Wednesday, January 20, 2010

General Elections in Canada 1904 1908



Election 1904 Proclamation of Results for Richmond Wolfe. The places the men voted are listed on left, such as GG Gymer's Store. Margaret's sister Christie married a railwayman named Gymer and moved to Evansville Illinois. Likely a relation.


In this 1904 election: Tobin the Liberal got 3787 votes against 2576 for O'Brady the Conservative. Men voted in Halls, schools, stores and even private homes, it seems. Poll number 13 at Windsor Mills was at the "store house of Mr. Dearden opposite River View Hotel." In Richmond that year 507 men were eligible to vote. 371 men voted, 230 to 141 for Tobin the Liberal. Tobin was MP for the area for a long time and he helped Norman get his job on the railroad.Margaret voted for the first time in 1921 and wrote about it in a letter. She wrote "I did not feel ashamed" and "How I Love this Country" in the letter and then gave all the reasons her female neighbours DIDN'T VOTE. One woman arrived too late to vote; another said that TOBIN and the Liberals didn't need her vote. One woman did vote and was so ashamed she wouldn't leave the house. So Margaret wrote. In the afternoon of the election a neighbour came by auto (1921) and asked to bring Margaret to the polls. She replied, "Do you think I would wait this late to vote?" She had already walked there in the morning. She told the man to go ask her neighbour, Ethel Crombie, who, she wrote "would not go vote." So it seems, despite all the hoo-ha, many women in Richmond just didn't care or were afraid to vote in the first general election where they had the right to. Apathetic already.

In my next installment of Flo in the City, my novel in progress based on the letters of http://www.tighsolas.ca/, Margaret says that there's an election coming up, end of October. So Norman will come home for it. He is some kind of official, I'll make him an invigilator. Herb, too. In September Marion is in Montreal and looking for a place to stay. Herb is dividing his time between banks in the E.T and Montreal and he refuses to visit Marion, when in Montreal, as he is angry at her for reasons I will divulge in the installment. So when Edith announces that she, too, is going to work in Montreal, as a tutor in a French family, Margaret will be of mixed mind: unhappy about the job and happy that Marion will have someone there - and she will have someone there to report on Marion. Edith is the gossipy one and Marion plays her cards close to her chest. She has a strong independent streak but also is a dutiful daughter.