For example: one man with income 1,000$/month has only one vote, another man with income 5,000$/month has 5 votes.

Are/were there any such countries?

There were many countries where diffrent estates have diffrent count of votes, but it isn't the same as with votes based on richness.


If someone didn't understand - I mean active votes, not passive (rich man can give more votes to his fav candidate than not rich)

  • 2
    One could argue that in many countries (such a the US) the wealthier you are, the more votes you have in the currently seated government. You could also argue that's merely a 'feature' in a representative democracy. – user1530 Jul 17 '15 at 15:08
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    @DA see my update. In US and many other countries each citizen has only one vote to give – kandi Jul 17 '15 at 17:33
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    yea, I think I understood that. I'm not aware of any country where the rich literally have more individual direct votes. In many countries, in many ways, the wealthy can get plenty of indirect votes, though. – user1530 Jul 17 '15 at 17:36
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    There were many cases in which you had to be wealthy (eg. landowner) to have voting rights, but the Prussian three-class franchise could be what you are looking for. People were divided in classes according to their wealth and each class had the same votes, which means that "a first-class vote had 17.5 times the value of a third-class vote". – gabriele Jul 17 '15 at 21:16
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    In the City of London, corporations get a particular number of votes based on the number of people they employ. – gerrit Jul 21 '15 at 13:18

Historically many countries had property or wealth restrictions for voting, which satisfies the letter of the question (one vote is more than zero) but perhaps not its intent.

That said, a number of countries also practiced plural voting, where some electors could vote more than once. For example:


As well as residential and property based votes (which historically meant you would get one vote per constituency you had a house or a business - limited to 1 + 1 in 1918 RPA) the UK also had university seats from 1603 until 1948 giving extra seat elected by graduates - initially - Oxford, Cambridge and later also London, Scotland, and Trinity College Dublin).

There is a fascinating debate (recorded in Hansard) about Liberal MP, John Shawe-Lefevre's Plural Voting Abolition Bill of 1842 that gives some examples:

I know many men among my own friends who have four or five votes for different constituencies. I know men of wealth—men with very large means—who have only one vote, and I know others of smaller means who have two, three, and four and five votes. I have myself five votes for five different constituencies—not that I have sought the votes by purchasing property for that purpose; but they have come to me accidentally on account of holding property in different places. Two are occupation votes, two freehold votes, and one is for a University. But I know many who have a great many more votes than five. I think it was Sir Robert Fowler, a late Member of this House, who used to boast that he had no fewer than thirteen votes in different constituencies, and that he was able at one General Election to record them all. Then there is the well-known case of the Oxford tutor—a man who had eighteen different qualifications, and, at the Election of 1874, voted in respect of these different qualifications eighteen times. But this case pales before one I heard of recently. A clergyman of the Church of England, who has a hobby for acquiring qualifications in different constituencies, has been able to obtain fifty votes in different places, and I was informed that at a certain General ​ Election he contrived to vote in no fewer than forty different places.

Plural Voting Abolition Bill 1852

Underlying this anyway is the ability of people to use wealth and power to controls multiple votes even if they belong to others. The critical point of the secret ballot (under Ballot Act 1872) is not just to protect you from threats by - say - employers or landlords to vote a certain way, but to prevent you selling your vote voluntarily by removing your ability to prove how you voted. Which is why, for example, it is illegal to take selfies in polling booths if they show your ballot.

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