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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Monthly Musing - May 2015 - Have your say!

The forthcoming election has made for some interesting conversations in our house.  Big daughter is disappointed that she isn’t old enough to vote this time, and small daughter has been asking, “But what about …?” questions which would make any politician think carefully during an interview.  (If she’s on Question Time in the future, remember you read about her here first!)

It would be very easy just to pass our viewpoint onto the girls without getting them to look at the whole picture.  That’s not an unusual scenario; we all know people who vote for a particular party because their parents did and their grandparents before them.  However, we feel that it’s important for our daughters to grow up looking at all the facts, how the different parties are presenting them, and how perceptions of the facts change depending on someone’s own circumstances.

Most importantly, we want to make sure that our girls use the vote that they have.  In many countries, women still can’t vote and it’s only 100 years ago that women in this country were risking their lives and even dying so that our daughters could grow up having the right to their say in how the country is run.  I hadn’t realised until earlier this year just how badly the Suffragettes were treated by the Government, and how badly they had to behave to get themselves and their cause noticed.  Although there still isn’t equality for men and women in the workplace, it’s easy to forget that it was only in our grandparents’ lifetimes that there was even less equality for women in society.  We believe that our daughters should acknowledge the Suffragettes’ bravery by using their vote when they have the opportunity to do so.

“What do you do if you don’t like any of the parties?” small daughter has asked.
That’s a very good question, and one which will be a problem for most people this time round, I suspect!  Our view is that in the end, you choose the party that you disagree with the least.  “So that means you have to know what they’re all saying and not just pick the person you like best,” said big daughter.  This is quite true, and sometimes this is made harder by the fact that you might know the politician in your area; they might have worked very hard for your community but the national policy might not be the one you would immediately choose.

            “It’s not as easy as you first think, is it?” big daughter concluded.  No, it isn’t but that’s why we’ve found it interesting to have these conversations.  Big daughter has been able to listen to the arguments and make up her own mind.  Perhaps for her, though, as someone whom the policies affect and yet is unable to have her say, she has learned the most important lesson of all.  If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.


8 comments:

  1. " Sometimes this is made harder by the fact that you might know the politician in your area; they might have worked very hard for your community but the national policy might not be the one you would immediately choose."
    How true this can be! I wonder sometimes if we wouldn't be better off with a US style presidential election; where you vote for the Prime Minister of your choice independently of voting for the representative you want. It might make for some interesting problems if the PM and the body of the house wanted very different things....

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    1. Indeed it would! It's going to be interesting to see how it all turns out on Thursday, isn't it? xx

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  2. How wonderful that you are discussing this with your daughters and in this way. I often feel it is a case of the least disliked person! I so agree with all that you said about the suffragettes too. I think that everyone, woman or man, should vote if they have the opportunity to, apart from anything else because so many do not have the chance and would love to be able to vote in their own country! Well done you on raising your daughters this way - not that you need my praise I realise!! xx

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    1. I may not need it, but I do appreciate it, Amy, thank you! We've always tried to talk to our girls about what's going on in the world to help to give them a sense of where they fit in. It's not always easy, but it makes for some interesting conversations! :-) xx

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  3. It's a sad state of affairs where we have to vote for the party we disagree with the least, the best of a bad bunch. I think that's why so many people are disillusioned with politics these days, but I agree, we must all use our vote so it's the sensible approach. We've been having similar discussions in our house, Eleanor is at the same age as big daughter so it's all interesting to her and Daniel's twenty so he'll be voting in his first general election this time.

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    1. It's an interesting time watching your children make political decisions for themselves. It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was taking big daughter to school for the first time, never mind talking about elections with her! xx

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  4. Similar conversations going on here. I love the fact that my daughter is interested, informed and developing her own opinions - but sometimes I miss my 'little girl'! X

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Elaine! xx

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