Alberta general election, 1917
Because of World War I, politics was largely on the back burner in the minds of Albertans this election. Eleven Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) were acclaimed under Section 38 of the Election Act, which stipulated that any member of the 3rd Alberta Legislative Assembly, would be guaranteed re-election, with no contest held, if members joined for war time service. In addition, soldiers from Alberta fighting overseas elected two members-at-large.
In 1917, the main issue facing the nation was conscription. In Alberta, where support for conscription was high, the incumbent Liberal government of Arthur Sifton decided to break with federal Liberal leader Wilfrid Laurier and support Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden's efforts to form a coalition government. The large number of acclaimed candidates and events overseas combined with fact that the two major parties both supported conscription made the 1917 election a low-key event compared to the previous three elections.
The Liberals won a fourth term in office, defeating the Conservative Party of Edward Michener. Premier Sifton would then resign in October 1917 in order to serve in the federal Unionist government of Prime Minister Borden.
This would be the last time, as of 2014[update], that the Liberals won an Alberta provincial election. This was also the first election in Alberta that women had the right to vote and run. Two women were elected to the opposition benches in the legislature that year.
The Alberta Labor Representation League, which opposed conscription, elected one member in Calgary. The 1917 election was the tightest majority ever formed in Alberta history, with the combined opposition equaling to 70.59% of the MLA's on the government benches.
The vote in Athabasca district was conducted on 27 June 1917 due to the remoteness of the riding.
|Party||Party Leader||# of
|1913||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|Soldiers' vote (Province at large)||21||2||25,601||21.00%|
|Source: Elections Alberta|
Note: 1 Charles Cross represented two ridings during the previous legislative assembly.
Members of the Legislative Assembly
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
Members acclaimed under Section 38
|Hand Hills||Robert Eaton||Liberal|
|Lethbridge City||John Smith Stewart||Conservative|
|Medicine Hat||Nelson Spencer||Conservative|
|Ribstone||James Gray Turgeon||Liberal|
|Rocky Mountain||Robert Campbell||Conservative|
|Victoria||Francis A. Walker||Liberal|
|Wainwright||George LeRoy Hudson||Conservative|
27 June 1917
|Athabasca||Alexander Grant MacKay||Liberal|
1917 soldiers' and nurses vote
All eligible candidates were members of the Canadian Forces from Alberta, and non-partisan. Members elected sat on the opposition benches. The vote was held on 18 September 1917. Each soldier had two votes.
|Lieutenant Colonel||James Cornwall||2,331||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||I.F. Page||1,782||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||W.H. Hewgill||1,744||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||J.W.H. McKinnery||918||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||P.E. Bowen||882||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||A.M. Jarvis||425||%|
|Company Sergent Major||H.L. Bateson||221||%|
|Lieutenant Colonel||A.E. Myatt||186||%|
|Order Room Sergeant||A. Joyce||180||%|
|Acting Staff Sergeant||C.M. Camroux||97||%|