Calgary (provincial electoral district)

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Calgary
Flag of Alberta.svg Alberta electoral district
Calgary electoral district 1930.png
Defunct provincial electoral district
Legislature Legislative Assembly of Alberta
District created 1905
District abolished 1913
District re-created 1921
District re-abolished 1959
First contested 1905
Last contested 1957

Coordinates: 51°02′42″N 114°03′26″W / 51.04500°N 114.05722°W / 51.04500; -114.05722 Calgary was a provincial electoral district in Alberta, Canada that existed from 1905 to 1913 and was recreated from 1921 to 1959. The district returned from one to six members to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The district largely encompassed the boundaries of the City of Calgary, and was revised accordingly as the city grew.

Calgary history[edit]

Boundary history[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

The first iteration of the Calgary provincial electoral district in Alberta was created in the 1905 provincial boundary distribution. The district was known in that first election as Calgary City. Prior to 1905 when Calgary was still part of the Northwest Territories there were two districts East Calgary and West Calgary, which were split from the original Calgary Northwest Territories district in 1894. Calgary district first came into existence when Calgary had a sufficiently large population to meet the requirements to elect members in the Northwest Territories in 1884.[7]

The first election in the district was held with the provincial general election of 1905. The election saw Liberal Minister of Public Works William Cushing win election against Conservative leader Richard Bennett. Cushing was named to the Rutherford prior to the election.

The number of seats in Calgary was increased to two in 1909. In that election Bennett and Cushing both won election, each elector in Calgary had two votes to vote for each seat. Bennett resigned to run for federal office and a by-election was held in 1911 to replace him.

The district was abolished and broken up into three electoral districts in 1913. The riding's were South Calgary, Centre Calgary and North Calgary. In 1921 the Liberal government promised to bring in proportion representation. They did not and instead decided to combine the three Calgary districts and add two more seats. These changes resulted in the 1921 election being very chaotic in Calgary and marked by low turnout. Voters had the option of casting up to five votes and the top five candidates were elected by plurality. The top candidate was elected with less than 10% of the vote which stands as a provincial record for lowest election threshold.

The United Farmers of Alberta passed legislation in 1924 that changed both Edmonton and Calgary to Single Transferable Vote super districts. The rest of the province had single member constituencies that saw vote transfers conducted if the leading candidate did not have a clear majority of 50% on the first count.

The 1926 and 1930 elections saw Calgary elect all opposition candidates because the United Farmers government decided not to run in the city of Calgary. Under single transferable vote the number of spoiled ballots jumped sharply as a sizable number of electors continued marking ballots with an "X". The 1935 election saw Social Credit candidates sweep to power.

In the 1950s, Calgary and Edmonton had gone through significant growth, and with every election, returns under the single transferable vote would take days and become very complicated in terms of counting. The length in terms of names on the ballots was causing long lineups at polling stations, with electors taking as long as 15 minutes to mark their preferences.

In 1957 the Social Credit government passed legislation standardizing the electoral system to First Past the Post. The government passed a separate redistribution bill that dived Calgary and Edmonton into single member districts. In Calgary those districts were Calgary West, Calgary Glenmore, Calgary Bowness, Calgary North East, Calgary South East, Calgary Centre and Calgary North. The last election held in the district a by-election in 1957 was conducted under the first past the post method.

Party composition by date 1905-1913[edit]

Affiliation 1905 1909 1911
Nov 9 Mar 22 Sep 21 Oct 31
     Liberal 1
     Conservative 0 1 0 1
Vacant 0 1 0
 Total
1 2

Party composition by date 1921-1959[edit]

Affiliation 1921 1922 1923 1926 1930 1932 1933 1934 1935 1937 1940 1943 1944 1948 1952 1955 1957
Jul 18 Nov 14 Jan 15 Jun 28 Jun 19 Oct 14 Jan 19 Nov 10 Jan 15 Aug 22 Aug 9 Mar 21 May 23 Jul 8 Aug 17 Mar 1 Aug 5 Jun 29 ? Oct 2
Liberal 1 2 1 2 1 0 1 2
Conservative 0 2 3 2 1
Progressive Conservative 1 0 1
Social Credit 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 3
Co-operative Commonwealth 0 1 0
Dominion Labor 2 1
Canadian Labor 1 0
Independent Labor 0 1 0
Independent 2 1 2 0 1 0 1 3 2 1 0
Vacant 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
 Total 5 6 5 6

