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Nellie Mcclung's Case And The Right To Vote

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Nellie McClung’s Fight for “The Persons Case” and The Right to Vote

Nellie McClung is a great Canadian who fought for women to vote in Canada and one of the Famous Five in the “Persons Case”. She is a Canadian author, politician, and reformer. Nellie began her campaign for women’s suffrage in Manitoba, 1911. In 1912, she helped form the Political Equality League. Before 1917, an eligible voter in Canada was defined as “a male person, including an Indian and excluding a person of Mongolian or Chinese race…. No woman, idiot, lunatic, or criminal shall vote.” On January 27th, 1916 the Enfranchisement of Women Act was passed, giving women the right to vote. McClung made a mockery of the argument against male suffrage from Premier Rodmond

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...Both Nellie McClung and Emily Murphy were the catalysts for the rise of women in Canada. They worked both separately and together to get women the right to vote, be recognized as persons, and to be able to have positions in the senate. Along their road to success, these two women also, in some people’s views, faltered. They both supported the sterilization act in Alberta, and Emily Murphy was particularly racist. These two women have achieved amazing things for Canadian workingwomen, as well as Canadian women and the law; but did they do more harm than good? More specifically, does their work in favor of women’s rights, and women becoming recognized “persons”, make up for their love of eugenics and the many lives they ruined sue to their beliefs that people of different races and with different mentalities were not suitable for parenthood? This paper will explore both sides of their work, looking at the persons case, women becoming involved in the senate, as well as the eugenics and sterilization that they supported. These two women were not solely good or bad, they were good with some poor decisions along the way, “although their vision, like our own, was sometimes faulty and incomplete, it also embodied an uncommon personal politics of courage and optimism…Feminists don’t have to be perfect to be worth a respectful hearing.” (Strong-Boag). Nellie McClung is a feminist hero of Canada, “her zest, and her convictions, her campaigns helped shape the Canada we live in today.” (Gray...

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