June 13, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)


There are one or two things that I should like to say. I am fully aware of the difficulties of providing for an election list that will be satisfactory in all respects. There has been a good deal said about the crookedness with which elections have been carried out in the past but I want to bear this testimony. In the four elections which I have run in order to come to this house I have not had a single complaint to make against a Conservative returning officer or enumerator or against a Liberal returning officer or enumerator. It is true that in some cases mistakes were made. The officers did
Franchise Act

not understand all their duties and all their instructions, but 1 think they carried on the elections with perfect fairness. As regards closed lists, we have found in our part of Manitoba that the provision that allowed men to swear in their votes on election day worked very satisfactorily. In my own constituency I never heard of its being abused by either party. I found it particularly satisfactory in regard to young men or young women who had come of age just a short time before the election, and therein I see some hardship if the lists are revised only annually. It is quite possible that a young man or woman might not be of age when the list was finally revised and might therefore be precluded from voting not only at that election but perhaps for a period of five years. I speak with some feeling on this matter, because through a combination of circumstances I was twenty-nine years old before I was ever able to vote. My first vote was cast in the province of Quebec and since then I have been voting in Manitoba.

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