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs)[edit]

Members of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary[8]
Assembly Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
Name Party Name Party Name Party Name Party Name Party Name Party
1st 1905 William Cushing Liberal
2nd 1909 Richard Bennett Conservative
1911 Thomas Tweedie
See Centre Calgary, North Calgary and South Calgary 1913-1921
5th 1921 Alex Ross Dominion Labor Robert Edwards Independent Fred White Dominion Labor Robert Marshall Liberal Robert Pearson Independent
1923 William Davidson
6th 1926 Alexander McGillivray Conservative George Webster Liberal John Irwin Conservative Robert Parkyn Independent Labor
7th 1930 Hugh Farthing Canadian Labor John Bowlen Liberal Harold McGill Conservative
1933 Norman Hindsley Independent
1934 William Ross
8th 1935 Edith Gostick Social Credit Ernest Manning Social Credit Fred Anderson Social Credit John Hugill Social Credit
1937 Independent
1940 Independent
9th 1940 James Mahaffy Independent William Aberhart Andrew Davison Independent
1943 Vacant
10th 1944 Rose Wilkinson Social Credit Howard MacDonald Independent Aylmer Liesemer Co-operative Commonwealth
11th 1948 Fred Colborne Hugh MacDonald Liberal
1952 Social Credit
12th 1952 Paul Brecken Progressive Conservative Arthur Dixon Social Credit
13th 1955–1957 Arthur Smith Progressive Conservative Grant MacEwan Liberal
1957 Vacant
1957–1959 Ernest Watkins Progressive Conservative
See Calgary North East, Calgary South East 1959-1963, Calgary Bowness, Calgary Centre, Calgary North 1959-1971, Calgary Glenmore, Calgary West 1959-present

Election results[edit]

1905 general election[edit]

The Calgary electoral district was created when Alberta became a province independent of the Northwest Territories in 1905. Calgary had previously had two seats when it was represented in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. This change created controversy because Conservatives accused the Liberals of creating more seats in northern Alberta where their support and organization was stronger. The two riding's previously represented in the city were West Calgary and East Calgary.

1905 Alberta general election results[9] Turnout Unknown Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Liberal William Cushing 1,030 42.56% *
     Conservative Richard Bennett 983 38.43% *
     Labor Alex D. Macdonald 407 19.01% *
Total 2,420 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Records not kept
Unknown Eligible Electors
     Liberal pickup new district Swing N/A
Returning Officer Ruben Askin Janes[10]

The election was a three way contest but was primarily a two way race. Richard Bennett the Conservative candidate and party leader was a well known lawyer and former Northwest Territories MLA. William Henry Cushing the Liberal candidate had previously been a prominent Calgary municipal politician including serving as mayor. He also had a number of private enterprises in the building materials industry. Rounding out the field was labor activist and independent candidate Alex Macdonald.

The 1905 election was mired in controversy as election results see-sawed back and forth, claims of Conservative supporters being denied access to polling stations were made with supporters of Cushing having been found to run the polling stations. After the official results were released Cushing was declared the winner by 47 votes. Macdonald placed well behind in third place but still with a respectable showing taking close to 20% of the popular vote. The result in Calgary had been seen by the Conservatives as an embarrassing personal defeat for Bennett as the party got nearly shut out of office province wide. Bennett quickly resigned as leader and was replaced by Albert Robertson.

