April 18, 1950


48. Departmental administration, $90,620. Item stands.


DEPARTMENT OF MINES AND TECHNICAL SURVEYS


183. Departmental administration, $321,042. Item stands.


DEPARTMENT OF RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT


358. Departmental administration, $370,640. Item stands. Progress reported.


LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

May we revert to government notices of motions?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
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DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND SUGGEST AMENDMENTS

LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. F. G. Bradley (Secretary of Stale) moved:

That a special committee consisting of Messrs. Applewhaite, Argue, Balcer, Boisvert, Boucher, Brooks, Browne (St. John's West),. Cameron, Cannon, Carroll, Dewar, Diefenbaker, Douglas, Fair, Fournier (Maisonneuve-Hosemont), Fulford, Garland, Green, Hellyer, Herridge, Jeffery, Kent, Mc-William, Power, Valois, Viau, Ward, Welbourn, White (Middlesex East), Wylie, be appointed to study the several amendments to the Dominion Elections Act, 1938, and amendments thereto, suggested by the chief electoral officer, to study the said act, to suggest to the house such amendments as the committee may deem advisable, and report from time to time, with power to send for persons, papers and records and to print the proceedings and that the provision of section 1 of standing order 65 be waived in respect to this committee.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

In view of the fact that there are several amendments to be dealt with by the committee, I have no doubt that, before the motion passes, the Secretary of State will want to give a detailed explanation of the amendments with which the committee intends to deal.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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LIB

Frederick Gordon Bradley (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Bradley:

Mr. Speaker, I assume, of course, that from time to time in Canada, as in other sovereign countries, it becomes necessary under our system of democracy to make amendments, suited to the changing times, in the method and the details of holding our general and by-elections. There is a necessity at the present time to make a number of technical amendments. I presume these will be suggested by the chief electoral officer when he appears before the committee.

Dominion Elections Act He is more fully aware of these matters than I can possibly be, and he will explain in detail to the committee the necessity for these various technical changes.

There are one or two substantial changes which may perhaps be regarded as of a more important character. One is as a result of the recent entry of Newfoundland as the tenth province of Canada. Hon. members will recall that under the act which confirmed the union between Canada and the tenth province special provision was made for the holding of the first election in the province. That particular provision is now spent, and because of peculiar climatic conditions which obtain in the northern portion of the province at any rate, amongst other things, it is necessary that the period elapsing between nomination day and polling day should be 28 days rather than 14. I believe a somewhat similar condition exists in the riding of Saguenay in the province of Quebec.

Then again, on the technical side, hon. members will recall that some difficulty was created at the last election as a result of the numbers being offset from, I think it was, a portion of the ballot paper onto the sheet underneath, which made it possible to identify a voter if an effort were made to do so. I understand that the chief electoral officer proposes to suggest to the committee some changes which would avoid any possibility of such identification being made.

A number of other points will be brought before the committee by the chief electoral officer. At various times he has received letters from organizations and individuals suggesting changes of various sorts in our existing election law. All these documents will be submitted to the committee for its consideration. The chief electoral officer will not purport to suggest amendments to the committee because that is the business of the committee, but he will be there to assist and to point out the difficulties which he has discovered.

The terms of reference are identical with the terms of reference of the last elections committee. It is anticipated that a full examination of the whole situation will be undertaken for the purpose of bringing our election law up to date and in accordance with present needs.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Cenire):

Mr. Speaker, there are one or two references I should like to make to the setting up of this committee and the powers which it is to have. As the Secretary of State (Mr. Bradley) has said, the powers of the committee are to be wide enough to permit a general review of the Dominion Elections Act. I am surprised that, in outlining what was to

Dominion Elections Act be brought before the committee, he said nothing about the necessity of amending the act so that what recently took place in Annapolis-Kings in connection with the defence vote will not recur in this country.

The report of Mr. Justice Doull and Mr. Justice MacQuarrie, to be found in Votes and Proceedings of March 6, reveals a condition of affairs that ought not to be permitted to continue. When one realizes that a person was declared elected to this House of Commons by a majority of four votes and that 134 service personnel voted without any justification in that constituency, then something seriously wrong has been revealed. One begins to wonder in how many other constituencies illegal votes were cast in the general election.

