The Thrifty Vote by C. J. Dennis

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Mrs. Darling (S.A.) asked if the thrifty and the unthrifty man should have the same vote.  
(Voices: "No.") - Report Hobart Women's Conference.

When lovely woman stoops
   To criticise our laws,
The hardened cynic whoops
   And voices loud guffaws;
But, still, there's much the matter with the franchise,
   And lovely woman's found it full of flaws.

For instance, there's this plan,
   Which some uphold to-day,
By which the thrifty man
   Has not one whit more say
In the choosing of our noble legislators
   That he loafs the happy hours away.

'Tis clearly most unfair
   That he who busts his tin
Should have an equal share
   In saying who'll go in
To Parliament, to aggravate the Speaker
   As he who looks on spending as a sin.

They both should have a vote --
   (That's clearly in the game);
But still, I'd have you note,
   It should not be the same;
For, when the reckless bloke sends in a duffer,
   Why should we hold the thrifty man to blame?

(Of course, as now we live --
   To state the matter flat --
We most absurdly give
   A special vote to Fat;
But seeing Fat is not at all times thrifty,
   Then, plainly, lovely woman can't mean that.)

A Royal Commission is
   To me the only thing
That could decide the biz.
   For surely that should bring
Some evidence to light anent the thrifty
   And those who are disposed to have a fling.

A person's worth in cash,
   Of course would be no proof
That he refrained from rash
   Experiments with "oof";
Nor should another's poverty be taken
   As evidence he shook the festive hoof.

But if we once could weed
   The sheep from out the goats
Perhaps we might proceed
   Distributing the votes.
I think I'd give the spendthrift person pink ones,
   And blue ones to the chap who socks his notes.

I have a notion slight
   That when I first began
I'd other thoughts which might
   Elaborate this plan;
But this thing keeps recurring to distract me:
   "Now what the dickens is a thrifty man?"

First published in The Bulletin, 15 February 1912

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 15, 2013 7:21 AM.

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