October 20, 1903

LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Archibald Campbell

Liberal

Mr. CAMPBELL.

I understood that the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Barker) moved that part of section 21 of clause 6 be struck out and in amendment to that I move that the whole section as amended be struck out. It is not the same motion as I made before, because the clause'has been amended.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

Iu my opinion it is substantially the same thing. The committee have accepted these words proposed by Mr. Barker. They have rejected your amendment, you are asking that the committee shall reverse the decision they arrived at a few moments ago, which is contrary to the rules of order.

On section 7,

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

The effect of this amendment is to make a distinction between officials who commit offences and the ordinary voter. The penalty for officials is most severe. It is a very severe penalty and it may make it difficult to get men to accept the office, but if a man does accept, I suppose that no penalty is too severe which will keep him straight.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I -do not think there will be any difficulty in getting good men to take the office. I believe in the principle that officials who commit offences should be more severely punished than others.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

There is a provision here which carries with it disfranchisement for a period of seven years.

I am rather opposed to the idea of disfranchising people unless the offence is very serious ; but it is for the committee to decide.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I have known men to have voted twice who had absolutely no idea they were committing an offence against the law. To disfranchise a person who commits an offence unwittingly might be too severe a penalty.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. ROBINSON (Elgin).

A clause should be added to this in the following words :

The deputy returning officer shall be a resident of the polling division in which an election takes place.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Impossible.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. ROBINSON (Elgin).

You can laugh, but if you saw the trouble about it I saw, you would not laugh.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Andrew George Blair

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BLAIR.

I agree very strongly with the Minister of Justice as to the disfranchisement penalty under this clause. We ought to be slow to impose the penalty of disfranchisement on an elector. In this section it would cover cases in which the offence would not be commensurate with the penalty. We ought not to disfranchise a citizen unless he commits an act which shows that he is absolutely unfit to exercise the franchise. Many of the offences under this Act are not of that gravity, and I would agree with the suggestion of the Minister of Justice to omit the part of the clause Which provides for disfranchisement.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Would this apply to voters generally as well as to officials ?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Andrew George Blair

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BLAIR.

When you make them liable to an indictable offence, I think you go far enough.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON
LIB

Andrew George Blair

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BLAIR.

Perhaps not, but I do not think it should apply to the voters generally.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

Would the Minister of Justice state what are the offences which would bring about this penalty?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

If I read the marginal notes perhaps that would be sufficient to describe them. The first offence is interfering with the voter marking his ballot paper by the candidate, officer, clerk, agent or other person. The second provision is that the ballot paper when given to the voters is not to be shown to any one for the purpose of giving information as to the manner in which he has voted, nor is it to be shown by the deputy returning officer or any person, so that those present may know how the voter has voted.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

We have had some considerable difficulty over this in my riding, and this is a good time to know what the law is. If I mark my ballot and show the returning officer the initials on the ballot paper, who has the right to deposit that ballot in the box; is it the voter or the deputy returning officer ?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

The deputy returning officer. ,

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

October 20, 1903