The recommendation is made by one of the commissioners, Mr. Justice Doull, that some changes ought to be made. The report indicates that the commanding officer in one of the polling divisions, at Greenwood air station, had no regard for the administration of the law and indeed showed no sbnse of regard for the act and the necessity of voters voting where they were entitled to vote.

Having regard to this flagrant abuse of the law, I am rather surprised that parliament has not received an intimation from the Secretary of State as to what is being done to prevent a recurrence of the kind of thing that happened in Annapolis-Kings. No matter how one looks at the matter, 134 voters voted illegally and it was only after proceedings were taken that the votes were found to be illegal.

One thing this committee should do is to recommend that Mr. Justice Doull's report be carried out to the end that in the current by-elections a like condition of affairs shall not be permitted to exist. In this particular instance the commanding officer certainly did hot regard the regulations as binding upon him; indeed, according to my reading of the report, he regarded them as though they were made to be broken and that he as commanding officer had the supreme power of determining how the votes should be cast and in what manner the act should be lived up to.

One of the first recommendations that should be carried out is that the vote among service personnel should be taken out of the hands of the commanding officer and placed under the responsibility of the electoral officer. That is the only way in which noninterference with the free right of the defence personnel to vote can be guaranteed and assured. I am going to quote only one portion of the report where Mr. Justice Doull said:

At Greenwood air station the officer who was In charge of taking the vote was a commissioned

officer who appeared to have good clerical ability and to be an intelligent and competent officer, but he seems to have totally failed to appreciate that he was bound to follow the regulations.

Our election law should be administered according to the act and not according to the caprice of a commanding officer of a unit. This matter should be submitted to the committee at the earliest possible date so that the necessary changes may be made in the law to conform with the recommendations of this judge.

There is another matter I should like to refer to, the general question of assuring a democratic election in this country. In the present parliament 105 members out of 262- I am one of them-were elected by a minority vote, and in the last parliament there were 144 minority candidates out of a total of 245. Such a condition does not carry out the democratic spirit of our elections act. If we go back to the promise made in 1932 by the then prime minister we find that it was promised that a system of voting would be brought into being to assure that the democratic will of the majority would be carried into effect.

I know that we would not have much time to do it during the present session, but I should like to see this committee enter upon a lengthy, complete and thorough investigation of the question of having the single transferable vote in this country. I know there are two sides to the question. On the one hand we endeavour to secure a democratic result by a majority vote, and on the other hand the experience, where the single transferable vote has been in effect, has not been as encouraging as many of its proponents would lead us to believe. It is in effect in rural constituencies in the province of Alberta and also in the province of Manitoba. It has been in effect for several general provincial elections. It assures the democratic result that the majority shall prevail provided, as has been the case in Australia, that each voter is required compulsorily to vote his second, third and fourth choices, as the case may be. I know the argument against compulsory voting and requiring an individual to vote his second, third and fourth choices. None the less the system has not worked out as favourably as many have contended because of the fact that there has been no compulsory requirement.

I have looked into the matter to some extent and have also secured considerable information from Mr. John R. MacNicol, a former distinguished member of this house and a student of voting procedure. I find that in five general elections in Alberta a total of 241 rural ridings were contested by plural votes, and where there has been a re-examination of the ballots only in six cases has there been any change in the result. That is not

very many out of 241; nevertheless it shows that in six cases the democratic desire of the majority would not have been achieved except for the introduction of this system.

In the province of Manitoba it has been used in elections in 245 rural ridings, and only in four has there been any change in the result because of re-examination. In four ridings, in any event, there would have been in effect the election of a member who did not democratically represent the majority.

