Mr. Power (Quebec South):
Quite right; but none of that literature is official, other than being official in the sense of the party. It is not sanctioned by the parliament of Canada, nor by the people of Canada represented in the house by their members.
Up to the present time we have religiously avoided what is suggested in this bill. I remember the trouble we had in framing the elections act in order to have enumerators from two political parties making up the lists. We had to find such language as "a representative of an opposite and adverse political party" if I remember correctly. During the first overseas election-I am not speaking of the one in 1917, but the one in 1940
we refrained from stating the political allegiance of the persons who were candidates. I admit frankly that we received innumerable complaints on that score. But in 1945, if I recall correctly, there was some kind of arrangement made whereby political parties were not recognized but leaders of groups in the house were given recognition. It was stated either on the ballot or in the literature-I think perhaps it was in the literature sent out by the returning officer-that such and such a candidate was endorsed by the leader of the opposition or by the leader of the government, or something of that nature. But I doubt if the word "Liberal" or the word "Conservative" or "C.C.F." was on the ballot, though, in saying this, of course, I am speaking only from memory.
Besides, I doubt if we can here, by legislation, give to the leader of the government, for those of us sitting on this side of the house a copyright on the name "Liberal". I have as much right to call myself a Liberal, even though I might oppose some of the policies of the right hon. gentleman who leads us. In the same way, hon. gentlemen sitting in the opposition can call themselves Progressive Conservatives and still not ask for the endorsation of the hon. gentleman sitting opposite.
Under the circumstances, then, I do not oppose this because it is an innovation, but rather because, in conformity with the customs, the habits and the traditions of our parliamentary institutions, I would strenuously oppose placing on the ballot paper the name of the political party to which a candidate adhered.
Canada Grain Act
Topic: CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO PLACE POLITICAL AFFILIATION OF CANDIDATES ON BALLOT PAPERS