1909 general election[edit]

1909 Alberta general election results[11] Turnout N/A% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Personal
     Liberal William Cushing 2,579 26.90% -15.66%
     Conservative Richard Bennett 2,423 25.27% -13.16%
     Liberal William Egbert 1,933 20.16% *
     Conservative Thomas Blow 1,907 19.88% *
Socialist George Howell 747 7.79% *
Total 9,589 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Records not kept
Unknown Eligible Electors

The 1909 Alberta general election saw a second seat added to the Calgary electoral district. The riding was not split however, instead the second member would be elected in a plurality vote with electors having the option of selecting up to two candidates on the ballots.

The Conservatives and Liberals ran a slate of two candidates each, while the Socialists fielded one. William Cushing Minister of Public works decided to run for a second term in office. The other Liberal candidate was prominent medical doctor William Egbert.

The Conservatives ran former party leader Richard Bennett who had previously contested the district in 1905 and Thomas Blow who was also a medical doctor rounded out the slate. Bennett was unanimously acclaimed at the party nominating convention held on March 1, 1909 despite not attending. The second spot on the slate was contested between Blow and J.A. Carson. The two candidates were left over from ten nominees who either had their nomination withdrawn for various reasons or the candidates themselves or refused to let their name stand.[12]

The Socialist Party nominated candidate George Howell who worked as the secretary for the Calgary Trades and Labor council.[13] Howell was a surprise choice by members at the Socialist nominating convention as he was not running for the party nomination.

The results of the election showed an even split between the Liberals and Conservatives. Each major candidate received approximately a quarter of the vote share. The party vote for both the Liberals and Conservatives split for each candidate in the slate. Overall the parties managed to gain in vote percentage that went to the Labor candidate in 1905. The Conservatives picked up one seat and the Liberal incumbent held his. The Socialist candidate was not much of a factor, but Howell kept the main parties from gaining a clear majority in the popular vote.

1911 by-election[edit]

October 31, 1911 by-election results[14] Turnout Unknown Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Conservative Thomas Tweedie 2,931 63.65% 18.50% *
     Liberal Thomas Skinner 1,674 36.35% -8.80% *
Total 4,605 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Records not kept
Unknown Eligible Electors
     Conservative hold Swing N/A

1921 general election[edit]

1921 Alberta general election results[15] Turnout 53.82% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Personal
     Dominion Labor Alex Ross 7,294 9.64% *
     Independent Robert Edwards 6,400 8.46% *
     Dominion Labor Fred White 6,190 8.18% *
     Liberal Robert Marshall 5,246 6.93% *
     Independent Robert Pearson 5,141 6.79% *
     Liberal George Webster 4,391 5.80% *
     Liberal Clinton Ford 4,230 5.59% *
     Dominion Labor Robert Parkyn 4,082 5.39% *
     Conservative Michael Costello 3,808 5.03% *
     Conservative C.F. Adams 3,332 4.40% *
     Liberal F. Langford 3,282 4.34% *
     Conservative Thomas Blow 3,090 4.08% *
     Liberal F.S. Selwood 2,969 3.92% *
     Independent Herbert Adshead 2,878 3.80% *
     Independent Labor Frederick Potts 2,864 3.78% *
     Conservative Edward Crandell 2,663 3.52% *
     Independent Labor Hannah Gale 2,386 3.15% *
     Conservative Samuel Hillocks 2,282 3.02% *
Socialist Frank Williams 1,745 2.31% *
     Independent Alex Davidson 1,423 1.87% *
Total Votes 75,696 100%
Total Ballots 17,187 4.40 Votes Per Ballot
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 90
32,103 Eligible Electors

Note:

  • Voters had the option of selecting up to five candidates on the ballot

1921 by-election[edit]

December 9, 1921 by-election results[14] Turnout N/A% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Dominion Labor Alex Ross Acclaimed *
Total N/A 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined N/A
32,103 Eligible Electors
     Dominion Labor hold Swing N/A%

1923 by-election[edit]

January 15, 1923 by-election results[14] Turnout 57.95% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Independent William Davidson 9,930 54.40% *
     Citizens' Candidate Clinton Ford 8,325 45.60% * 40.01%
Total 18,255 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Unknown
31,500 Eligible Electors
     Independent William Davidson pickup vacant seat Swing 36.75%