When I look at the division among the membership of the House of Commons I ask myself whether the time has not come for a full examination of our 'electoral law. At the last election the Liberal party secured 2,926,029 votes, the Progressive Conservative party 1,742,233 votes, the C.C.F. party 782,321 votes, the Social Credit party 224,781 votes, and all others 172,900. The distribution of membership in the house does not represent the attitude of the people of the dominion as a whole. For that reason I suggest that this committee should have experts brought before it on the subject of electoral reform to the end that consideration be given to the adoption of this system or any other system that will effectuate the democratic wish of the majority.

The .ordinary system has been tried in Australia and has been departed from in connection with senatorial elections because it has not worked out. There is the weighted system to which no extended reference need be made at this time except to say that the weighted system under the single transferable vote might in effect remove some of the difficulties that have been found to exist in Alberta and Manitoba as a result of experience.

There is one other matter that I think should be considered by this committee, and that is the question of redistribution. It is all very well to say that in the past the majority in power has determined the boundaries of constituencies on redistribution. I can speak with some authority on the subject of what the intention was in connection with redistribution and also what the result was in spite of the intention of some of those who were active in the matter of redistribution. I say that the time has come to consider the adoption of a system of redistribution of constituencies every ten years as the population changes, not in accordance with political considerations or personal bias, but that scientific consideration should be given to redistribution on the basis of population by a commission composed of the chief electoral officer, the surveyor general and one judge or more. No political considerations would be involved in such a commission. I would place them 55S->6-106

Dominion [DOT]Elections Act in a position where they would consider the whole matter of redistribution without denying to parliament the final say in connection therewith.

There are many anomalies in our election law today so far as redistribution is concerned. Some hon. members represent few constituents; others represent many. I am referring now to rural constituencies. Since confederation the rule has been that, so far as cities are concerned, they always have more population than rural ridings. I feel now, with redistribution at least two years removed, the time has come to look into the matter of establishing a commission which would be free from political considerations to determine this question, not with a view to the political outcome in the ensuing election but in order to assure that democratic procedure shall be maintained in our country.

There is one other matter to which I should like to direct the attention of the Secretary of State. He is not affected by it in Newfoundland because election results come out first there. I think something should be done to assure that election returns are not made available in eastern Canada while we are still voting in western Canada. I care not what political party or government is in power. There is no reason why something should not be evolved whereby there would be a common hour for the opening of ballot boxes. Anyone from the west has had the experience of returns coming in from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario also, so far as British Columbia particularly is concerned, while the people of the west are still voting. He knows it has a definite effect on those who are uncertain, and particularly on those who are always desirous of being on the winning side. No harm can be done by giving consideration to this matter, for after all what we are trying to do in the setting up of this committee, as I see it and as the Secretary of State (Mr. Bradley) has said, is to amend the election law in the light of the experience of recent elections, and it is in that spirit I have advanced these suggestions. There is no question of party politics; it is a matter of assuring that the government of this country and every member of this parliament shall in truth represent the majority, and that no extraneous influences shall be permitted to deter or interfere with the expression of the democratic will in this country.

There are other types of electoral practice than the alternative vote, but that is something that has been promised for years. It was in the 1919 Liberal platform, and again in the 1935 platform. It was in the C.C.F. platform, and we have taken the view at all times that

Dominion Elections Act electoral changes should be made from time to time. So I should like that question submitted to the committee, before which might appear those from other countries and from the two provinces of this dominion which have been mentioned, with experience in this sort of electoral procedure, to the end that within the next two years such changes may be made in our present election laws as the committee or parliament may deem necessary, and above all, so that we in this parliament may be assured that the majority shall determine who shall be elected to this house and so that our large minorities shall not be denied representation, or at least the right to determine who in fact shall represent them, as is largely the case under our present, out-of-date electoral laws.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, not being a member of this proposed committee I should like to speak very briefly to the resolution now before the house. I agree with the hon. member who has just taken his seat that every effort should be made to prevent abuses under our electoral law. I believe it is bad, -both for this parliament and for the individual member, if any shadow of doubt is cast upon the election of a member to this house. Consequently I hope that in addition to the chief electoral officer having full jurisdiction over the service vote next time, ways and means will be found to prevent anything which might even look like the improper marking of ballots and the questioning of an election on that account, either because of the thinness of the paper, as was said to be the case in Regina, or for any other reason.

