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Candidate not liable for a treacherous agent.
mentof the coalition. In the Tamworth Case (1 O’M & H., 82 ; 20 L.T., n.s., 181), it was decided that joint attention to the registration by two persons, who subsequently became candidates, did not necessarily imply joint action at the election ; and in Malcolm v. Parry (L.R. 10, C.P., 168; 44 L.J., 121 C.P.; 31 L.T., n.s., 845 ; 23 W.R., 322) the full Court of Common Pleas decided that where a candidate has been guilty of bribery through his agent, and subsequently to such acts of bribery another candidate coalesces with him, in ignorance of any previous corruption, and having no reason to suspect its existence, the latter is not liable by reason of the joint candidature to be unseated in respect of such acts of bribery. As to what will constitute evidence of a joint candidature, where it is denied, see the Bridgwater Case (1 O'M. & H., 113).
It has been stated already that a candidate is liable for the acts of those persons whom the law construes to be his agents, although he has expressly forbidden them to commit any corrupt act, and though in committing it they are flying in the teeth of his honest wishes in the matter. But while this is so, it has been decided, for the necessary protection of candidates against treachery, that the candidate is not liable where the corrupt act was done by the agent with the view of betraying his principal. This is the effect of Lord Blackburn's judgment in the Stafford Case (1 O’M. & H., 231 ; 21 L.T., n.s., 210), when he said, “I wish to point out the distinction which I make, that according as the law stands at present, if a member employs an agent, and that agent, contrary to bis wish and contrary to his direction commits a corrupt act, the sitting member is responsible for it, but where he employs an agent and the agent treacherously or traitorously agrees with the other side, then if he does a corrupt act it would not vacate the seat unless it is proved that the corrupt act was at the special request of the member himself or some untainted and authorised agent of the member, who directed the act to be done. I say if Machin was a treacherous agent he loses the power of upsetting the seat by reason of his unauthorised acts of corruption, as it would require actual proof of authority. It is a very different affair if a man, being
an agent, has been tricked by the other party into committing a corrupt act, he himself honestly still intending to act as agent."
The last point we need consider is this : When does the commenceauthority of an agent to bind the candidate begin and cease? Where the agent has been expressly appointed, in the great inajority of cases the appointment will itself fix the time over which the authority extends. But with regard to the agency which the law will infer from active service in promotion of a candidature sanctioned by the candidate, it would seem that it begins with the rendering of the services which afford the evidence of the agency, and this whether at the time the election contest has actually begun or not (the Youghal Case, 1 O’M. & H., 294). Just as a candidate may himself be guilty of a corrupt act before the occurrence of the vacancy in respect of which the election is held, so is he responsible at the like time for the corrupt act of any person who in fact is his agent. (Ibid.) And if a person is guilty of bribery, or any corrupt act, before he is expressly or implied appointed an agent, and afterwards, the candidate, with knowledge of his misconduct, appoints him an agent, his appointment relates back to the corrupt act or acts so as to make the candidate responsible for them. Agency may be terminated in various ways, chief among When agency which are the following: (1.) Express repudiation ana with- ceases. drawal of authority (Harwich Case and first Taunton Case); (2.) An act of deliberate treachery on the part of the agen: (Stafford Case, quoted supra); (3.) In the case of a joint candidature, where it is shown the agent of one candidate has acted solely in the interest of his principal and against the interest of the other candidate (Norwich Case, 1 O'M. & H., 10); and (4.) The termination of the election. Baron Martin first decided in the Salford Case (1 O'M. & H., 133; 19 L.T., n.s., 120) that the authority of an agent came to an end with the termination of the election, and that a corrupt act committed the day after the polling, did not affect the sitting member; and this decision was acted upon by Mr. Justice Willes in the Southampton
When agency Case (1 O’M. & H., 222). “The agency at the election,'
said the present Lord Blackburn, giving his decision to the same effect in the North Norfolk Case (21 LT., n.s., 270; 1 O’M. & H., 243), “ which was solely from the canvassing before the election, expires with the election.”
It must be borne in mind, however, that if the bribe was given after the election, in pursuance of a promise made or an understanding arrived at during the election, then the act of bribery is committed at the latter period, and while the candidate is bound by the misdeeds of the agent; and of course if the act of bribery is committed even after the election by the express direction of the candidate, that would confer a fresh authority upon the agent, independent of his previous employment.
ILLEGAL PRACTICES WHICH AVOID THE ELECTION, IF
COMMITTED BY THE CANDIDATE OR THE ELECTION
The general provision of Section 11 of the Act of 1883 is, that any illegal practice committed by the sitting member, or any of his agents, will avoid the election. The four classes of acts dealt with in Chapter II., come under that rule. But in addition, numerous other offences are created by the Act of 1883, which the legislature has thought right to say shall only become illegal practices when committed by the candidate or his election agent, or which, through illegal practice, by whomsoever committed, only affect the validity of the election when brought home to the candidate personally, or to his election agent. Those offences are scattered with little method all over the Act. We group them together in Division of
illegal practhis chapter, and for greater clearness it is proposed to divide tices. them, as above indicated, into, first, offences which only become illegal practices when committed by the candidate or his election agent; and secondly, offences which are illegal practices ab initio, but which only avoid the election when committed by the candidate or his election agent.
SECTION 1.-OFFENCES WHICH BECOME ILLEGAL PRACTICES
WHEN COMMITTED BY THE CANDIDATE THE ELEC-
A. Section 13 of the Act of 1883 enacts that where any per- Illegal payson knowingly provides money for any payment which is con- ment. trary to the provisions of the Act, or for any expenses incurred in excess of the maximum allowed by the Act, or for replacing any money expended in any such payment or expenses, except where the same may have been previously allowed in pursuance of this Act to be an exception, such person shall be guilty of illegal payment. Illegal payment is
a new term, and generally falls short of illegal practice ; but by Section 21 (Sub-section 2) a candidate or the election agent of a candidate who is personally guilty of an offence of illegal payment, employment, or hiring, shall be guilty of an illegal practice. Therefore, an illegal payment becomes an illegal practice when committed by the candidate or his election agent, and it avoids the election. The object of Section 13 is in keeping with the main design of the Act of 1883, which is to discourage profusion at elections, and to restrain the cost of a contest within the narrowest limits
As will be shown at greater length hereafter, a sliding scale of maximum expenditure, regulated by the number of electors and the character of the constituency, is contained in the first schedule ; and to enforce compliance with it, and other provisions of the Act directed against prodigality, Section 13 is framed. Section 8, to be presently mentioned, forbids a candidate, or his election agent, to pay or incur any expense whatever above the maximum amount allowed. The section under consideration is of somewhat wider scope. It forbids any person to do what the candidate and his election agent have already been prohibited from doing, and it also prohibits any person from providing money for any payment contrary to the provisions of this Act, though it be within the maximum allowed.
B. The first sub-section of Section 14 makes it an illegal hiring for any person to let, lend or employ, for the purpose of the conveyance of electors to or from the poll, any public stage or hackney carriage, or any horse or other animal kept or used for drawing the same, or any carriage, horse or other animal which he keeps or uses, for the purpose of letting out for hire, where he knows that the same are to be used for the conveyance of voters to or from the poll ; and by the second sub-section any person who hires, borrows or uses, for the
of voters to or from the poll, any carriage, horse or other animal which he knows the owner thereof is prohibited by this section to let, lend or employ for that purpose, is also guilty of illegal hiring. By Section 21, Sub-section 2, a candidate, or an
Letting, lending or employing hackney car. ia zes.