Quotes from E.C.Drury’s memiors.

“Political  advertising is an evil thing. It generates a good deal of heat but no light. Worse, it increases cost of elections tremendously, and hence the power of Big Money, whose design generally run contrary to the public interest, over the political parties and the press. Until elections can be run without campaign funds, democracy cannot function as it should. It becomes indeed a masked plutocracy” –Page 62

Context: Drury’s thoughts on two proposals; “(1) the Initiative and Referendum, by which, without going before Parliament, on petition of a certain percentage of the electorate, legislation could introduced and submitted to direct vote of all the people; (2) the Recall, by which, on petition of a certain proportion of his constituents, an elected member of Parliament could be forced to resigh and submit to a new election”

“…Both the Initiative and Referendum and the Recall I thought too capable of abuse. It is easy to get people to sign any sort of petition. My father told me of something that happened in the Ontario Legislature when he was a member: a certain member undertook to get a petition of five hundred names within twenty-four hours, asking that a certain other member be hanged, and he got them! With the Initiative, we might expect all sorts of frivolous legislation to be submitted to the people. So too with the Recall. As it is, Members of Parliament too often speak not according to their convictions but for the effect they they think it will have on their constituents. How much more would this be true if they had halters around their necks, liable to be pulled up at any moment? With the Recall a free Parliament, I thought, could not exist” –Page 76

During the first federal election where women are allowed to vote in Canada, with his wife: “I found it a very pleasent experience, going with my wife to vote.”
Followed by: “On the way home we met James Thompson, who had shorn our sheep every spring for many years. Jimmy was a poor man, coloured, uneducated, but upright and honourable: and we were proud to call him our friend. I asked him why he had not waited for someone to come for him, for he [lived far away] more than four miles’ walk from the polling place. He said “Well, if a man has a vote, I think the least he can do is get himself out to cast it.” If all Canadians citizens thought the same, elections would be cleaner than they are and Canada would be a good deal better place to live in.” –Page 84