I remember a debate on this subject in this house some years ago. I have forgotten the date, and I have not the Hansard before me, but at the time the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) was talking to a bill he had introduced and which, if my memory serves me correctly, was given second reading. An hon. gentleman opposite shakes his head, so I may be wrong; but if it were not given second reading at least it was a most interesting bill, which I think it might be well for the committee to study. The hon. member for Quebec South has had long experience in elections in the province of Quebec, and the committee might well take a look at the speech he made introducing that legislation. It was an excellent speech and aroused a great deal of interest. I might add it also caused a great deal of amusement in this house, though the matters with which he dealt were serious indeed.

One of the points with which the hon. member dealt at that time was the expenditure of money by candidates during elections.

I have a copy of the parliamentary return tabled in this house at the request of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles), and I note that in some constituencies very large sums of money were expended. In one constituency the expenditure amounted to over $33,000. Some years ago that constituency was represented by a very distinguished member of this house, who on one occasion confessed to a parliamentary committee that he had spent much more than $33,000 in order to win that seat. Privately he stated afterward that he believed his opponent bad spent more than twice that amount in order to bring about his defeat.

I think we might look at other democratic countries to see what is being done there in order to prevent undue expenditure of money during elections. In the recent general election in Great Britain there was a limitation on expenditure for the first time, and apparently it worked out well for all parties. The vote was the largest in the history of Great Britain, and from all accounts, whether they come from the government or the opposition, the election was conducted in an eminently fair manner.

The preparation for an election of course is very important. Enumerators should be competent for the job. Speaking for rural constituencies, about which I know something, I believe the remuneration paid the enumerators there, who have to travel long distances, makes the position unattractive so that sometimes it is very difficult to get competent people to do the work. In one rural constituency in Saskatchewan of which I know something-not my own-an enumerator could not be found for one of the polling subdivisions. Finally someone was obtained, and he went to the municipal office and got a list of names from a former municipal voting list. That list was out of date; people had died or moved away, while on the other hand some people who should have been on the list were left off. I think it is the desire of every hon. member of this house, no matter where he sits or to what party he belongs, that every person entitled to vote should have the opportunity of doing so. It is true that the lists are posted later, but we must bear in mind that many people rely upon the enumerator and the deputy returning officer to see that their names are on the list, and do not bother to look it up.

So I think the committee might well consider making the remuneration of enumerators sufficiently attractive that competent persons will assume that responsibility. In the urban centres there are two enumerators, one appointed by the elected member and the

other by the person who came second in the poll. I believe that system might be considered for the rural areas as well. In that way we probably would get a much fairer and much better enumeration than we get at the present time. The cost would be a little more, but it .would not be prohibitive. It would make everyone feel that an attempt was being made to have an enumeration that included everyone and that was perfectly fair.

The member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefen-baker) spoke of redistribution. 1 agree with him. Indeed I think some of our people suggested that it should be undertaken by a non-partisan commission when the matter was before the parliamentary committee, but in any event if they did not suggest it they were warmly in support of it. I believe that the setting of the boundaries of a constituency should not be a matter of political manipulation. It should be done by an impartial body composed of the chief electoral officer, who is competent to deal with electoral matters of all descriptions, a judge who would exercise impartiality, and a geographer. I think my hon. friend suggested the surveyor general, but in any event it should be a competent surveyer in order that the topography of the country to be divided might be properly considered. One would not then find, as one does in some constituencies, no means of crossing a river in order to vote, or a range of hills coming in between, and people having to travel fifteen, twenty or thirty miles to a polling station and not the five or six miles that it appears to be on the map. Three competent individuals should be chosen to do this important work.