1926 general election[edit]

1926 Alberta general election results[16] Turnout 53.82% 1st
Count
Swing
Affiliation Candidate 3,290 vote threshold
1st % 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Conservative Alexander McGillivray 5,928 30.04% 3,290 *
Conservative John Irwin 1,662 8.42% 3,334 3,290 *
Liberal George Webster 2,941 14.90% 3,144 3,158 3,191 3,523 3,290 9.10%
Dominion Labor Fred J. White 1,222 6.19% 1,247 1,248 1,467 1,478 1,479 1,500 2,676 2,923 2,923 -1.99%
Independent Labor Robert Parkyn 2,467 12.50% 2,506 2,514 2,554 2,582 2,583 2,595 2,664 2,852 2,852 7.11%
Liberal Nellie McClung 1,928 9.77% 1,971 1,975 1,980 2,191 2,193 2,363 2,433 2,622 *
Conservative Michael Costello 1,221 6.19% 1,817 1,827 1,838 1,864 1,903 1,924 1,946 1.16%
Dominion Labor Alex Ross 1,265 6.41% 1,282 1,298 1,419 1,444 1,445 1,454 -3.23%
Liberal Robert Marshall 626 3.17% 651 651 654 -3.76%
Dominion Labor John Russell 423 2.14% 435 438 *
Independent Frederick Potts 54 0.27% 60 -3.51%
Total 19,737 100% 19,737 19,733 19,727 19,716 19,716 19,716 19,598 18,276 15,654
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 644 Distributed 2,638 56 432 643 44 233 1,336 624 0
34,287 Eligible Electors Exhausted 0 4 6 11 0 0 118 1,322 2,622

1930 general election[edit]

1930 Alberta general election results[17] Turnout 56.70% 1st
Count
Swing
Affiliation Candidate 3,489 vote threshold
1st % 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Conservative John Irwin 5,520 22.61% 3,495 14.19%
Liberal George Webster 3,651 14.95% 3,651 3,494 -0.05%
Canadian Labor Fred J. White 2,585 10.59% 2,659 2,673 2,874 2,916 3,335 3,515 3,492 4.40%
Conservative Hugh Farthing 2,279 9.33% 2,957 2,966 2,979 2,994 3,001 3,132 3,133 3,731 *
Liberal John Bowlen 2,598 10.64% 2,667 2,700 2,711 2,721 2,727 2,821 2,823 2,869 3,588 *
Conservative Harold McGill 1,634 6.69% 2,226 2,238 2,252 2,260 2,266 2,446 2,449 3,089 3,293 *
Independent Robert Parkyn 1,544 6.32% 1,608 1,616 1,699 1,856 1,933 2,056 2,067 2,106 2,296 -6.18%
Liberal Robert Wier 1,191 4.88% 1,260 1,328 1,339 1,344 1,359 1,502 1,508 1,579 *
Conservative H.S. Patterson 1,007 4.12% 1,368 1,374 1,382 1,395 1,405 1,480 1,480 *
Citizens' Candidate A.C. MacKay 992 4.06% 1,078 1,083 1,092 1,097 1,107 *
Canadian Labor W.E. Turner 575 2.36% 589 590 590 590 *
Communist John O'Sullivan 460 1.88% 469 469 469 *
Canadian Labor Thomas Vickers 381 1.57% 390 391 *
Total 24,417 100% 24,417 24,417 24,376 24,162 24,122 23,941 23,941 23,855 21,093
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 253 Distributed 2,025 157 350 255 550 926 23 1,394 0
43,513 Eligible Electors Exhausted 0 0 41 214 40 181 0 86 2,296

1933 by-election[edit]

January 19, 1933 by-election results Turnout 69.40% 1st
Count
Swing
Affiliation Candidate 13,919 vote threshold
1st % 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Independent Norman Hindsley 12,532 45.03% ? ? ? 14,128 %
Canadian Labor Amelia Turner 10,504 37.74% ? ? ? 12,307 %
Independent Labor Robert Parkyn 2,003 7.20% ? ? ? %
Independent A.C. McKay 1,775 6.37% ? ? %
United Front John O'Sullivan 539 1.94% ? %
Independent D.R. Crighton 478 1.72% %
Total 27,831 100% 26,435
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 202 Distributed
? Eligible Electors Exhausted 0

