Letter to the Editor

Ancient Greece Voting System

Voting System

Athens in the 4th to 5th century BCE had an extraordinary system of government, whereby all male citizens had equal political rights, freedom of speech, and the opportunity to participate directly in the political arena. This system was democracy. Further, not only did citizens participate in a direct democracy whereby they themselves made the decisions by which they lived, but they also actively served in the institutions that governed them, and so they directly controlled all parts of the political process.

Topics of the voting issued

Specific issues discussed in the assembly included deciding military and financial magistracies, organising and maintaining food supplies, initiating legislation and political trials, deciding to send envoys, deciding whether or not to sign treaties, voting to raise or spend funds, and debating military matters. The assembly could also vote to ostracise from Athens any citizen who had become too powerful and dangerous for the polis.