September 12, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


John Gillanders Turriff



This, in so far as it applies to Saskatchewan, is practically the same law as we have been working under since 1896 in so far as Dominion elections are concerned. Instead of making the provisions that my hon. friend is making-and I realise that they are made for the protection of the Opposition-it would be better to make another change and follow the old system. My suggestion would be that in all cities of 5,000 and over in the West there should be a judicial revision of the lists during the fifteen days prior to the election. In so far as the rural polls are concerned, we would prefer that the law which we have had since 1896 should remain in force. There is practically no effort made in the rural districts to 'bring in doubtful voters who will take an oath and secure a ballot 'and vote when they are not entitled to. In the rural parts we never have had .any difficulty along those lines. But in the cities it is quite possible that there will be trouble. I would suggest that in cities the judicial revision be .made before the election instead of after and thus avoid the necessity of putting so many ballots in the envelope. We have never had that .system in Saskatchewan in connection with Dominion .elections. But I can see where an unscrupulous scrutineer or enumerator .might easily tie up such a large number of votes as to make it very difficult for the candidate to bring the men concerned forward .and have their ballots counted in .a recount. In rural districts I do not think any revision is necessary at all. The Act worked well in the past, and the fact that no man can be denied his right to vote has always been a safeguard. It is proposed in this Bill that a man whose name is not on the list can re up, take the oath, get his ballot and vote. I do not think any one need he .afraid that
in so far as the rural polls are concerned any wrong-doing will take .place under that system. If my hon. friend could see his way clear to making the change I suggest it will prevent a great deal of work .and bother after the election in the event of a recount, and it will certainly make it easier for the enumerators and the officials carrying out the election.

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