It is election time in Canada, and I am preparing to vote. Well, I can hardly call it preparations. Not much goes into it other than checking my notice and show up at the right place at the right time. Not much at all.
It makes me wonder: how much women had to suffer to get us the right to vote? It is hard to believe that at some point they were ridiculed to ask for the right to vote! I saw a report on a small village in Switzerland where women were not allowed to vote (in the 90s). And the elders (male) of the village, when confronted with questions regarding this, responded,”We have been living happily without women voting for hundreds of years. We don’t need to change.”
But then why do we need to vote? To get our voice heard, first and foremost. It is not the only thing we can do to achieve that, but it is the bare minimum. It is only a few times in our lives, if you compare it with the number of visits to the hair dresser or vacations or … (yes, even now that the frequency has increased). It is definitely an effort worth making. There is no excuse. You don’t like anyone around, make your own party, stand for something, get your voice heard. It is our civic responsibility. Yes, things may not go the way we like, but we have tried, and we can continue trying.
And as a woman, I feel even more strongly about this. Out of respect for all those who have fought to grant me the right to have a say in how political affairs are run. Just think about how much women have struggled to gain the right to vote. How are we treating their efforts? With respect or total neglect? And for all those who fought to get the right to vote for middle class, ordinary citizens (as opposed to aristocrats), religious minorities, etc, etc. I remember an episode of Blackadder where he (an aristocrat, a Lord I think) tells his servant, Baldrick, that he was not eligible to vote…. And then he added, “… virtually no-one is: women, peasants, chimpanzees, lunatics, Lords …”