Wartime Elections Act In 1917 PM Sir Robert Borden's Conservative government feared that CONSCRIPTION
, introduced in May to bolster the Canadian fighting forces in WORLD WAR I
, was unpopular and that Canadians not of British descent would combine to defeat the government in the upcoming general election. On Sept 20, after an angry debate, Parliament passed the Wartime Elections Act disfranchising citizens of enemy-alien birth naturalized after 31 Mar 1902, except when such citizens had a son, grandson or brother on active duty. The Act also granted the vote to the wives, mothers and sisters of serving soldiers, as well as women serving in the armed forces. The Act undoubtedly increased support for Borden's party but was not a factor in the 1917 election. In the long run, Conservative support among some ethnic groups was affected negatively.
Links to Other Sites
History of the Vote in Canada
Discover the history of responsible government, voting, and political elections in Canada. This site also features background documents, an online game, and a timeline of major issues and events. From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.