British Columbia general election, 1894

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This was the seventh election held after British Columbia became a province of Canada on July 20, 1871. The number of members remained at 33 with the number of ridings increased to 26 as a result of the partition of the Yale and Westminster ridings.

Political context[edit]

Issues and debates[edit]

Non-party system[edit]

There were to be no political parties in the new province. The designations "Government" and "Opposition" and "Independent" (and variations on these) functioned in place of parties, but they were very loose and do not represent formal coalitions, more alignments of support during the campaign. "Government" meant in support of the current Premier; "Opposition" meant campaigning against him, and often enough the Opposition would win and immediately become the Government.

Although Labour as a party had run candidates in previous election, this election saw the first victories by Labour candidates (in Nanaimo and Nanaimo City), and a "Farmer" candidate (in the second Nanaimo seat). There were five successful independents.

The Robson Government[edit]

The government of newspaperman John Robson received a mandate after assuming power the year before. Robson died in office in 1892, yielding to Theodore Davie.

Byelections not shown[edit]

Any changes due to byelections are shown below the main table showing the theoretical composition of the House after the election. A final table showing the composition of the House at the dissolution of the Legislature at the end of this Parliament can be found below the byelections. The main table represents the immediate results of the election only, not changes in governing coalitions or eventual changes due to byelections.

List of ridings[edit]

The original ridings were thirteen in number, and Cowichan was restored to a two-member seat while Westminster (formerly New Westminster, actually the rural areas of the New Westminster Land District rather than the City of New Westminster, which was and continued to be represented by New Westminster City) was partitioned in four; Vancouver City was increased to three members from two while Cariboo was decreased to two from three. The Victoria, Nanaimo, West Kootenay and Lillooet ridings were partitioned also, and the Alberni and Cowichan ridings were combined into Cowichan-Alberni, which was a two-member seat. In addition the Nanaimo-area riding of The Islands which had appeared for the first time in 1890 election was no longer on the hustings, although it would re-appear again following the major redistribution that preceded the 1903 election. There were no political parties were not acceptable in the House by convention, though some members were openly partisan at the federal level (usually Conservative, although both Liberal and Labour allegiance were on display by some candidates).

These ridings were:

Polling conditions[edit]

Natives (First Nations) and Chinese were disallowed from voting, although naturalized Kanakas (Hawaiian colonists) and American and West Indian blacks and certain others participated. The requirement that knowledge of English be spoken for balloting was discussed but not applied.

Results by riding[edit]

Results of British Columbia general election, 1894
Government Opposition
Member Riding
& party
Riding
& party
Member
     William Adams Cariboo
Government
          Lillooet East
Opposition
James Douglas Prentice     
     Samuel Augustus Rogers           New Westminster City
Opposition
James Buckham Kennedy     
     John Irving Cassiar
Government
          Vancouver City
Opposition
Francis Lovett Carter-Cotton     
     Joseph Hunter Comox
Government
          Robert Macpherson     
     Theodore Davie1 Cowichan-Alberni
Government
          Adolphus Williams     
     James Mitchell Mutter           Westminster-Delta
Opposition
Thomas William Forster     
     James Baker East Kootenay
Government
          Westminster-Dewdney
Opposition
Colin Buchanan Sword     
     Theodore Davie Esquimalt
Government
          Yale-East
Opposition
Donald Graham     
     Charles Edward Pooley           Yale-West
Opposition
Charles Augustus Semlin     
     Alfred Wellington Smith Lillooet West
Government
    
     James McGregor Nanaimo City
Government
    
     John Bryden North Nanaimo
Government
    
     John Paton Booth North Victoria
Government
    
     William Wymond Walkem South Nanaimo
Government
    
     David McEwen Eberts South Victoria
Government
    
     John Braden Victoria City
Government
    
     Henry Dallas Helmcken     
     Robert Paterson Rithet     
     John Herbert Turner     
     James M. Kellie West Kootenay (north riding)
Government
    
     John Frederick Hume West Kootenay (South riding)
Government
    
     Thomas Edwin Kitchen Westminster-Chilliwhack
Government
    
     Thomas Kidd Westminster-Richmond
Government
    
     George Bohun Martin Yale-North
Government
    
1 Premier-Elect and Incumbent Premier
Source: Elections BC

See also[edit]

Further reading & references[edit]