After the votes are cast. A and B, we will say, in a dual member constituency have the largest number of votes. Of course, if they have enough on the first count to give them their quota they are elected, but assuming they have not, and that is very often the case, and it is the only reason for this innovation, it may be that on allocating the other votes, C and D will be elected over the heads of A and B. As a matter of fact, if I had time and had the figures before me, which I have not, I could show where what I consider to be grave injustices have been done in the distribution of the votes. The only mathematical accuracy in the matter is this; by taking this arbitrary number and determining arbitrarily that one candidate shall drop out, you may distribute those votes mathematically, I do not dispute that; what I question is your right to declare that you get, from a mathematical standpoint, an accurate reflection of the views of the electors. You do not do so. You have the element of chance. You arbitrarily remove from the list the candidate with the lowest number of votes, and after that arbitrary removal you allocate a group of votes which may favour this man or that. If it happens that number 4 or number 5 has a certain number of second choices after number 15 has dropped out, he benefits. So it is a game of chance just as much as is any other form of polling.
I would like to join with the views expressed by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) in saying to my hon. friend for
Brant (Mr. Good) that I think he ought to be mighty well satisfied as an enthusiastic advocate of these measures to have had his first proposal, the alternative vote, advanced. I was somewhat surprised at the Minister of Finance saying that he needed proportional representation to remedy the difficulties of Nova Scotia that he outlined. The resolution already passed in the early afternoon would correct what my hon. friend suggests is perhaps an injustice.
There is another point. We find by experience in our province that the electorate do not take the same interest in the polling that they do under the present system, and there are two distinct reasons for that. One reason is the complex nature of the poll, and the other is that the average elector says, " Oh, well, what's the use? If you go and vote for the man you think should be elected he has mighty little chance because of the peculiarities of this system." It discourages and has discouraged the turning out of the electors to poll. In the case of the city of Vancouver the number of persons turning out to poll under proportional representation is about one-third normal, and I notice it is the same in other cities.