October 20, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)



It is a purely academic question to discuss whether the franchise is a right or a privilege. Whether it be a right or a privilege it can be exercised in two ways, by abstention as well as by casting a vote. The system of government which we enjoy, and which we all recognize is the very best that can be devised by man for the government of man, is the party system. It is impossible to carry on the government of the country except by party organizations. What has been our universal experience ? We know it happens sometimes that a man is not satisfied with the conduct of the party which he has usually supported ; still he has no confidence in the other party. His conscience will not allow him to go with his own party, because he is not satisfied with certain acts they have committed ; he wants to mark

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