August 21, 1917

CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

The Minister of Justice seems to have such a clear grasp of the conditions of this Bill that I rise with a good deal of diffidence even to offer a suggestion. I notice that in this ballot there are columns 1, 2, 3 and 4, and that No. 4 contains the words: "I vote for the independent candidate." But there may be three or four independent candidates. There might be a Socialist candidate, a candidate representing the grain growers, or a candidate representing the labour interests. The Australian ballot has the clause: "I vote for the independent candidate whose name is written below." In some of the large centres'-Montreal, 'Toronto or Hamilton, and other cities-there might be three or four independent candidates. It seems to me that the Bill is incomplete in not providing that the name of the particular candidate may be indicated.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The Australian ballot could be utilized only in the way indicated if the voter knew the name of the independent candidate whom he wanted to vote for. Under our ballot, if he knows the name of the candidate for whom he wishes to vote, he has only to write the name in. According to the Australian plan the voter states two things: first, that he wants to vote for the independent candidate, and, second, that he wants to vote for John Smith. Under our legislatiqn, he will simply say: I want to vote for John Smith -and the result will be absolutely the same in either case. There may be difficulty if you have two or three independent candidates and the voter does not know whom to vote for, but when he knows the name, there will be no difficulty under our ballot.

I confess that I do not quite know how we can provide the means by which a man can vote, no matter what may be his degree of ignorance in regard to the conditions prevailing. The best we can do is to provide the means for the men to vote under circumstances which may reason-11 p.m. ably arise. There may be exceptional instances in which a man, by reason of his lack of knowledge or the lack of completeness of this ballot form, will not be able to find a method of expressing exactly what he wants. I think, however, that we get as near exactitude as we can get-certainly as near as the Australian ballot does get in this particular.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I shall be glad to ask the Minister of Militia if he can procure the information suggested. I think there is a great deal of force in what the hon. member has said as regards the order of the spaces, notwithstanding the suggestion of the hon. member for St. Antoine. With all the means that we are taking to circulate the information as to names, I would rather anticipate that the great bulk of these ballots will be marked by name, because if hon. gentlemen will look at the next section they will see that we have inserted a special provision that the names, addresses and descriptions of the several candidates who have been nominated shall be sent by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery to every officer in command of Canadian troops in Bermuda, and to every presiding officer appointed to arrange for the holding of polls within Canada, and the Assistant Clerk of the Crown in Chancery transmits the information to all presiding officers of whose appointment he has been notified. We have not specified all the details of what these officers will do. It seemed to us that would be a more proper matter for regulations or for the instructions which it is provided are to be sent out.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I think every hon. gentleman who knows anything about mili-

tary matters will agree with me that it will be perfectly feasible and of great advantage to have all this information posted up on the battalion board, and I think we ought to have a provision to that effect in the Bill, rather than leave it to the instructions.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

When we come to the next section I would have no objection to providing that the presiding officers, when they receive the information, shall post it up in such manner as shall be' indicated. I should he glad to meet my hon. friend's .suggestion as to identifying the ballot if we could do that without creating too much red tape, but I think a moment's reflection will show that it is no small undertaking to impose on the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery the obligation of separating 500,000 distinct ballots, and affixing a stamp on each one of them.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mi. MACDONALD:

There are hot that many Canadians on the other side.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There are 350,000 then.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Not on the other side. My hon. friend has not been following the figures.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Will the hon. gentleman object to 250,000? ,

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

You are doing better.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It would be quite an undertaking for the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery to sit down and put on the ballots an identification mark that would be of any value. Would it be desirable, if it should happen that two ballots got stuck together, and one went unstamped, and was handed out to a soldier that his ballot should be rejected? While taking all reasonable precautions, I do not want to do anything that would involve the risk of a man losing his vote through non-compliance with a formality of this kind.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

The votes of the men in camp in England could be taken just as easily as if they were in Canada. You have so many battalions in a camp, and all you have to do is to open your poll, and the vote can be taken just as easily as at home. There will be no trouble whatever at the camps in England, and there ought to be none in France, except in the case of the men in the front line trenches.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

I would like to ask the minister what would be the effect if the name of a candidate were written on a ballot and a cross were marked opposite a

square which was inconsistent with the political affiliation of that candidate? For instance, if it so happened that the name of the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) was written in square No. 1 of the ballot, and a cross was marked in square No. 3, would that destroy the ballot?

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I think the hon. member for Frontenac might be combined with an independent candidate. I have some evidence of his qualifications in that regard, but I dare say he would not link up with the Opposition. At first glance I should think we would be face to face with a ballot in which a man had voted for both sides, if he had voted for the hon. member for Frontenac, and likewise voted for the Opposition.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Would it not mean that he was voting for the hon. member for Frontenac to go into Opposition?

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Under the circumstances I do not see that we could treat it as otherwise than a vote for both sides, and it would not count. At the same time, I should imagine the predominant intention was to vote for the man whose name was indicated.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

That was the point I intended to raise, and that was why I asked the Minister of Justice what his interpretation would be. It seems to me if the name of a candidate is written on the ballot, it clearly shows the intention of the voter to vote for that individual, and I think the vote should be counted for him, regardless as to whether or not there may be any inconsistency in the voter having placed a cross in any of the other squares. The object of the scheme is to secure the registration of the voter's intention, and if he names a man the vote should go to that man, regardless of what the voter may think the political affiliation of the candidate is.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

In the case where there is only one man to be elected for a constituency, I should think that even although the elector voted for a man by name, and then also put his mark in the square for "Government" or "Opposition" if the leader of the Opposition was of the opinion that the man so named was the Opposition candidate the ballot should not be rejected, because there was a clear intention to vote for that man. A greater difficulty might arise in the case of a constituency where there are two members to

be elected. Suppose that in such a case the man wanted to vote for two members and put the name of one and then put a cross. Take St. John, for instance. Supposing the man wanted to vote for Mr. Hazen and myself. Suppose he wrote the name of Mr. Hazen and then put a cross in the space for the Opposition. In that case, could the two votes be counted? Suppose he put a cross in both squares, thus marking his ballot three times, would that spoil his ballot?

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I would not be disposed to think that would spoil his ballot. For instance, a man who says "I vote for the Government" and then marks in "I vote for Mr. Hazen," assuming Mr. Hazen is the Government candidate, I think that man is simply saying the same thing twice, and I do not see any reason why his vote should not be counted.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink

August 21, 1917