In one of the novels by author Nevil Shute..."In the Wet"..... the subject of multiple voting comes up....not an illegal act as we see it now....but a real system....
It looks good to me......have any countries tried it??
an excerpt from the book, describing it...
For half an hour they chatted. Then his host said, 'There's one thing about Australia I wish you'd tell me. How does your multiple vote work? It's quite an issue here in England, as perhaps you know.'
The pilot raised his eyebrows. 'I didn't know that. You don't have it, do you?'
'No. How does it work out in practice?'
'I don't really know,' said David. 'I've never thought about it much.'
Captain Osborne asked, 'Have you got more than one vote, yourself?'
The pilot nodded. 'I'm a three vote man.'
'I hope you don't mind me asking these questions,' the captain said. 'It really is getting rather important now in England.'
'I don't mind,' David said. 'The only thing is, I'm afraid I don't know much about it. I've never bothered.'
'What do you get your three votes for?' the captain asked.
'Basic, education, and foreign travel.'
'The basic vote - that's what everybody gets, is it?'
'That's right,' the pilot said. 'Everybody gets that at the age of twenty one.'
'That's for higher education,' David said. 'You get it if you take a university degree. There's a whole list of other things you get it for, like being a solicitor or a doctor. Officers get it when they're commissioned. That's how I got mine.'
'And foreign travel?'
'That's for earning your living outside Australia for two years. It's a bit of a racket, that one, because in the war a lot of people got it for their war service. I got mine that way. I didn't know anything about the Philippines, really, when I came away, although I'd been there for three years, off and on.'
'You had a wider outlook than if you'd stayed at home,' the captain said. 'I suppose that's worth something.'
'I suppose it is.'
'So you've got three votes. How does that work out in practice, at an election?'
'You get three voting papers given to you, and fill in all three, and put them in the box,' the pilot said.
'You're on the register as having three votes?'
'That's right. You have to register again when you get an extra vote - produce some sort of a certificate.'
They sat in silence for a time, looking out over the crowded harbour in the sunset light. Rosemary came to the saloon ladder and spoke up to them. 'You can get more votes than three, can't you?' she said. 'Is it seven?'
David glanced down at her. 'The seventh is hardly ever given,' he said. 'Only the Queen can give that.'
She nodded. 'I know. We get them coming through the office. I should think there must be about ten a year.'
'The others are straightforward,' David said. 'You get a vote if you raise two children to the age of fourteen without getting a divorce. That's the family vote.'
'You can't get it if you're divorced?' asked Rosemary smiling.
'No. That puts you out.'
'Do you both get it?'
'Husband and wife both get it,' David said.
'What's the fifth one?' asked the captain.
'The achievement vote,' said David. 'You get an extra vote if your personal exertion income - what you call earned income here - if that was over something or other in the year before the election - five thousand a year, I think. I don't aspire to that one. It's supposed to cater for the man who's got no education and has never been out of Australia and quarrelled with his wife, but built up a big business. They reckon that he ought to have more say in the affairs of the country than his junior typist.'
'Maybe. And the sixth?'
'That's if you're an official of a church. Any recognized Christian church - they've got a list of them. You don't have to be a minister. I think churchwardens get it as well as vicars, but I'm really not quite sure. What it boils down to is that you get an extra vote if you're doing a real job for a church.'
'That's an interesting one.'
'It's never interested me much,' said the pilot. 'I suppose I'm not ambitious. But I think it's quite a good idea, all the same.'
'So that's six votes,' Captain Osborne said. 'The basic vote, and education, and foreign travel, and the family vote, and the achievement vote, and the church vote. What's the seventh?'
'That's given at the Queen's pleasure,' said David. 'It's more like a decoration. You get it if you're such a hell of n chap that the Queen thinks you ought to have another vote."
'Aren't there any rules about getting it?'
'I don't think so,' said the pilot. 'I think you just get it for being a good boy.'
From the cabin hatch Rosemary said, 'That's right, Uncle Ted. It's given by a Royal Charter in each case.' She added, 'I'm just dishing up.'