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Utility and DemocracyThe Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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Philip Schofield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208563.001.0001

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Parliamentary Reform

Parliamentary Reform

(p.137) 6 Parliamentary Reform
Utility and Democracy

Philip Schofield (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   radicalism, reform, parliament, democracy, suffrage, elections, equality, ballot

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