In 1809 Bentham embarked on a sustained and detailed attack on the British establishment, in which he persisted until his death in 1832. The elements of his political radicalism were in place when he began to write on parliamentary reform in 1809. In Plan of Parliamentary Reform, which he eventually published in 1817, he called for ‘democratic ascendancy’, to be instituted by means of universal manhood suffrage (subject to a literacy test), equal electoral districts, annual elections, and, most importantly in his view, the secret ballot.
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