Resource Sheet 4

On voting, by Anthony Trollope

Every man aged twenty-one can vote, provided that he is possessed of one of the following qualifications…

  • Own a freehold, worth £100 above encumbrances.
  • Occupy a tenement worth £10 per annum.
  • Hold a lease of £10 per annum, of which three years are still to run, or of which three years have already run.
  • Hold a Pastoral licence.
  • Enjoy a salary of £100 per annum.
  • Pay £40 per annum for board and lodging.
  • Or pay £10 for lodging only.

By this law…wandering labourers…are excluded from the registers.

Anthony Trollope, Australia and New Zealand, Robertson, Chapman & Hall, 1873.

On one-man-one-vote

One-man-one-vote means equal voice in law-making for all men, thereby giving the men of Queensland opportunity to be rulers of Queensland…

One-man-one-vote has this weakness, this failing, that it does not include the women. Not a single principle can be advanced in support of the rights of men which does not apply with equal force to the rights of women. Our mothers, our wives, our sisters and our daughters are essentially citizens of the state as any man of us…

What is this other reason, the real reason, why one-man-one-vote is opposed? It is opposed only by the propertied classes in their own selfish self-interest, by the great land monopolists, by the great mine monopolists…

They fear that if one-man-one-vote is secured by the common people, the labourers who toil and have nothing…that the first use made of that power will be legislative ‘interference’ with existing industrial conditions.

William Lane, The Worker, 13 June 1891.