The Canadian Labor Party Alberta branch nominated candidate Amelia Turner under their banner. The Co-operative Commonwealth executive decided to support and endorse her election campaign but did not nominate her as a candidate for the organization.[18] Norman Hindsley ran as an Independent but was endorsed and supported by the Conservative party.[18]

1934 by-election[edit]

January 15, 1934 by-election results Turnout 50.88% 1st
Count
Swing
Affiliation Candidate 10,994 vote threshold
1st % 2nd 3rd
Liberal William Ross 8,665 39.41% 8,955 10,801
Canadian Labor + Co-operative Commonwealth Amelia Turner 8,058 36.65% 8,277 8,326
People's Candidate Charles Jamieson 4,168 18.96% ?
Progressive Labor Ernest Starr 1,096 4.98%
Total 21,987 100% 19,127
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 202 Distributed
? Eligible Electors Exhausted 0

Charles Jamieson was originally nominated as a Conservative candidate but left the party and changed to the People's Candidate banner midway through the election.

1935 general election[edit]

1935 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 80.39%
Affiliation Candidate 5,885 vote threshold
1st % Votes Count
     Social Credit Ernest Manning 6,087 14.78% 6,087 1st
     Conservative John Irwin 2,529 6.14% 6,092 13th
     Social Credit Fred Anderson 5,058 12.28% 6,638 15th
     Liberal John J. Bowlen 3,874 9.41% 8,478 17th
     Social Credit Edith Gostick 3,787 9.19% 5,886 18th
     Social Credit John Hugill 3,152 7.65% 4,399 18th
     Social Credit Walter Little 2,963 7.19% Eliminated 18th
     Liberal Robert Wier 1,774 4.31% Eliminated 16th
     Social Credit Oscar Devenish 3,032 7.36% Eliminated 14th
     Conservative Hugh Farthing 2,090 5.07% Eliminated 13th
     Labor Fred J. White 1,024 2.49% Eliminated 12th
     Liberal George Millican 1,566 3.80% Eliminated 11th
     Conservative Joseph Follett 886 2.15% Eliminated 10th
     Communist Pat Lenihan 820 1.99% Eliminated 9th
     Liberal Richard Watson 786 1.91% Eliminated 8th
     Labor Aylmer Liesemer 449 1.09% Eliminated 7th
     Independent Charles Jamieson 469 1.14% Eliminated 6th
     Conservative James Milvain 451 1.10% Eliminated 5th
     Independent Labor Robert Parkyn 224 0.54% Eliminated 4th
     Labor William Southern 172 0.41% Eliminated 3rd
Total 41,193 100% 18 Counts

1940 general election[edit]

1940 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 78.69%
Affiliation Candidate 7,653 vote threshold
1st % Votes Count
     Independent Andrew Davison 12,465 27.15% 1st
     Social Credit William Aberhart 12,122 26.40% 1st
     Independent James Mahaffy 3,645 7.94%
     Independent John J. Bowlen 3,447 7.51%
     Social Credit Fred Anderson 1,939 4.22%
     Independent Joseph Shaw 2,685 5.85%
     Social Credit Edith Gostick 1,605 3.50%
     CCF Fred J. White 2,846 6.20%
     Independent Norman Dingle 1,480 3.22%
     Social Credit H.D. Tarves 1,386 3.02%
     CCF Robert Alderman 1,298 2.83%
     Independent Harry Pryde 576 1.26%
     Independent Labor Douglas Mitchell 251 0.55%
     Independent J.F.M. Moodie 169 0.35%
Total 45,914 100% 10 Counts

1944 general election[edit]

