“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the cause which impel them to the separation” (Thomas Jefferson). These are the words of former U.S. president in his declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”(American declaration of independence)
Different question arose from the above quote in that “are all men created equally”? The answer is “No” biologically and “Yes” when it comes to legal matters, economic rights and politically.
What is political equality?
This is equal authority to decide on every law and policy of the society. It also refers to the extent to which human have equal voices over governmental decisions. The principle asserts that though we are not biologically equal we all have equal right to vote on every law and policy of our environment and that only people with this right have the equality to live by their own decisions and are free. Its explains further that every citizen must have the rights to choose and decide the type of societal laws that should be accepted and this was maintain by the fact that the fundamental purpose of laws is to improve life of all citizen. Its also explains the principle of one-person per one vote, equal right to speech and equality to law. When citizens are given the opportunity to decide what laws affects them, they can legislate other equalities.
Why do we want political equality?
Political equality “a valued good”: political equality gives people the ability to express their political view. It confers on them the sense of selfhood and belonging.
· It builds community: the community is usually bounded by the cooperative activity toward the shared goals and this entails the engagement of all.
· It creates legitimacy: political equality creates legitimacy in the sense that it encourages obedience to laws, acceptance of elections results by the losing side.
· Educative: political equality which leads to political participation is educative in that it encourage and teach people about politics and about democracy and their own needs and likes through their involvement in the politics.
When it all started
In the beginning, when the American declaration of independence was made, little did the founders know about the effect of that on human nature and quest of inequality and Power, they believed that men are born equally and this theory was of limited scope then. Question of citizenship, liberties and rights for the political system was complicated. There were debates over the idea and that of political equality was only represented in the constitution and not really acted upon. The principle of equality of political individuals which translate into that of one man, one vote and ultimately into one person, one vote was implicit in the constitution of the united states rather than being expressly declared(cited in Pole 47). The one vote per person generates controversies among Americans but was later accepted as the most equal method of voting.
American Labour Party had since believed in the socialist form of government. They tend to support a state controlling the industries and equal distribution of wealth.
After WW II, the labour party government nationalized the industries, established what is known as a “welfare state”. This provides citizen with social security, insurance against unemployment and also the National Health Services. With the inception of the “conservative government” the industries was denationalized but kept the health services. (Microsoft Encarta.2008)
In recent years, the trade union membership had declined and subsequently influenced the Labour Party. At the same time the political party had moved away from the political centre. In 1995 it gave up its commitment to socialism and nationalization of industries. (Microsoft Encarta.2008)
In 1819, political equality was also modified as a result of a land crash which devastate the life of many citizen and those who hope of acquiring significant amount of wealth and property. The economy was affected and the people just hope for best to come and things later got into place. The effect of the crash on the political equality was just on the view of wealth distribution and those arguments against the bridging of gaps between the poor and the rich. The rich never wanted to have equal access to basic gifts of nature, they believed in that because they are rich they should have more political weight than the poor. The effect of the disaster was enormous and the workers organized themselves into various political sects and made laws that would protect them and their families from future reoccurrence. The laws were also made to protect what they have left.
Political equality in local emergency services
Political equality in local emergency services gives:
Equal rights to emergency services: such as the right to those health care schemes, free medical services for the less privileged, equity in the local judicial system.
Equal capacity: there are also equal rights as a result of the political equality and this gives opportunity to the citizen to exercise their civic right and contribute to the decision of made concerning the local emergency services.
Equal voice: it ensures equal voice of the citizen i.e. they have the right under the law to say no to some things and decide on what directly or indirectly affects them. Political equality also creates equal attention to the citizen not giving preference to any body on the grounds that he or she is special simply because of status in the community.
Equal output; since political equality ensure the participation of the members of the community. It actually strengthens the output of all those emergency services.
Create sense of belonging: political equality makes citizen decides on what happens to them, hence it creates the sense of belonging in that the citizen would not want any thing created to get spoilt or get disorganized so when they see any misnomer they tend to try to correct it.
Political equality also affect the health sector positively by: (1)Increased reliance on the market forces will make health care cheaper,(2)Change of tax code to provide equal tax relief for individuals who purchase their own insurance,(3)Changing the tax code will also break the link between employment and insurance(4)Insurance for those whose employers do not offer a plan(5)Creation of medical savings accounts( Microsoft Encarta)
According to the Canadian law the provinces must ensure that their health care system respect the following five criteria: (1) public administration—the health insurance plans must be administered by a public authority accountable to the provincial government; (2) comprehensive benefits—the plan must cover all medically necessary services prescribed by physicians and provided by hospitals; (3) universality—all legal residents of the province must be covered; (4) portability—residents continue to be covered if they move or travel from one province to another; and (5) accessibility—services must be made available to all residents on equal terms, regardless of income, age, or ability to pay.(Microsoft Encarta)
In conclusion, political equality creates an environment where the people have equal access to the basic amenities and equal opportunity to create laws that guide the citizen. With equality in justice, law and politics our world will be a better place.
Courtney from Study Moose
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