April 9, 1915 (12th Parliament, 5th Session)


Frank Oliver



I wish to follow the remarks of the Minister of Justice. While his statement of the intent of the section is, of course, to be accepted as a pious declaration, there are no means of insisting that that intent shall be carried out. The volunteer signs a declaration that he has not cast any other ballot paper, but there is nothing to show the elector in Saskatchewan or Alberta, where we have no voters' lists, whether he is qualified or not to vote in any particular locality. He could claim qualification to vote in a certain locality where he is not entitled to cast his vote, and he might do that quite conscientiously. If this is to be a legitimate attempt to count the soldiers' vote the way he gave it, there should be a definite knowledge as to where the soldier is entitled to vote, and his vote should be confined to that locality. I quite appreciate what my hon. friend said about the undesirability of unhinging the voting representation of an electoral district; but it is far better that the representation should be unhinged, and Chat we should know definitely what the rights of the voters are and with whom we have to deal, than that it should be unhinged just the same, and nobody should know the limitations of their rights, or how they can keep those rights within those limitations. If we have to go up against a proposition like this, in all conscience let us know exactly what we are going up against. Do not let it be a case of thimble and pea- maybe it is here, and maybe it is not.

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