I think the constituency should be based upon population. This was fairly well done. As a matter of fact, whatever criticism there may be of the drawing of the boundaries of the constituencies in Saskatchewan, this time our constituencies do comprise about 40,000 people, and the number of members roughly represents the population of our province. When you come to the province of Ontario, what do you find? You find constituencies here with less than 20,000 people in them. I think Glengarry has about 15,000, if I remember correctly.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

It has 18,000, in fact over 18,000.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Coldwell:

It is less than 20,000. In other cases one finds constituencies running as high as 80,000 or more. Even among rural constituencies there is a big difference in the number of voters. I am not urging that the constituencies should all contain the same number of people, because I think some consideration must be given to the area to be 55946-1061

Dominion Elections Act covered. Consequently where you have large, thinly-populated areas, the number of people included in those constituencies would have to be numerically less than in the highly congested areas of the cities or well-settled portions of the country. What I am saying is that when you have a constituency like the one I have named, where the population is not widely scattered in the sense we think of a widely scattered population on the prairies, at least there should be some equalization of the voters in the various constituencies.

I believe, too, that a further opportunity should be given to those people who find it difficult to get to the polls by six o'clock. I know when my friend the then member for Vancouver North was here some years ago, Mr. Grant MacNeil, he used to make a plea for these people, because in some places the men have to come home by ferry boat and cannot get to the polling station in time to cast their vote. The same condition prevails in certain industrial areas where the men on different shifts find it difficult to get away by five or six o'clock. It is quite true that they may ask for and receive a certain number of hours in which to vote, but a good many people, particularly those in key jobs such as operating essential machines, do not care to ask for time because there may be no one else to run that machine during their absence, and it means that production is delayed. I believe the committee might therefore give some consideration to extending the hours for voting to eight o'clock. This does not seem to be an unreasonable hour. I am firmly of the opinion that just as, during the last revision of the act, we extended the right to vote to people living away from their constituency, we should consider now the people who find it difficult to get to the poll by six o'clock. The hours should be extended so that every Canadian citizen would have an opportunity to cast his vote. After all, we want the largest number of people possible to vote.

Then of course, trespassing on the resolution proposed by the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Argue), I would strongly urge the committee to consider the enfranchisement of young men and women of eighteen years of age. I believe that today the educational standards of our people have been raised to such an extent that many of our eighteen year old people are better qualified, and indeed better informed regarding public affairs, than their forefathers were at that age. Indeed they are better qualified at least educationally than some of the older people who are alive today. We expect these young people to join the army, the navy or the air force in the event of war, and to bear arms for

1654 HOUSE OF

Dominion Elections Act our country in its defence. If we expect them to bear arms in defence of our country,

I think they should have a voice in determining the people who conduct the affairs of the country. I believe therefore that another matter which should be given attention by the committee is the enfranchisement of young men and women of eighteen years of age.

Those are the principal points that I had in mind, to which I would make reference if I were a member of the committee. I hope the committee will study these questions and other matters quite thoroughly, and that out of the inquiry into the act revisions will come which will be in the interests of Canadian democracy; that through those revisions we may find perhaps a better reflection of public opinion in our House of Commons than we have found in the past, and that we shall develop people who have a greater interest in public affairs than we sometimes think is prevalent in our country today.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, in common with the member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) I am not a member of this committee, but the two members who represent this group on that committee are at the moment attending another committee meeting, so I have been asked to say a few words on their behalf. What I wish to say reflects my personal opinions, but I do not think those opinions will stray very far from those generally held by the members who sit in this corner of the house.

One might ask, why is it desirable to have electoral reform? I think the answer could be, so that the people will have the democratic right to say whom they want to represent them, and what results they want in the management of their affairs. This definition perhaps goes a little further than mere electoral reform. But there must be some reason for desiring electoral reform. The fact is that civilization progresses from one decade to another, and naturally we do not carry on in the same fashion as we perhaps traditionally did one hundred years ago or so. What we desire to retain in our democracy is all that is good from tradition, with the addition of new discoveries which we believe will make democracy more effective.

I would strongly suggest, Mr. Speaker, that this committee, when it is set up and pursues its work, should give some serious consideration to amendments which will effect, in our electoral system, the single transferable vote.

