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Community, History & Traditions

Sunday Saying – Democracy

My daughter voted for the first time ever yesterday. It was a proud and important milestone for both of us. Time for her to exercise her democratic right as an Australian female citizen.

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Completed Embroidery in hoop

For centuries, women were disregarded as not being able to understand the complexities of the parliamentary system and relegated to the parlour where embroidering was a more suited pursuit.

Rather shocking to think of that now…

If my daughter had been born over 100 years ago, she would not have qualified to vote. Thank goodness times have changed.

New Zealand
Yay for New Zealand!

It is unsurprising to see which countries offered universal suffrage first:

“New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote -1893 – [ well done, sister kiwis], while the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote in 2011. “

  • 1893 New Zealand
  • 1902 Australia
  • 1906 Finland
  • 1913 Norway
  • 1915 Denmark
  • 1917 Canada
  • 1918 Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia
  • 1919 Netherlands
  • 1920 United States
  • 1921 Sweden
  • 1928 Britain, Ireland

Compulsory voting for national elections was introduced in Australia in 1924, following a pronounced fall in turnout at the 1922 federal election.”

Furthermore, I have grown up knowing voting was once a privilege of the landed gentry, or a domain of men, and thus, take my democratic right very seriously. I am Australian and we expect to vote. It is compulsory here. Yet for many people, voting is a painful process, they avoid it, cast an informal protest vote, or don’t vote at all.

When you think of how many generations did not have a say in how their government was run, it is sobering to think that some would take this right to determine our parliamentary makeup frivolously.

American Thomas Jefferson noted,

” We do not have government by the majority.

We have Government by the majority who participate.”

Whilst many other countries don’t make it compulsory to vote, be it bad or good, our compulsory system, means we do get a more comprehensive view of the public’s wishes in our federal elections. Notwithstanding the preferential voting systems, of course.

“Bad Officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”

~ George Jean Nathan

Do you agree with Preferential system of voting? Or, ‘first past the post’? [ie. those with the most votes in first place].

Should voting be compulsory?

As Ab Lincoln said, “the ballot is better than the bullet.”

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Something to Ponder About

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Community

Proverbial Friday – Love and Equality

Proverbs and sayings provide us with wise words from all corners of the world. Best savoured a little at a time, these sayings have been passed down from generation to generation. Each Thursday, I post a saying, or proverb and a quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking.

I hope you think so too.

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This has been a momentous week in Australian politics. About much debate and anguish, words of love and hatred, legislation has passed the Senate that will allow same-sex couples to marry.

We are perhaps behind much of the world in this respect, however, we have negotiated a long, arduous, divisive, and hate filled campaign in order to reach this point. As the bill was debated in the parliament, a traditionally conservative Senator voiced these words which synchronize with this week’s theme.

“How you love is how God made you. Whom you love is for you to decide and others to respect.” Senator George Brandis –

Australian Senate 28 Nov 2017

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Hatred can so often be destructive of relationships, people and things. How can we get past hatred?

Albert Camus has these illuminating words: –

“In the midst of hate, I found there was in me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible calm. I realized that throughout it all, that…In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

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Peace of mind can be achieved by a change in one’s attitude.

Do you agree?

What do you make of Camus’ words?

Join in the discussion this Thursday at Something To Ponder About