previous
next

Prematurity

In the debate, Mr Traill, who said he was in favour of women's suffrage, urged that the measure would be premature; that women should be first educated to the use of a vote by possessing the suffrage under a local government Act. “Then,” said he, “if found to be using it well they should be permitted to influence Imperial questions.” This would be kind indeed, but this is not the method hitherto employed when new classes have been admitted to the franchise. We have not first put them through political schools; we have taken the raw material, and under the influence of its new liberty and swayed by the responsibilities of its new standing, the raw material has developed, but where has any government ever had raw material so certain to act conscientiously, so prepared already with intelligence and with a strong bias towards moderation, peace, steady reform, and moral purgation? Probably it is because they know that with women voting the men of bad character would have little chance of future election, that makes men so fearful that women “might not use it well”.

previous
next