A governmental system, which is considered free, is one that upholds the concepts of ‘mainstream regulation and marginal rights’. In this case, a person with the top number of choices takes the lead in representing the greater part. This person will not represent the marginal who did not vote him but they still have their rights, which should be appreciated by the greater part. The mainstream regulation is, therefore, the notion that policies should be determined by the greater part. An example of mainstream regulation is in the case of the elections in United States. ‘The person voted by a larger population goes on to represent them’ (Davison, 2006). On the other hand, marginal rights are rights given to the marginal groups so as to support equality and have a representation in government decisions even when the greater part wins. Their influences can be heard and taken into consideration when the government implements policies. The government designs a system that helps the marginal to restrict the greater part from hindering their rights (Woolley & Keller, 2002).
While the majorities make decisions for everyone, there are laws set forth in the constitution that protects the basic rights of minorities “regardless of race, gender, religion affiliation or sexual preference” (Rachels, 2003). Amendment XIV, Section 1 (1868) states; “All persons born in the United States, subject to the jurisdictions are citizens of United States. No State shall enforce any law, which bridges the privileges or immunities of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person right of life, property, liberty, without due process of law within the jurisdiction” (Davison, 2006). It was a significant amendment for former slaves who were seen as properties and not human beings. This amendment gave them freedom of appearance and independence (Davison, 2006).
Amendment XV, section 1 placed in the Constitution on February 3, 1870. States that “the right of citizens to exercise their democratic rights to vote shall not be denied because of color, sex, race, or preceding circumstances of servitude” (Davison, 2006). This was significant to black males denied suffrage. This was significant to them as a marginal of the population In the US (Davison, 2006).
Amendment XIX in the U.S constitution, which was ‘adopted and ratified in August 18, 1920, allowed women the right to suffrage after many long and difficult years of protests and marches’ (Davison, 2006). It permitted women regarded as minorities to vote. Their vote could make part of the mainstream regulation (Davison, 2006). Mainstream regulation with respect to marginal rights is actually the basis of the United States constitution. Acceptance of illegal immigrants and offering minimum wage to them is a start to accepting the marginalized individuals in the American society (Woolley & Keller, 2002).
Access to power and equal opportunities by the minorities despite their backgrounds is another aspect of marginal rights. Marginal groups were given their rights as demonstrated in the achievement of equal status and citizenship of African Americans, during the Struggle for their civic rights. This period was not only a dawn for the minorities but also of great significance to the marginalized and disrespected groups (Woolley & Keller, 2002).
The subject of abortion is also another illustration of respecting the rights of the marginal. Though the greater part feels abortion is a choice available to women, there are restrictions on late pregnancies (Woolley & Keller, 2002). For the case of same-sex marriages, Greater part of the nation feel that same-sex marriages should not be permitted. However, in respect to the marginal opinion, the marriages should be legal as it allows civil unions (Woolley & Keller, 2002).
In conclusion, the concept of mainstream regulations with respect for marginal rights makes it certain that while the greater part may have more power in decision-making, the will of the marginal will always be considered.