May 14, 1908

CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Well, I think my hon. friend will have to accept the method I suggested. It is very easy, it is done in GaspS and in some other counties, and it is done in the province of Ontario. There are cases where the nominations are held a fortnight before the election, and the election takes place on the same day as in the other constituencies. instead of weeks afterwards. That is perfectly feasible, and every man listening to me kno-ws that it should be done so. The present mode takes an undue advantage of one party or the other.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

We will not have the pleasure of his presence in this House if his election takes place on the same day.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

That is what the electors told me when I was in the hon. gentleman's county. I stated at the commencement of these remarks that I was talking for the man on the street. When this measure is understood, when it is known that the government want to make the lists in provinces where the governments are Conservative and that they do not want to touch the lists in Nova Scotia which is a Liberal province and where the lists are so unjust to the Conservative party, the people will understand why we are fighting this measure with so much determination.

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CON

George Taylor (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

What about Alberta and Saskatchewan ?

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

The preparation of the lists there is done through the instrumentality of this government. They are all right. Any man can go and register there and if he takes an oath that he has the right to vote he has the right to vote whether he is a British subject or not. We have heard a good deal of dissolution talk. I do not believe that the right hon. Prime Minister will ask for a dissolution. He dare not do it.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Why ?

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

He will not go to the country to-day.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Why?

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Because the record of the government is too bad. That is as clear as day. There is no danger of it. We have read in some of the papers that we -want to starve the civil service. We are not the government. The government are responsible for the civil service. The government are responsible for carrying on the public works. The government are responsible for everything that happens in the country whether it is good or bad. Why ? When we had good crops it was due to my right hon. friend, and if so why should he not take the responsibility for bad crops or anything that happens ? We have a duty to perform and we will perform that duty. It is to see that no iniquitous law shall be put upon the statute-book of this country. The House has been sitting for five months and hon. gentlemen opposite knew that they had this contentious Bill to bring before parliament. This was known at the commencement of the session. This Bill might have been brought down in December and discussed at that time. We had even to grant the government the courtesy of consenting to a one-eighth Supply Bill. They want an other eighth and we say: Hold on we are not going to do that until we know whether

you are going to carry this nefarious scheme through or not. They say that we are going to starve the public service and stop public works. Whose fault is that ? It is the fault of the government and they will be looked upon as being responsible for it by the people of the country when they understand the whole situation. As far as dissolution is concerned there is no danger. Never would there be a better time to go to the country than the present. The hon. gentlemen opposite are so much afraid of it that they had to appoint one commission to explain another. There was the Cassels Commission appointed to explain the Royal Commission, and when it had explained a very small part of the Royal Commission it adjourned sine die and probably we will never hear anything more about it. There is no danger of dissolution. The right hon. gentleman has only one thing to do and that is to withdraw the obnoxious clauses of this Bill, follow the kind advice given by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, strike out clauses Nos. 1 and 17 and let us see if we can devise some means of carrying out honest elections in the country.

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. W. ROCHE (Halifax).

Mr. Speaker, I did not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman who has taken his seat (Mr. Bergeron) but I wish to put one question. He spoke, once, twice, thrice of the partisan lists in the province of Nova Scotia, and he also spoke of the nefarious proceedings in the county of Halifax. I want to ask him now if he knows of his own personal knowledge that there were any more Liberal-Conservatives left off the list in the county of Halifax than there were Grits through inadvertence.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

I do not care about working too hard. I will put the matter in the hands of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition who knows a great deal more about the province of Nova Scotia than I do and who will answer my hon. friend (Mr. Roche).

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. W. ROCHE (Halifax).

I only ask the hon. gentleman, if, in making that statement, he made it of his own personal knowledge ? I was not here when the leader of the opposition made his statement, but I heard the hon. member for Beauharnois.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

No, I made it after hearing the statement made by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition in whom I have perfect confidence.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I mav tell the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Roche) that I do not know how many Liberals were left off but I do know of many Conservatives being left off.

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. W. ROCHE (Halifax).

How many does the hon. gentleman know of to his own personal knowledge ?

Mr. BERGEROM

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I could not state the exact number, but I know that dozens came to me during the election of 1904 and complained of it and I gave the names of a number of grits left off.

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. W. ROCHE (Halifax).

Would the hon. gentleman kindly give me the names of any more than a dozen who came to him and complained ? There must have been a number of grits left off.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not doubt it at all. That only shows that the lists in Nova Scotia are very defective.

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May 14, 1908