April 14, 1915

CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

When this subsection

was allowed to stand, it was after certain suggestions, had been made with regard to making some matters that might be considered to be covered by it perfectly clear, one of them being that the volunteer presenting himself at the poll to vote should be subject to being called upon *o be sworn then and there. A second thing that was pointed out was that while subsection 6 does provide by reference to the Dominion Elections Act for agents, or what are called scrutineers, to be present at the polls, in view of the circumstances in which the votes will be taken and of the fact that they may be taken for more than one electoral district, it is desirable to provide that agents may be present at the polls as agents, not necessarily exclusively of any one candidate, but of all candidates of the party for which they are appointed scrutineers.

Finally, it was suggested that it would be wise that we should put in a provision to require the military authorities of the different camps to give all possible facilities for the holding of the polls. To meet these three suggestions, I have prepared amendments. I move that subsection 6 of section 4 be amended by adding thereto:

" 6a. Any volunteer presenting' himself to vote shall, if so required, even though his name be upon the list prepared by the camp returning officer, take the oath contained in form B of this Act and in form Y of the Dominion Elections Act, and if his claim to vote rests upon his having been a qualified elector in any electoral district at the time of his enlistment or appointment, any other oath which under the Dominion Elections Act may be required to be taken by voters generally claiming a like qualification.

" 6b. In addition to agents who may be appointed in accordance with the Dominion Elections Act to represent candidates at the poll, agents may be appointed on behalf of either the Government or the Opposition and such agents shall have all the powers of agents of candidates under the said Act and be entitled

to exercise the said powers on behalf of all candidates in all electoral districts for the party by which such agents have been named and any person or persons named as agent or agents of any candidate of a party shall be entitled to act as agent or agents of any other candidate of the same party in any electoral district or districts. -

"*6c. The military authorities at every camp or base where a poll is to be held as aforesaid shall afford to the camp returning officer all necessary facilities for the holding of the same."

The effect will be to make it quite clear that the volunteer may be sworn both according to form B and according to form Y, the latter being against disqualification or any corrupt act on his part or exercised upon him, and also any further oath under the Dominion Elections Act which may be required of those claiming like qualification.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Last night I understood

the minister to say that he would propose an amendment that would make it absolutely clear that the voter had a right to vote although his name was not on the list prepared by the returning officer. Has that been done? Is it the intention to make that provision?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have no objection to it now, but it seemed to me that, inasmuch as there is absolutely nothing here to make the presence of the name on the lists that the returning officer provides an essential condition of voting, what the hon. gentleman desires would necessarily follow. I confess I overlooked the matter in preparing the amendments, but I have no objection to providing it. I move:

That subsection 4 of section 4 be amended by adding thereto the words:

" The failure of the volunteer to present his claim in time to be entered on such list, and the consequent absence of his name from such list, shall not deprive such volunteer of his right to vote, provided he presents himself to the returning officer and takes the oath above prescribed before the poll is closed."

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Will the words, "oath above prescribed," preclude the possibility of his being required to take the qualification and bribery oath?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not think so. This , provides that the mere absence of his name from the list shall not preclude his voting, provided he takes the oath entitling him to get on the list. That being dealt with, I think he fairly comes under the provisions of subsection 6, which requires him to present himself to the returning officer and make before the returning officer an affi-

davit which will entitle him to get on the list. The words, " any volunteer presenting himself to vote," will apply to that man when he presents himself to vote just as it will apply to the man whose name was on the list.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

So long as there is no confusion, I am perfectly satisfied.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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?

William John Macdonald

Mr. MACDONALD:

With regard to the amendment proposed by the minister respecting the furnishing of facilities by the camp commandant to the returning officer of the poll, the minister will remember that last night I suggested that a provision should be inserted requiring the camp commandant to give all volunteers in camp an opportunity to poll their votes. I pointed out the difficulty that might arise if a man were employed at some work which might prevent him from voting. Perhaps the minister could add some apt words which would make provision for this.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I did not understand

that the desire was that we should impose an obligation on them to allow the men to vote, because I take it that it is not desirable that we should require the military authorities to allow a man to absent himself from essential duties for the purpose of voting. However, I would have no objection to meeting the hon. gentleman's view.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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?

William John Macdonald

Mr. MACDONALD:

We are dealing only with Canadian camps in this case, and I see no reason, unless it be confinement for some offence, why every man in the camp should not be permitted to vote.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I understand that the

desire would be met if we added to subsection 6c the following words:

And the officer commanding shall allow every volunteer, so far as it may he done consistently with the proper performance of his military duties, time and opportunity to vote.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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Amendments agreed to.


CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Having given consideration to what was pointed out last evening by the hon. member for Pictou, I beg to move that subsection 9 of section 4 be struck out.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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Amendment agreed to, and section, as amended, agreed to. On section 10-when voter cannot vote under this Act:


?

William John Macdonald

Mr. MACDONALD:

Why is it provided

that a volunteer, if within 25 miles of his polling place, shall not vote elsewhere than

at said polling place? I do not see why he should not vote in camp?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It seemed to us that a soldier who was at home, in his own electoral district, should not be entitled to vote in camp under the special provisions made for soldiers, instead .of in the regular way at (his proper voting place.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Why not use the words " in his own electoral district "?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

In order that the section should apply to him two conditions are necessary, being within his own electoral district and not being more than twenty-five miles away from his regular polling place. I may say that unless this section appears to members of the committee to be of more importance than it does to me, I am prepared to drop it altogether. It was inserted because it seemed to be a logical section to insert. I would move that section 10 be dropped.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
Permalink

Motion agreed to, and section 10 struck out. On schedule A-ballot:


LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Has the minister decided to place any additional words on the ballot?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I cannot at the moment lay my hand oh the form of ballot to be used. We desire to have a ballot as much like the regular ballot as possible. I understood that the hon. member wished to have the words " I vote for, etc." printed in French as well as in English. That is being done.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SOLDIERS' VOTING BILL.
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April 14, 1915