, by including popular referendums and secret ballot voting. However, only some of the features of Athenian democracy are found in the American political system.

Below are four great principles of Athenian democracy that modern democracies have not mastered:


Ostraka table for ostracism photo:
In the fifth century BCE, Athenian citizens met and voted annually in the public square where a person became too strong. This was exiled for 10 years. Their names were scrawled on small pieces and to be exiled were needed a MINIMUM PARTICULARS 6,000 votes. This practice, called ostraka, to the emergence of the English word ostracize.

Vote using hands
Ancient sources mention that the Athenians voted by submitting stone urns. Since the fifth century, the Athenians voted by show of hands or with small tokens of bronze. Moreover, the voting process was based on secret ballot, every citizen receive 2 chips, one that provided a tubular axle and one that provided a solid axle. They accounted choice for or against a proposal or a defendant.

Paying votes

The Athenians received a small sum of money in exchange for the position of member of a jury or a deliberative body. The payment was a democratic invention that was intended to ensure that poor people are not stipulated exclusion from social commitment. But as the right to vote was becoming increasingly broad principles have become stricter: part of the jury could only adult males. Women, foreigners and CLAVIERE were excluded.

Deciding on the people who vote

In Athens, all citizens had the right to vote and met every 10 days Pnyx, a small hill located right next to the Acropolis which can accommodate up to 6,000 members. This assembly decided military priorities, financial and religious also were granted various citizens and honored citizens. A small council of 500 members were preparing the meeting agenda. They were also debated foreign policy principles.

A system of government of the United States awfully similar to the Athenian might be unrecognizable. Senators and MPs would be elected by a pirncipiu similar to the lottery. Moreover, this scheme excludes the women and immigrants from politics and it might be exiled politicians unpopular.

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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by National Geographic . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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