I am greatly in favour of that for the particular reason that, under our present voting system, we all know it is possible for a government, with its party, to be elected with a tremendous majority and yet to be elected,

with that majority, by a minority vote of the people. That is a serious matter in our present electoral system. What we really have is a huge party majority that the majority of the people have not said they wanted. That is in reality what happens. That should not be so. By giving the voter a second, third, or fourth choice, whatever the case may be, he has then a right to say that if his first-choice candidate is not elected, he desires a second-choice or a third-choice candidate to be elected. I do not propose that he should be compelled to vote second or third choices. That could be left to him. Nevertheless, he has occasion to exercise that privilege if he so desires. The over-all and net result will be that a government sits in office with the backing of the people of Canada; and I think that is most essential.

There is another thing that 1 am going to suggest, and I have suggested it before in this house. I do so entirely on my own responsibility, as it is my own personal view. I believe that there should be a definite and set time for elections to be held. I do not believe that it should be within the power of the government in office to be able to say when this country should have an election. It simply means that the government in office have the power and the right to go to the country in an election at a time which is politically most expedient for them. I prefer the United States system when it comes to the matter of the duration of a parliament and a set date for an election, every four -years or every five years, whichever we might determine by way of legislation.

I know that our parliamentary set-up is somewhat different from that of the United States. I know the argument will be put forth that a government should have the privilege of resigning at any time, and that it should particularly have the privilege of resigning when it fails to get a confidence vote of the members of parliament. My answer to that argument would be that there is in Canada need for parliamentary reform as well as for electoral reform. Personally, over the few years of my experience in this house, I have not been able to say that the will of the people is always reflected by votes that are taken in this house. It is one thing for a candidate to go out in an election campaign, to say to the people that he stands for this and this and this, to go over the number of points that he stands for, and to say that if they will elect him he will advocate and vote for those things in parliament. It is all very well for him to say that when he is out stumping on the political platform; but when he arrives here he finds that the picture is somewhat

changed. Very often, instead of voting so as to reflect the will of his people, he votes according to the will of his party.

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LIB

Walter Cunningham Thomson

Liberal

Mr. Thomson:

So do you.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

My hon. friend said so do I. If I do, then that is all the more reason for parliamentary reform. But I do not believe that I do. Whether I would or not if our party were in office might be another thing. I will tell you at that time whether I will or not; but at the present time let me answer my hon. friend by saying this. At the present time each and every man in this group here in this house can vote whatever way he chooses to vo.e and there are no strings tied to him. We in this corner of the house have often voted differently, one from the other.

I say there is now need for parliamentary reform in order that the will of the people may be reflected at all times without imposing upon the government in office the danger of a vote of want of confidence. I do not believe that all votes should necessarily register want of confidence in the government. That is what happens today, but I do not believe it should happen. I believe that in this parliament we should have a free vote of parliament and that the government in office, taking their instructions from parliament, should set about their duty to bring down legislation or to administer the affairs of the country in accordance with the will of the people. I believe that would be a reflection of an effective democracy. But that is not what happens today. We know that. What happens today is that the government brings down legislation. They may say that they have discussed it in their caucuses and that they have a majority in the house. In reply I would say that I do not believe in government by caucuses either. That is my personal view. But they bring down legislation. I think I can say that very often they bring down legislation that is never discussed even in their caucuses. They present it to us and they say: "There you are, boys, that is it."

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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I do not think the hon. member is discussing the principle of the resolution.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

Mr. Speaker, I must agree with you. I did get off the track, because what I was trying to do was to emphasize the definition which I gave at the commencement of my remarks in respect to the will of the people being at all times reflected, and the government governing themselves accordingly. That is why I brought the thing within the confines of this chamber. 1 believe there should be some Senate reform, but I will not mention that either, Mr. Speaker, because it is perhaps beyond the purview of the work of this suggested committee.

Dominion Elections Act

Perhaps I have said enough to reflect my own views on this matter. I will conclude by saying that as a democracy we must move along in the democratic process toward the reform of our electoral and parliamentary system so that the direct will of the people will be reflected and governments activated thereby at all times.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AND SUGGEST AMENDMENTS
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April 18, 1950