February 1, 1944

NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The soldier might be afraid his mother and father had gone C.C.F.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

He might. On the other hand, an arrangement might be made, particularly if any such legislation were brought into effect now, whereby the member of the forces might be given, the option or the right to state on some approved form, possibly by cable, that he wished some other man to act for him, or some other person who necessarily, I think, would have to be within certain kindred limitations. Because otherwise John Bracken might go around and get a lot of proxies and get into the House of Commons.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

He will get in anyway, but he will want their votes, not their proxies.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I suggest again, however, that this is a method which is worthy of some study. When I was explaining some of the difficulties to someone who had never been in a political election in his life, he thought it was the common-sense thing to do.

To revert to the 1940 regulations, I fear that with the armed services dispersed as they now are, a delay of some considerable

Dominion Elections

time in an election would be involved. It would probably make the electoral period longer. Because one of the greatest complaints-I should say one of the very few complaints received at the last election-was that it was impossible to notify troops of the political allegiance or affiliations of the candidates. The troops received a list; and in the next election I presume they will receive a list of anywhere between 750 and 1,000 candidates. In many instances members of the forces have been away from Canada for three or four years, and the new men who have been coming up in the various parties could not possibly be known to those troops. The result would be that the men overseas would not know the political complexions of such candidates and even with the utmost possible use of cables I fear it would be impossible, for instance, to let a lone airman, a man lost in the wilds of the Hebrides, or-

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Order.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I am an oasis entirely surrounded by Scotland, so that I must not talk about the Hebrides. In any case, in an isolated place like the Hebrides, or somewhere in Burma, or the Gold Coast in Africa, it would be an extremely difficult job to let the troops know who the candidates are. So that it may be necessary to have voting by parties. That is, we would allow a man to vote for a party. The candidate would then be designated by the leaders of those parties.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Then my hon. friend

should explain or should describe who these new parties are.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

That presents another difficulty. For instance, at the time of the last election the man who voted for my hon. friend in his constituency voted for a national goyernment candidate. This time he will see the name of Gordon Graydon and he will say "Who in-"

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

"Who is he?" And there will be other difficulties, too. If leaders of parties are allowed at will to designate candidates as being the men to whom will inure the votes of persons who vote for the Progressive Conservative, Liberal or C.C.F. or other parties, as the case may be, we would have the spectacle of my hon. friend from Gaspe (Mr. Roy) nominating as his candidate the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson). When considering that I did suggest to the draftsman that there should be a proviso in the legislation whereby the hon. member for York-

Sunbury could repudiate his designation by the hon. member for Gaspe. The leader of the Bloc Populaire or the leader of the Canadian party could nominate the Prime Minister of this country as a candidate in Prince Albert. I do not think that that would help the Prime Minister very much.

These are things that I would draw to the attention of the house in order to indicate that while the 1940 regulation, by the admission of everybody, worked well, they would be difficult of application where the troops are so widespread and where communications are so difficult. I really believe that any method or manner which appears to have some common sense in its make-up should at least be studied by the committee.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

I am not clear as to whether the former elections act provided that all members of the armed services are entitled to vote, or must they be twenty-one years of age?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

All members.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
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NAT

James Arthur Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Irrespective of age?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Yes.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. SAMUEL FACTOR (Spadina):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say only a word with reference to the suggestion of the minister, as to the consideration of the problem of providing direct representation by the services. If it is the intention of the government that the committee is to consider this wide problem, I submit that the terms of the resolution are not broad enough. It merely instructs the committee to study the elections act.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

It does not even go that far.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. FACTOR:

With a view to preserving the rights of the service personnel. I submit further that it should not be within the province of this committee to study the rather interesting problem suggested by the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis). I suggest that that problem is in itself a modification of a problem which is so wide that it should not be included in- the terms of reference of this committee. I would appreciate it if the minister would enlighten the house on that particular phase of the problem

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Associate Minister of National Defence; Minister of National Defence for Air; Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I did not draft this resolution, but I was under the impression that it would cover any method which would protect the right of the soldier. It states that the committee is "to consider the Dominion Elections Act, together with any existing regulations relating to the taking of the vote of the members of the active service forces of Canada"-those are the 1940 regulations-"with

Dominion Elections

a view to preserving, continuing and safeguarding the full rights of franchise of the personnel of the armed services serving at home and abroad and establishing the required procedure for exercising same." The committee is to study the elections act and the regulations and then establish regulations and procedure. It is "to survey all aspects of the problem."

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That has nothing to do with representation; it would involve a constitutional amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

This does not seem to me to be a question of representation by electoral districts in Canada. The Dominion Elections Act provides the machinery by which the vote is taken, and it is restricted entirely to that. I think the minister will find that he is on pretty broad ground when he talks about changing the method of representation in the House of Commons.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAKING OF VOTE OF ACTIVE SERVICE FORCES
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February 1, 1944