Essays Received in Response to an Appeal by the Canadian Institute on the Rectification of Parliament: Together With the Conditions on Which the ... Dollars for Prize Essays (Classic Reprint)
Early in the present year a letter was received from a member of the Society, Dr. Sandford Fleming, bringing to the attention of the Institute the importance of an enquiry into the possibility of rectifying our electoral and parliamentary system, with the view of averting many evils now attending it. He appealed to the Institute as a body which, while non-political in its corporate character, is representative through its members of all shades of opinion. The object expressed was to awaken an interest in a difficult problem, which vitally concerns the whole community, in the hope that some practical and beneficial solution may be obtained.
The Council has had the matter under serious consideration for some time: meanwhile an old.friend of the Institute, deeply impressed with its importance, and the great public need of a satisfactory solution, has placed at the disposal of the Council the sum of one thousand dollars to assist, as far as possible, in the attainment of the desired end.
The matter was formally brought before the Institute, at a largely attended meeting, on the 20th February last, when after the reading of Dr. Fleming's communication and the discussion on the 'Note' attached, the following resolution passed with substantial unanimity: -
'That the generous offer of a friend (who does not wish his name to be known) to contribute the sum of $1,000 to aid in obtaining a satisfactory solution of the problem referred to in Dr. Sandford Fleming's paper, be accepted with the best thanks of the Institute, and that the Council be empowered to take the necessary steps to obtain essays or treatises, and award the premium to the best workable measure, which, if made law, would give the whole Canadian people equal representation in Parliament, and each elector due weight in the government through Parliament.'
The Council thereupon appointed a special committee to carefully weigh the whole subject, and consider how best to deal with the matter and carry into effect the wishes of the meeting and the authority and trust conferred on it by the Institute.
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