Democracy: 100 years

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I have used my vote today, to vote for our next parliament. We all know that it will be a dramatic change, from a labour/socialist/farmers party-government, to a conservative one. But the political differences are not that big in Norway. We all want to keep the welfare system more or less, so that free education and free health care are payed through taxes, but we will now see more private schools and health care. Which I see as a setback. Anyway, I have been thinking more about our democratic system. In 2013 it is 100 years since Norwegian women gained the right to vote and Norway became a true democracy. Norway was the first independent country in the world to introduce universal suffrage, with women and men enjoying equal democratic rights. There are still women in this world who don’t have this right, and who hardly have any rights at all, and they don’t participate in the society. That is too bad, for them and for their country. Our present prime minister have calculated our women in the workforce to create more values than our oil, and we are a rich oil country, I hope for all countries to have freedom and equality for its people.

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63 thoughts on “Democracy: 100 years

    1. The Norwegians were not alone: “In the United States, women over 21 were first allowed to vote in the territories of Wyoming from 1869 and in Utah from 1870, and with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment the suffrage was extended to women across the United States in time for the 1920 presidential election. Women over 21 were allowed to vote in New Zealand from 1893, in Australia from 1894, and in Canada from 1919. Women in the UK were given the vote in 1918 if over 30 and meeting certain property qualifications, and in 1928 suffrage was extended to all women over the age of 21.” (Wikipedia) These women did a great fight for all of us. Now we should stand by those who lack these rights.

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    1. Yes, I know, and I really can’t understand why other countries don’t have the same system, at least countries that are rich enough. Health and welfare is not only good for people, but also for a country’s economy.

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  1. Lately I feel like we are going backwards where some of the powerful folk are trying to restrict voting to their advantage. I definitely feel like the US is heading backwards and downward.😦

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    1. US is such a big country, much more complex than our tiny nation. And the political system quite different. I could choose between 15 different parties, some so small they will never enter parliament, but they have a chance to try. I hope you will be going upwards soon.

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  2. Quite amazing to think that in 1927 in UK, some woman were still not allowed to vote. How cultural values can change in 80 odd years. And thank goodness they did. Wonder why the trend in quite a few countries is towards conservative governments. Is it because of the GFC?

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    1. I had to google GFC, and of course I know the Global Financial Crisis. Your question is so big. The short answer as I see it might be that we are becomming more selfish. When people think about themselves, the people closest to them and their own wallet, they tend to vote conservative: less tax, less regulations etc. But the answer is much more complex of course.

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      1. I agree. Everyone “knows” before the elections that she will lead again, because so many like her. I’m not that much interested in politics. But I know, I don’t like her.🙂 She is power-mad and opportune.
        Ha en kjempefin dag.

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  3. Yes, coincidently so we just had our election here in Australia, and had a change of government from Labor to Liberal, which is more conservative. However both parties are very similar.

    In Australia, women were allowed to vote in 1902, which was one year after Federation. In 1973, the minimum age for voting was dropped to 18, as this corresponds with the age when you can drive, be a signatory. Voting here is compulsory, is that also the case in Norway?

    I must say that I’m proud to live in Australia, though from memory Norway is a couple of places ahead of us in some charts.

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    1. No voting is not compulsary in Norway. I believe voting is compulsary in just a few countries. Our authorities made an effort to make people vote, especially the young can be a bit indifferent, and I think about 77 % of the population voted. As you say, the parties are not that much different here too, but still different. Thanks, Helen.

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  4. I Hope and i wich, for you and all norvegian people, you will get a new “good” Prime Minister. I expecting you will not be like France with a policy which is the same, even Conservative or Labour drive the contry and not to gets rich, more and more…I Believe into Democracy and equality, like you, with the same rights for men and women and a redistributive system between riches or poors. It seems it become a dream, in France. Health care, Education, safety for numerous old persosn on rest, where attacks, to empty the gap dig by Stock Exchange speculation.
    I thank you very much for your beautiful pictures and interesting comments.

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    1. We need our dreams for a better world, locally and globaly, and for this we need democracy. But, as you say, the redistributive system seems to have stoped working. Even the Scandinavian countries are going in the opposite direction. Strange thing, it is the people who elects our politicians.

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  5. This is a lovely post in honour of democracy. Many people fought hard to give us all the right to vote and we should not forget to honour that struggle. I live in Christchurch which was home to Kate Sheppard who was instrumental in ensuring that New Zealand women got the vote in 1893. On the 19th September, the day women won the right to vote, we celebrate White Camellia/Suffrage Day This is my post on the subject http://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/1802/ if you would like to read it.

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    1. I just read you post (must have missed it before), and you are so right. These women did an incredibly important job for us. Without their courage, we would maybe still be second class citizens, like in some unlucky countries.

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  6. Hope for all of you norwegian friends – that this political constellation brings more luck in Norway than it did in Denmark
    – where we tried it for about nearby 8 years without impressive results 2001-09.

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  7. I wish you luck in your election.
    I do live in the U.S. and have totally different views. I believe all are equal, but if I work harder than the next guy, why do I have to give the fruits of my labor away? A democracy works when ALL contribute. Everyone should get the same chance to live and make themselves better, but everyone should contribute and they don’t here. They collect welfare yet still drive better cars than me, have $300 shoes & iPhone’s. Or sneak over the border, earn money, don’t pay taxes and leave. I do believe in capitalism & our stupid president is turning this country into a circus. I voted for the other guy. 🙂

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  8. What a wonderful post, Bente! And may I say, I wish we had paper ballots in our country instead of computerized systems which seem rife with problems. I also wish we universal health care…I’m still hoping for that too!

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  9. Lovely post Bente. Amen to freedom and equality for all people. The dichotomy in India is that a large number of women have very few rights, despite being able to participate in elections!

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  10. Hi Bente, I’ve been missing in action for quite awhile. I’ve not written a word of anything for maybe 3 months. I’m now trying to catch up to blogs and get back on track.
    I found this post very interesting. I do hope the private medicine and education don’t lead you down the road like us here in the US. Health cost a fortune for good doctors and public education is almost non existent. It is very, very sad how bad our schools have become. You need to pay a fortune for good medical and private schools are the only ones that teach like public did years ago. Here’s hoping it all ends well for you folks.

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  11. Norway’s record on universal suffrage has to be admired. You also mention the political differences between the Norwegian parties are not that great. You find this is the same in all so called developed countries.

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  12. Many people don’t know that the American state of Wyoming gave women the right to vote in 1869. Of course Wyoming didn’t have a lot of women in it back then, and even today, though geographically large, Wyoming has the smallest population of the 50 American states.

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  13. Really nice write up about Democracy Bente… I really admire how you still believe in the process even though you don’t agree with the change which is the true definition of Democracy. Oh… lovely photos as always🙂

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