1944 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 80.39%
Affiliation Candidate 6,562 vote threshold
1st
(Forces)
% Votes Count
     Independent Andrew Davison 7,754
(137)
7,754 1st
     Social Credit Fred Anderson 6,655
(123)
6,655 1st
     Social Credit Rose Wilkinson 5,042
(103)
8,338 15th
     Independent Howard MacDonald 2,365
(20)
6,897 17th
     CCF Alymer Liesemer 3,560
(76)
6,077 17th
     CCF Robert Alderman 2,088
(43)
Eliminated 17th
     Independent John J. Bowlen 2,192
(25)
Eliminated 16th
     Social Credit Art Larsen 1,351
(33)
Eliminated 15th
     CCF C.W.J. Helmer 1,655
(72)
Eliminated 14th
     Independent R.C. Carlile 1,433
(10)
Eliminated 13th
     CCF Ken Tory 1,462
(49)
Eliminated 12th
     Social Credit Edward Geehan 1,162
(42)
Eliminated 11th
     Labour Progressive Pat Lenihan 491
(25)
Eliminated 10th
     Social Credit C.M. Baker 834
(30)
Eliminated 9th
     CCF Herbert Wiertz 504
(4)
Eliminated 8th
     Labour Progressive Lionel Edwards 304
(3)
Eliminated 7th
     Labour Progressive Mike Daniels 258
(9)
Eliminated 6th
     Labour Progressive Gordon Wray 128
(5)
Eliminated 5th
     Labour Progressive Audrey Staples 71
(1)
Eliminated 4th
Total 39,309
(810)
100% 17 Counts

Note:

  • In the 1944 Election, Canadian Forces personnel were given special ballots intended to track how they voted. Service vote results are only available for the 1st Count.

1948 general election[edit]

1948 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 78.69%
Affiliation Candidate 6,520 vote threshold
1st % Votes Count
     Social Credit Rose Wilkinson 7,153
     Social Credit Frederick Colborne 3,923
     Independent Howard MacDonald 3,840
     Liberal Hugh John MacDonald 1,977
     CCF Alymer Liesemer 2,475
     Social Credit J. Leslie Hill 2,464
     Labor Peter Morrison 3,597
     Social Credit R.B. Estabrook 1,751
     Liberal J. Roger Flumerfelt 1,691
     Liberal Mary Dover 1,602
     Liberal Michael McCormick[disambiguation needed] 1,237
     Independent M.V. Anderson 1,233
     Social Credit George Whicher 1,091
     Liberal Loftus Ward 949
     Independent Social Credit A.P. van Buren 737
     Independent Edwina Milvain 578
     Independent Social Credit Art Larsen 563
     CCF George Ellinson 539
     CCF George Austin 518
     Labour Progressive Terry Levis 516
     CCF W. Orr 442
     CCF Mary Hart 243
Total 39,119 100% 10 Counts

1952 general election[edit]

1952 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 80.39%
Affiliation Candidate 5,953 vote threshold
1st % Votes Count
     Social Credit Rose Wilkinson 6,796
     Social Credit Howard MacDonald 4,214
     Social Credit Frederick Colborne 3,974
     Conservative Paul Brecken 3,126
     Liberal Hugh John MacDonald 2,711
     Social Credit Arthur J. Dixon 2,677
     Independent Labor D.F. McIntosh 2,927
     Social Credit Thomas Glen 2,820
     Social Credit Clifford Clark 2,390
     CCF Alymer Liesemer 1,991
     Conservative Phillip Haigh 905
     Liberal Melvin Shannon 857
     Conservative John Zubick 806
     Conservative W.R. Irwin 764
     Conservative Ronald Helmer 670
     CCF Robert Alderman 633
     Liberal Alberta Clark 563
     Liberal Collier Maberley 555
     Labour W. Longridge 527
     CCF George Ellinson 378
     CCF H.J. Ryan 333
     Liberal Richard Thomson 313
     Liberal J.A. Murray Green 287
Total 41,673 100% 18 Counts

1955 general election[edit]

