Although candidates for all public offices are restricted to graduates of the state, regional, or federal schools of statesmanship, the progressive leaders of this nation discovered a serious weakness in their plan of universal suffrage and about fifty years ago made constitutional provision for a modified scheme of voting which embraces the following features:
1. Every man and woman of twenty years and over has one vote. Upon attaining this age, all citizens must accept membership in two voting groups: They will join the first in accordance with their economic function—industrial, professional, agricultural, or trade; they will enter the second group according to their political, philosophic, and social inclinations. All workers thus belong to some economic franchise group, and these guilds, like the noneconomic associations, are regulated much as is the national government with its threefold division of powers. Registration in these groups cannot be changed for twelve years.
2. Upon nomination by the state governors or by the regional executives and by the mandate of the regional supreme councils, individuals who have rendered great service to society, or who have demonstrated extraordinary wisdom in government service, may have additional votes conferred upon them not oftener than every five years and not to exceed nine such superfranchises. The maximum suffrage of any multiple voter is ten. Scientists, inventors, teachers, philosophers, and spiritual leaders are also thus recognized and honored with augmented political power. These advanced civic privileges are conferred by the state and regional supreme councils much as degrees are bestowed by the special colleges, and the recipients are proud to attach the symbols of such civic recognition, along with their other degrees, to their lists of personal achievements.
3. All individuals sentenced to compulsory labor in the mines and all governmental servants supported by tax funds are, for the periods of such services, disenfranchised. This does not apply to aged persons who may be retired on pensions at sixty-five.
4. There are five brackets of suffrage reflecting the average yearly taxes paid for each half-decade period. Heavy taxpayers are permitted extra votes up to five. This grant is independent of all other recognition, but in no case can any person cast over ten ballots.
5. At the time this franchise plan was adopted, the territorial method of voting was abandoned in favor of the economic or functional system. All citizens now vote as members of industrial, social, or professional groups, regardless of their residence. Thus the electorate consists of solidified, unified, and intelligent groups who elect only their best members to positions of governmental trust and responsibility. There is one exception to this scheme of functional or group suffrage: The election of a federal chief executive every six years is by nation-wide ballot, and no citizen casts over one vote.
Thus, except in the election of the chief executive, suffrage is exercised by economic, professional, intellectual, and social groupings of the citizenry. The ideal state is organic, and every free and intelligent group of citizens represents a vital and functioning organ within the larger governmental organism.
The schools of statesmanship have power to start proceedings in the state courts looking toward the disenfranchisement of any defective, idle, indifferent, or criminal individual. These people recognize that, when fifty per cent of a nation is inferior or defective and possesses the ballot, such a nation is doomed. They believe the dominance of mediocrity spells the downfall of any nation. Voting is compulsory, heavy fines being assessed against all who fail to cast their ballots.