June 18, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Joseph-Alexandre Mercier


Mr. J. A. MERCIER (Laurier-Outremont):

Mr. Speaker, I gave some attention to the franchise act last year when it was before this house, and although I thought that the old law needed to be changed in certain respects I believe that in so far as the making up of the lists is concerned the old act was far superior to the present one.
A few days before the election in 1930 enumerators were named, who went from house to house and inquired as to the residents in these different houses, took down the names of those who were entitled to vote, these names were put on the list, and very shortly after the elections were brought on and these lists which had been compiled a very short while before were used. The only objection to that system in the city of Montreal so far as I saw was that these lists were made up in the summertime when a large number of the residents were out of the city at the different summer resorts, but many of the electors of Montreal took the trouble to come back to the city and see that their names were properly inscribed on the lists. In my experience and in the experience of the other members for the city of Montreal, and I think even the hon. Secretary of State will bear me out in this, there were very few objections made as to the manner of bringing in the votes in the election of 1930.
But what is the situation under the present act? The situation is this, that last fall the country went to the expense of having a list prepared, and twenty-one copies of the lists for each polling subdivision in his constituency were sent to every member of this house. In my own division of Laurier-Outremont there are 225 polls, 150 in Laurier and 75 in Outre-mont, and twenty-one copies of these lists containing the names of the electors at 225 polls were sent to me two or three months ago. What was the result? Those lists are still wrapped up in the cellar of my house. I have not even opened the packages because I knew that this revision was coming on and that these lists would be of no avail. I quite admit that in the revision the typesetting of the original list will be used in preparing the new list but actually a new and complete list
Franchise Act-Mr. Mercier

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