1955 Ballot Transfer Results Turnout 78.69%
Affiliation Candidate 8,890 vote threshold
1st % Votes Count
     Conservative Arthur Ryan Smith 9,475
     Liberal Hugh John MacDonald 7,501
     Social Credit Frederick Colborne 5,470
     Liberal Grant MacEwan 4,019
     Social Credit Rose Wilkenson 4,973
     Social Credit Arthur J. Dixon 4,566
     Social Credit Howard MacDonald 4,423
     Conservative Paul Brecken 5,034
     Liberal V.A. Cooney 2,536
     Social Credit Ian Smith 2,290
     Social Credit C.M. Willmott 1,745
     Social Credit E.R.A. Temple 1,715
     CCF George Ellinson 1,277
     Liberal Mary Dover 1,201
     Liberal Harold Cush 1,065
     Liberal Collier Maberley 1,025
     Conservative Roy Devell 927
     CCF Herbert Ryan 648
     Labour Progressive A.L. Roberts 579
     Conservative Philip Haigh 577
     Independent Arthur Wray 471
     CCF K.A. Halliday 462
     CCF Paul Katzalay 245
Total 62,224 100% 10 Counts

1957 by-election[edit]

October 2, 1957 by-election results[14] Turnout 34.37% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Progressive Conservative Ernest Watkins 17,565 43.69% *
     Social Credit Samuel Helman 15,010 37.33% *
     Labor Frank Bodie 3,916 9.74% *
     Liberal Reginald McCollough 3,023 7.52% *
     Independent Cliff Harris 693 1.72% *
Total 40,207 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined Unknown
117,000 Eligible Electors
     Progressive Conservative hold Swing ?%

The October 1957 by-election held on October 2, 1957 was the last election held in the Calgary electoral district before it was officially split in 1959. This was the first election province wide since Single Transferable Vote was implemented in 1924 that First Past the Post was put to use.[19] The changes were implemented in 1956 in An Act Representing Members of the Legislative Assembly.[20]

The election was called after Progressive Conservative incumbent, Arthur Ryan Smith resigned to run in the 1957 Canadian federal election.[21]

Five candidates offered themselves in the election.[14] Social Credit ran high profile lawyer Samuel Helman. During the campaign Premier Ernest Manning promised to promote Helman to Attorney General as soon as he was elected to the district.[22] The Progressive Conservatives ran lawyer Ernest Watkins, who had arrived from England in 1952. Rounding out the field was Frank Bodie who ran on a Labor banner. Liberal candidate Reginald McCollough and Independent Cliff Harris who was running in the election to protest Alberta's liquor laws in force at the time.[22]

The election proved to be low turnout with 35% of 117,000 eligible voters casting ballots in the election. Advanced turnout was very quiet with just 148 votes being cast. Ernest Watkins won with 43% of the vote and held the seat for his party. The race turned out to be a primarily two way race, with the other 3 candidates finishing well back.[22]

Plebiscite district results[edit]

1948 Electrification Plebiscite[edit]

District results from the province wide plebiscite on electricity regulation.

Option A Option B
Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being continued by the Power Companies? Are you in favour of the generation and distribution of electricity being made a publicly owned utility administered by the Alberta Government Power Commission?
26,325     69.63% 11,478     30.37%
Province wide result: Option A passed.

1957 liquor plebiscite[edit]

1957 Alberta liquor plebiscite results: Calgary[23]
Question A: Do you approve additional types of outlets for the
sale of beer, wine and spirituous liquor subject to a local vote?
Ballot Choice Votes %
Yes 47,382 77.41%
No 13,830 22.59%
Total Votes 61,212 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 391
114,986 Eligible Electors, Turnout 53.57%
Question B1: Should mixed drinking be allowed
in beer parlours in Calgary and the surrounding areas?
Ballot Choice Votes %
Yes 49,669 81.12%
No 11,561 18.88%
Total Votes 61,230 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 379
114,986 Eligible Electors, Turnout 53.58%

