Humphreys, John H.
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This war giving rise to a spirit of devotion to the welfare of the nation such as has never been known before, lifting the British nation to a higher plane of development. Parliament figuring in all such questions. Criticism of the working of Parliamentary institutions, much of it justified. A consideration of our present electoral machinery in the light of that conception of Parliament which has been handed down to us by our great Parliamentarians. A comparison of the composition of various Parliaments, beginning with that of the United Kingdom. Parliaments in British Columbia and Ontario. The result of incomplete representation of the people: Parliament ceasing to be national in character. The assertion that Parliament discriminates between those constituencies which return supporters of the Government and those constituencies which return members of the Opposition. Disfranchisement regarded and felt as a very keen injustice on the part of those who suffer from it when it becomes permanent in character. Drawing attention to one aspect of our electoral system. The suggestion that Imperial unity would be more easy of achievement, and will be a greater success if we can accomplish a national unity within every one of the divisions of which the British Empire consists. The case of Ireland, and of South Africa. The case of Canada, with racial and religious difficulties here too. How our method of election may result in undue exaggeration of these difficulties. A provision of a true system of representation enabling, even within Nationalist movements, an expression of opinion on the part of those who appreciated larger issues and would co-operate in any larger movement towards Imperial federation. An instance of one aspect of the dangers which result from exaggeration. A brief outline of what the proportional system of representation is. Three changes required in our present methods of elections. Effects of such changes. The transferable vote and what that would enable. In order that the audience understands as well as possible the processes involved in the suggested new method of election, the speaker provides a concrete example, given in a leaflet that has been placed in the hands of everyone in the audience. An imaginary election. The result of the imaginary election summarized on the pamphlet handed out by the speaker. An analysis of the results. The conclusion that even where one party has a very large majority, the minorities secure their share of representation through this method. All parties secure representation through those candidates most preferred. This principle making continuous headway in all democratic countries. Support for this international movement. The speaker's suggestion that when victory has been achieved it will be in some sense a victory for those nations which have developed Parliamentary institutions. One way to celebrate that victory will be to carry forward the development of Parliament, and to ensure that the Parliament of the Provinces, of the Dominion of Canada and of the United Kingdom shall be fully representative of the citizens in whose name they act and speak.