Date: 2015-09-09 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would use the word in any election to which I was entitled to vote but prevented by incompetence or malice. I am not a member of the Hull University Tiddlywinks Society, so do not expect to vote in its elections. Were I a member, I might use the word.

But it would have to be a very different me, one who not only accepted the Hull offer in 1996, but one who didn't fear tiddlywinks, and that version of me might think differently on the matter of the word tiddlywinks. (Also, I would have studied philosophy and not politics in Hull, which presumably would be relevant.)

Date: 2015-09-09 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would use "disenfrancised" if I was denied a vote which according to the rules of the election I ought to have had by incompetence or malice on the part of the people running the election. The extent to which this is a Truly Terrible Thing would depend on how much I cared about voting in the election.

I would also use it if (even according to the rules of the election) the nature of the voting-procedure made it impossible for me to vote (whilst I was entitled to a vote). For instance people might be disenfranchised by polling stations having stairs, or by elections being called at a day's notice when some of the electorate lives more than a day's travel away.

I think I would use some other phrasing if the rules said I didn't have a vote but I felt that I *ought* to have a vote.

Date: 2015-09-09 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's about what I'd say.

I think I would use some other phrasing if the rules said I didn't have a vote but I felt that I *ought* to have a vote.

I think there's a spectrum here. If I felt I ought to have a vote, but I never had before and I'm aware the argument is controversial, I might not say that. But if the law says "general election open to everyone except women", I thought disenfranchised is EXACTLY the term, even more so than if that effect is indirect.

Date: 2015-09-10 08:08 am (UTC)
ext_8103: (penguin)
From: [identity profile]
AFAIK the suffragettes used the word 'disenfranchised' of themselves so I think there's sound precedent for it meaning "the rules deny me a vote but the rules are wrong".

Date: 2015-09-10 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes, definitely, I think most people get the idea that women were excluded from elections and many people thought that was wrong, even if they themselves disagreed. But I think there's some sort of sense of being specifically excluded -- eg. if I lived in a dictatorship, I might think I was morally disenfranchised because there should be elections but aren't, but I probably wouldn't put it like that.

Date: 2015-09-10 06:51 pm (UTC)
ext_8103: (penguin)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, yes, I think you're right, there's a difference in kind between an election you can't take part in and an election that doesn't exist at all.
How about (i) an election that's so comprehensively rigged that there's no relationship between real votes and outcome or (ii) an unrigged election with rules so bizarre that we can agree that it's not democratic even within the permitted voters? i.e. does 'disenfranchised' require actual democracy or just an election?

Date: 2015-09-09 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Surely the answer is "All of the above" here?

Date: 2015-09-09 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think, in the context of that election, "disenfranchised" is applicable, but I'd only go around saying disenfranchised without further context if the election was sufficiently important -- where that's a fuzzy boundary.

Also, it's just me, but if the prevention of voting is truly random and fairly small, I might not say "disenfranchised" if that means I don't feel my view is underrepresented.

Date: 2015-09-09 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are some of these where I'd feel more like I was using the word in a transferative sense than others.

Date: 2015-09-09 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
so I might well also use it in re directorship of the National Trust, but that's because I'm a member and therefore feel some entitlement to vote.

Date: 2015-09-10 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not sure there is a Hull University Tiddlywinks Society, and google backs me up.

"Prevented by someone else's incompetence" is an interesting one. I suppose that if, by their own rules, I was entitled to vote in one of the upper four-and-a-half elections, and some muppet bungled the ballot papers or something... then meh. I can hardly get worked up about elections I can't see myself as having any moral right to vote in.

To add: The situation with the current Labour leadership election is interesting, but I lean towards "disenfranchised" being applicable. The whole £3 supporter thing is a bit odd, being somewhere in between an open primary and an election amongst members. Could one be disenfranchised from an open primary? I think so.
Edited Date: 2015-09-10 02:18 pm (UTC)

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