The First World War was not fought for freedom

The Radical Antipodes or the WW1

was not fought for freedom

Here is a pub trivia question.

Which countries that were involved in the First World War had what we consider to be universal suffrage?

Universal suffrage being defined as all people over the age of majority (21 years in 1914) having the right to vote.

The answer may surprise you. It was only Australia (qualified) and New Zealand. To our Australian shame I should point out that Aborigines were considered simple and thus were wards of the State and we had failed to grant woman the right to vote at Federation.

Allies WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Australia Yes


Belgium No


Canada No


Quebec women had wait until 1940 before they could vote in provincial elections
France No


Only exercised at national level in 1945
Egypt No


Great Britain No


in 1918 for 30 years and over, full extension in 1930
India No


Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Italy No


Japan No


Some county level voting before 1945
New Zealand Yes


Pakistan No


Dominion of the British Empire in 1914
Portugal No


Russia No


Saudi Arabia No Not yet Considered part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
South Africa No


1930 for white women and 1996 for all citizens




Central powers WW1 Women suffrage in 1914 Year granted Notes
Austria No


Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Germany No


Hungary No


Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914
Iraq No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Syria No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914
Turkey No


Part of the Ottoman empire in 1914


Some of the values are based on Wikipedia and quick google search give qualified answers for the vote actually given. Examples are French women being given the vote in 1944 but only able use it in 1945 and if you were a muslim woman living in Algeria (then considered part of France) you could only vote in 1958 or in Australia real true franchise being granted after the 1967 referendum which recognized Aborigines.

It should be pointed out that full legal rights for women followed or is following years after the right to vote was granted. As a male it is embarrassing to think that in 1914 in many respects even in Australia a woman’s rights were marginally more than a child’s.

The paradox of the First World War was that it was not fought for freedom but that many of the freedoms that we take for granted came out of the changes that that terrible event created.


On the G20 meeting

The G20 meeting is a step up. At least there is a fairer representation of the worlds population. Not perfect since the EU gets five bites. Countries that should be there that aren’t are Nigeria, Iran, Egypt and Pakistan. The USA will expect that Mexico, Canada, UK and Australia will be in their corner. The EU block will be Germany, France and Italy with the EU itself and some moral support from Turkey. The rest will be factions unto them selves. Russia and Saudi Arabia have common interests. 

The joke is that Australia’s natural allies are Russia and Saudi Arabia. We cannot afford to alienate any of our Asian partners. An interesting time will be had by all.

It does look like China will announce what it thinks the US dollar should be worth. This is going to constrain US policy. This is going to be more important than the presidential reality show that has just finished.