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Thursday, 6 May 2010

They died for you.

Today is voting day for the general election and council seats. Please take a moment to go to the polling booths and cast your vote. I feel really strongly about this. Our ancestors laid down their lives so ordinary people could vote instead of a privileged few. My feature for Jane Austen's Regency World this month is on the Peterloo massacre. On that fateful day, innocent people demonstrating for parliamentary reform in Manchester died when the yeomanry cavalry charged the peaceful crowd. In Regency times, campaigners for parliamentary reform concentrated on winning universal male suffrage. Female suffrage was considered a downright outlandish idea, and women reformers (there was a group in Stockport) were often ridiculed in the press.  Women did not gain the vote in Britain until 1918, after years of protest, (some violent) and sacrifices by women campaigners. So please, please, go and vote - it won't take long!

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