June 24, 1938

CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I rise to support the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I was not a member of the committee that considered this bill, but I am not unmindful of the reasons that prompted it in trying to remedy the situation complained of by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) and the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart). If it is intended to remedy this situation by the change now suggested, the result will be the disfranchisement of a great many people in British Columbia. Any one who has any understanding at all of the conditions under which the manual labourers work must realize that it would be quite impossible for them to get away from their work and reach the

[Mr Purdy.]

polling booths before five o'clock. It will mean the disfranchisement of thousands of people all over the province. It will take many of these people two or three hours to reach the polling booths in order to exercise their franchise. I have no objection to the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver South, provided, as the minister said, you can keep the maritimes down. Being a maritimer myself, I know that they take their politics more seriously than their religion, and it may be rather difficult to hold them down. I do not think the solution of this problem is the one provided in the bill, and I am whole-heartedly in support of the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

I believe the fear that has been expressed by hon. members is overstated. In 1930 the government of the day lost a number of seats in the maritimes, but they gained a number of seats in British Columbia.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

False news was published in British Columbia.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

News of that kind could still be published. In 1935 the situation was different. The government that had been in power between 1930 and 1935 lost seats in the maritimes, and yet they did better in British Columbia than elsewhere, as is evidenced by hon. members opposite who came here for the first time. Seven o'clock in the morning is pretty early in a province like Saskatchewan, which is largely rural, for people to be getting out to vote, and five o'clock is too early an hour to close the polls. There is always a rush at the last hour, and the closing hour of six o'clock has worked very well in former elections.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

I should like to present a practical problem to the minister. If the polls are closed at five o'clock in British Columbia, the result will be the disfranchisement of many voters in the districts in the vicinity of Vancouver. Across Burrard inlet there are a number of important municipalities, such as North Vancouver. A large part of the population in these municipalities work in the city of Vancouver. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) knows very well that many people in Vancouver go to points like White Cliff and Fisherman's Cove from May to September. The bus leaves there at seven o'clock in the morning, and these people must catch either the North Vancouver or the West Vancouver ferry; they must make street-car connections, and many of them have a street-car journey of three-quarters of

Elections and Franchise

an hour, allowing time for necessary connections. Even with two hours off, they cannot possibly get to the polling booth in time. They can just barely make it by six o'clock. It has been usual to expect a very heavy vote just before six o'clock, because it is understood that many people can just make it by that time, even though they leave their work at four o'clock. I suggest to the minister that as this parliament has power to stipulate that employers shall grant two hours to their employees, it has power to stipulate that they shall grant four hours.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The trouble is to discover how to enforce it in the law courts.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

This legislation will definitely disfranchise many of the residents in these important districts. I have no alternative than to support the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I support the amendment moved by the hon. member for New Westminster. I agree with what has been said by hon. members on the other side. It is quite true that many workers in Vancouver and North Vancouver have found it impossible to reach the polling booths by six o'clock. There is no doubt that many voters will be disfranchised.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Perhaps this section could be allowed to stand, and then we could have a further discussion of the matter.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Would it be possible to make it an offence under the act to publish the returns by radio or by telegraph before the vote is completed in British Columbia?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I understand that was studied carefully by the committee. Apart from the fact that it would involve some interference with the liberty of the press, it would be most difficult to enforce.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

As I have said, this matter was the subject of careful study by the committee. Not one hour or two, but many hours were spent upon it, and every contention that has been advanced here to-night was given careful consideration by the committee. There is a provision in the bill that every labouring man shall be given two hours off from work, without deduction of pay, to vote, and with our modern rapid transportation-and I understand that in the city of Vancouver many polls are centred in one building-surely that gives ample time to every man to vote. I should like to know what poll you could not reach in two hours.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

Plenty of them.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

In a city?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacNEIL:

How about the suburban

districts?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink
CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

It is the cities where the working men are congregated that have been complaining. I submit that two hours off from work is ample time to enable a man to go to the polls and vote and that no one would be deprived of his vote. Is there any abuse in having the results in one part of Canada published in another part of Canada with a view to influencing the election results there? The fundamental principle of elections is the secrecy of the ballot.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. KINLEY:

Individually.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

Individually and collectively. If it is fair to have it secret individually, it is more fair to have it secret collectively. It has been suggested that you might prohibit the giving of results by enacting a law against the publication of the returns prior to a certain hour. That suggestion was carefully considered by the committee, but all you would have to do would be to have the returns sent to the United States and announced from Seattle. What are you going to do about announcements from Seattle? What jurisdiction have you over there? There is nothing political in this. It may affect one party in one election, and another party in another election.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink
LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. KINLEY:

It is no advantage.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

If there is an abuse, let

us stop it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
Permalink

June 24, 1938