May 12, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

mit that although the legislation which today exists in Manitoba and the manner in which it is administered may be satisfactory to the Tories, it is not satisfactory to the Grits-and that is the reason we have introduced this legislation.
Now, Sir, my hon. friends will tell me that they do not want this legislation. They are absolutely opposed to it because the legislation which we bring forward would place the preparation of the lists, in so far as the province of Manitoba is concerned. in the hands of officers appointed by this government. That is their objection. Let us be frank with one another upon this question. Let us meet on principles which we can all appeal to and which we can all accept. My hon. friend from Marquette and other hon. members on the other side of the House do not want this law to be passed, because, if it were to be passed, it would give the preparation of the lists, not to their own friends, but to our own friends. Now, Sir, will it surprise them very much, if they have no confidence in us, that we should not be burdened by much confidence in them ? If they think it is unfair that the lists upon which they want to go to the election should be prepared by their opponents do they think it is fair that the lists upon which we would have to go to the election should be prepared by our opponents ? Can we not agree therefore to devise a law which will remove the control of the elections both from the Grits and the Tories so as to give satifac-tion to both Grits and Tories ? That is the proposition which I have to make to my hon. friend from Marquette and to all the other hon. gentlemen sitting on the other side of the House. The other day the hon. member for Marquette stated that the lists as prepared were perfectly honest and as evidence of his earnestness in the matter he quoted this article from the ' Telegram ' of Winnipeg in which $25 is offered to every man who presents proof that, being a qualified elector, his name has not been put upon the list:
The ' Telegram ' will pay the sum of $25 to any elector in the province of Manitoba who is not already on the voters' lists who is refused registration if he applies in the regular manner and is legally qualified to vote under our law. Should any claim or claims be made under this offer each case to be referred to Hon. C. J. Mickle, leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition in the Manitoba legislature, from whose decision there shall be no appeal. Should any award be made, one half the amount is to be paid to the elector who has been refused registration and the other half to the Winnipeg General Hospital.
If my hon. friend is so confident of the honesty and accuracy of the lists prepared by this revision perhaps he will agree with me that it would be more in accordance

with the fitness of things if the elector who has been deprived of his vote, whose name has not been plachd upon the list, instead of receiving $25, should have an opportunity of having his name placed upon the list. My hon. friend, 1 suppose, will agree to that ?

Topic:   ATTRIER
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