Page images
[ocr errors]

Sec. 3,

1854, s. 3.

cerning any election.” As to what constitutes legal expenses under the new Act, see ss. 24 et seq. and Schedules.

In any case, “it ought to be thoroughly understood, that this proviso relates merely to the expenses of the candidate, and not to the expenses of any other person. It does not relate to the expenses of voters; to pay the expenses of voters on condition of their voting or abstaining from voting, is unquestionably bribery” (pr. Willes, J., Coventry, 1 0. & H. 101).

The third section, dealing with those who accept C P. Act, bribes, contains the following enactments :

“ The following persons shall also be deemed "guilty of bribery, and shall be punishable ac“cordingly.

“ (1.) Every voter who shall, before or during 6 any election, directly or indirectly, by himself “or by any other person on his behalf, receive,

agree, or contract for, any money, gift, loan or “ valuable consideration, office, place, or employ

ment, for himself, or for any other person, for
voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or
agreeing to refrain from voting at any election.
“ (2.) Every person who shall, after an election,
directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other
person on his behalf, receive

any money or " valuable consideration on account of any person

having voted or refrained from voting, or having “ induced any other person to vote or to refrain “from voting at any election."

The prohibitions contained in the first of these


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Sec. 3.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

clauses correspond to those directed against bribers
in the first and second clauses of s. 2. This section
is not, however, merely complementary of the pre-
ceding one, in the sense that bribery must be proved
on both sides in order to be a complete offence. The
law makes bribery complete, so far as the briber is
concerned, without acceptance of the bribe by the
voter, and a corrupt receipt of the bribe is a
separate and independent offence (Malcolm v. Parry,
9 L. R. C. P. 616). The present section, moreover,
differs from the second — first, as to the time
of the acceptance of the bribe, and, secondly, in

omitting all mention of the offering to be bribed. Offering to be Such asking for a bribe was in fact constituted an

offence by 2 Geo. II. c. 24, but that statute was re-
pealed by the one now under consideration; and as
it does not appear to have been merely declaratory of
the common law, it seems that such asking for a
bribe is not now an offence, either at common law or
by statute. And in the Mallow case (2 0. & H. 22)
Morris, J., refused to make a precedent to this

Every voter-not every person, as in the second

Before or during an election.The next clause deals with the case of persons, whether voters or not, receiving “money or valuable consideration” (but not “gifts, loans, offices, or employment”) after an election.

Money gift, &c.—See notes on s. 2 above.

The voter will be equally liable under both clauses, whether he deals directly or indirectly (see note

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Sec. 3.

above, p. 42), and personally or through some
third person, with the briber, and whether he accepts
the bribe for his own benefit or for that of somebody

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

For agreeing to vote.—The mere agreement to vote
corruptly will now, irrespective of the subsequent.
vote, be a complete act of bribery (Norwich, 19
L. J. 615). This was not the case at common law,
and consequently the minds of lawyers were greatly
exercised, whether it was bribery when a voter,
having promised to vote for one candidate, voted
for another or not at all, and so on (see Rog.,
p. 305, note.) But supposing a man was bribed to
vote at an election, but before the election took
place both the briber and voter repented, and the
voter returned the money, that would not be bribery
(pr. Lord Bramwell, Windsor, 2 0. & H. 92). And
So, where an agent of the petitioner, some time
before the election, sent cheques to two of the
respondent's supporters, which was written
6 retainer,” which they, in order not to be inca-
pacitated from voting for the respondent, sent back,
Fitzgerald, B., said: “I think the object before the
mind of the party, in order to his being bribed, must
be either the abstaining from voting or the giving
of the vote; and though that was the thing in the
mind of the person giving these considerations or
retainers, that will not make it an inducement to
the other party, unless the same thing was before
the mind of that party also" (Cashel, 1 0. & H.


[ocr errors]


The clause includes also those cases where the voter,

Sec. 3.

Persons bribed by corrupt payment of rates,

by means of false pretences, obtains money, &c., from a person who gives it bona fide (Cambridge, W. & D. 42).

On the other hand, a voter may unintentionally become the recipient of what was intended by the giver to be a bribe, e.g., where a person corruptly gives money to voters for loss of time in the Revising Barrister's Court, which the voters receive honestly and bona fide, because they believe they are entitled thereto. “ If,” said Lord Blackburn (Taunton, 10. & H. 184), “a voter honestly and bona fide comes forward in that way, I do not, as at present advised, think it would be bribery on his part within the meaning of 17 & 18 Vic. c. 102, s. 3 (1). It is a question of fact.”

The 49th section of the R. P. Acts, 1867 & 1868, which declares the corrupt payment of rates to be an act of bribery, and also the corresponding enactment as to the Scotch Universities (44 & 45 Vic. c. 40, s. 2), provide that “such person on whose behalf and with whose privity any such payment is made shall also be guilty of bribery, and punishable accordingly.”

The Ballot Act, 1872 (s. 25), provides for the striking off of votes, on a scrutiny in cases of bribery, treating, or undue influence (see, infra, p. 383).

The second clause is to be distinguished from the first in the following particulars :

(a) It is directed against “every person

who, &c., so that the passive recipient of a bribe, whether a man or woman,

C. P. Act, 1854, s. 3, s.-8. 2.

[ocr errors]


and whether possessing a claim to the

franchise or not, is equally punishable.
(6) The clause applies only to what may

happen after an election; and
. Then only to the receipt of money or

valuable consideration.

intention need be proved.

As to the meaning of valuable consideration, see notes supra, p. 73.

The mere taking of money by one who has voted after an election is evidence from which a jury would be justified in inferring a previous contract (R. v. Thwaites, 22 L. J. Q. B. 238; Harwich, 30. & H. 71, supra, p. 88).

This clause goes still further, and makes it No corrupt bribery merely to receive money or valuable consideration on account of a vote, the omission of the word "corruptly," which is used in the corresponding clauses about bribers, rendering it apparently unnecessary to establish any corrupt previous agreement. But where the bribe has taken the form of a “gift, loan, office, place, or employment," made after the election, a previous agreement must be proved, which then brings the offence under the first sub-section, otherwise it is no offence.

The bribe may be taken either directly or indirectly by the voter himself, or by any

by any other person on his behalf, but not, as in the clause above, “ for any other person.” At the same time, the transaction need not necessarily relate to his own vote, but is equally bribery, whether it affects the vote of

« PreviousContinue »