February 19, 1923

IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

That may be so, but why should we not, if we are going to be democratic, recognize the elector's own instructions? He may have his own reasons for voting for such and such a man as second choice, and such and such a man as third choice. Why should we handicap him in any way, preventing the free expression of his choice, no matter what his reasons may be?

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

In that case would it not be likely that the second choice would be in favour of a candidate of the same political faith, or nearly the same political faith, as the first choice was given to?

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

The experience we have had would indicate that that is so. In that connection I may refer to an analysis I have here of the Winnipeg elections held last summer which would, perhaps, answer the question and other like questions which have been asked. I find that the Labour party had 16,328 votes or 36.84 per cent of the total. On the final count that party had 15,759 votes, or 37.69 per cent of the total vote. The percentage of representation which they secured was 40. 1

shall not weary the House by reading all the figures, but on the final count the Liberal party had 25.24 per cent of the total vote and secured 20 per cent of the representation. The Conservative party had 19.27 per cent and secured 20 per cent of the representation. The independent parties had 9.64 per cent and secured 10 per cent of the representation. The Progressive party had 8.16 per cent and secured

10 per cent of the representation. So that this last election in Winnipeg shows very conclusively that that first count does give a very definite indication

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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

What election is the hon. gentleman speaking of?

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

The Winnipeg election of last summer.

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LIB
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

No; the provincial elections. The first count does give a very good indication of what the final count will be and in the case under consideration there is a very remarkable accuracy in the representation. One hon. member stated with reference to the Winnipeg election in 1920 that it was not accurate, and that it did not secure what it aimed at. I will admit there is some justification for that comment, but the hon. gentleman must remember that in that election a good many independents ran; none of them got very much support. They were practically all eliminated, so that while the total vote of a dozen or so of independent candidates was considerable, yet when you divided that up amongst the dozen each received very few votes, and they were practically all eliminated. That accounted for the fact referred to that there was a very considerable vote classed as independent in the Winnipeg election that did not secure any representation at all.

May I suggest that the log-rolling practices referred to by the right hon. gentleman and which I think we all admit to be pernicious, are no more likely under conditions where there are several groups in the House than they are under the two party system. You always have the possibility of that sort of thing within the parties as well as between the parties, and there is no necessary relationship between the existence of log-rolling practices and proportional representation. Even if I were to admit, which I do not, that logrolling is more likely to happen with several groups in the House than with two parties, it would not follow that the system of proportional representation would lead to logrolling.

The right hon. gentleman has also stated that legislators in parliament must vote yea and nay, and that it would be very embarrassing for representatives from a number of groups to decide yea or nay with respect to any question. I really do not see the point. Take the situation as you have it here now. There are four groups in this House-three considerable groups. There are questions arising from time to time. We all have to make up our

Proportional Representation

minds whether we shall vote yea or nay, and I do not see that the situation will be a bit different if we have four or five groups here. We always have to come to a decision for or against any particular question.

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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Would it not be nice to bring proportional representation right into this House on the various questions that come up?

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I do not understand just what the hon. member has in mind.

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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

If you do not like the way you vote "yea" first, you can vote "yea" and "nay" on the next.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I must confess I do not see the point.-

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LIB
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

There is no case here of first and second choices. If we had a middle course to pursue, we might possibly devise some system of voting with first choice and second choice, but if we have to decide a question either for or against, there is no opportunity to apply the idea.

. With respect to the statement made by the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) as to the injustice of the isolated application of this principle, may I point out again as I pointed out last year, with an abundance of evidence, the serious injustice resulting from our present system. I admit quite freely and fully that you are not going to have correct representation by adopting proportional representation only in a few sections of the country; but it is not feasible to adopt it suddenly in all parts of the country.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Does the hon. member not consider that there are parts of Ontario, for example, northern Ontario, where it is absolutely impossible ever to apply proportional representation because of the immense area and the sparse population? While I am on my feet, may I ask another question? Supposing you group five or six or seven constituencies together, as you do under proportional representation, does that not give to the rich man, the man with immense amounts of money, very great advantage over the poor man owing to the rich man's ability to reach, by circularizing and various other methods, all parts of the group constituency?

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Answering the second question first, I do not see that the rich man, under those conditions, would have any greater opportunity of impressing the voters than he has at the present time. In fact, if any reference is suggested to bribery-

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CON
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

-the present system operates very unfairly, because there is a section of the electorate that is corruptible and under the present system the influence of that small section in turning the scale may be very considerable.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman; but may I elaborate the question for a moment in order to make my point clear? The poor man could not afford to circularise four or five constituencies, or to get workers in those constituencies, whereas he might afford to do that in one constituency as at the present time, whereas, the rich man could hire workers for all the constituencies.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I think I dealt with this matter pretty fully last year. I am sorry many members were not present. I showed last year that under proportional representation one does not need to canvass or to reach everybody in a constituency, in fact the labour of canvassing is reduced. I showed that mathematically. I do not wish to go into the question again now as the hour is late, but under the system of proportional representation the individual candidate does not need to reach as many of the electorate as he does at the present time.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Therefore, if he was

elected, he would not represent the views of as many. ,

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February 19, 1923