On October 30, 1957 a stand alone plebiscite was held province wide in all 50 of the then current provincial electoral districts in Alberta. The government decided to consult Alberta voters to decide on liquor sales and mixed drinking after a divisive debate in the Legislature. The plebiscite was intended to deal with the growing demand for reforming antiquated liquor control laws.[24]

The plebiscite was conducted in two parts. Question A asked in all districts, asked the voters if the sale of liquor should be expanded in Alberta, while Question B asked in a handful of districts within the corporate limits of Calgary and Edmonton asked if men and woman were allowed to drink together in establishments.[23] Question B was slightly modified depending on which city the voters were in.[23]

Province wide Question A of the plebiscite passed in 33 of the 50 districts while Question B passed in all five districts. Calgary voted overwhelmingly in favor of the plebiscite posting a super majority for the yes side. The district recorded a strong voter turnout, being well above the province wide average of 46%.[23]

Calgary also voted on question B1 to decide the issue of allowing men and women to drink together within the corporate limits of Calgary. Like question A, city residents also voted for mixed drinking with a super majority. Oddly question B1 experienced a slightly higher voter turnout than question A.[23]

Official district returns were released to the public on December 31, 1957.[23] The Social Credit government in power at the time did not considered the results binding.[25] However the results of the vote led the government to repeal all existing liquor legislation and introduce an entirely new Liquor Act.[26]

Municipal districts lying inside electoral districts that voted against the Plebiscite were designated Local Option Zones by the Alberta Liquor Control Board and considered effective dry zones, business owners that wanted a license had to petition for a binding municipal plebiscite in order to be granted a license.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1909. p. 24. 
  2. ^ "5". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1921. p. 37. 
  3. ^ "3". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1926. p. 19. 
  4. ^ "14". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1930. p. 92. 
  5. ^ "94". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1939. p. 442. 
  6. ^ "36". Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1950. p. 196. 
  7. ^ Ordinances of the North-West Territories. Government of the Northwest Territories. 1884. pp. v–vi. 
  8. ^ "Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta 1905-2006". Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  9. ^ "Calgary Official Results 1905 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Territories Elections Ordinance; Province of Alberta". Vol VI No. 12 (The Rocky Mountain Echo). October 30, 1905. p. 4. 
  11. ^ "Calgary results 1909 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  12. ^ "Two Very Strong Candidates Nominated By Conservatives". No. 7400 (The Calgary Daily Herald). March 2, 1909. pp. 1, 4. 
  13. ^ "Are Getting Into Harness". 7401 (The Calgary Daily Herald). March 3, 1909. p. 1. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Past By-Election results". Elections Alberta. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  15. ^ "Calgary results 1921 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  16. ^ "Calgary results 1926 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  17. ^ "Calgary results 1930 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  18. ^ a b "N. Hindsley takes seat in Calgary". Vol XXXII No. 16 (Edmonton Bulletin). January 20, 1933. pp. 1–2. 
  19. ^ "Voters Go To Polls Wednesday - In Calgary". Vol L No. 248 (The Lethbridge Herald). October 1, 1957. p. 1. 
  20. ^ Statutes of the Province of Alberta. Government of Alberta. 1955 2nd Session, 1956. p. 84. 
  21. ^ "Calgary South 1957". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  22. ^ a b c "Watkins Is Winner In Calgary Vote Tories Retain Seat". Vol L No 250 (The Lethbridge Herald). pp. 1, 19. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f Alberta Gazette 53 (December 31 ed.). Government of Alberta. 1957. pp. 2,247–2,249. 
  24. ^ "Albertans Vote 2 to 1 For More Liquor Outlets". Vol L No 273 (The Lethbridge Herald). October 31, 1957. pp. 1–2. 
  25. ^ "No Sudden Change In Alberta Drinking Habits Is Seen". Vol L No 267 (The Lethbridge Herald). October 24, 1957. p. 1. 
  26. ^ "Entirely New Act On Liquor". Vol LI No 72 (The Lethbridge Herald). March 5, 1968. p. 1. 
  27. ^ "Bill 81". Alberta Bills 12th Legislature 1st Session. Government of Alberta. 1958. p. 40. 

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