In the next four years as the great depression loomed and started to take effect the Progressive Party was seen as already "content with nothing" as the Conservatives would run with that in the next elections, since the Progressives were always a bit late to respond to events in the settlement. Actions taken during the second term of Craig Baxter included a jobs act which created 10 council homes and creating about fifty short term jobs during the four years. Unemployment fell to about 5% during 1927, but by the Cornwall Council elections, 1929 unemployment was 7.4%.
The reason elections were called a year early was because of the possible coup d'eat taken by Mayor of Cornwall, Craig Baxter. Council President Mark Madison died from a heart attack in 1927 and with a tie in seats on the Council, Craig Baxter claimed he could give himself two votes if he asserted himself as Council President and also run for the position. While his own backbench even lost support in him they passed strong regulations against corruption, the power of the Mayor, asserting that the Council President is a councilor with a vote but its primary function is as a speaker of the body, federal parties cannot run in local elections, a Mayor cannot also be Council President, and that when a Council President needs a by-election another Councilor will serve as interim President but then cannot run for Council President himself in the upcoming by-election. George Thomas, just 23 at the time, was elected as the first ever black councilor and Council President, with 52% of the vote for the Progressives, also showing the long time progressive social nature of the settlement. The actions taken showed that Craig Baxter, while being a slightly popular Mayor had lost support from his own Party and an election called a year early.
District ElectionsEditDistrict elections stayed in the same hands as the elections showed in 1920. The Cornish Progressive Party were able to keep the same percentage, by increasing the vote in safe districts in the North, while they were also able to challenge the Conservatives in their safe district as they challenged them in theirs. The Moderate Party struggled again even while running a full slate of candidates and couldn't get a single District councilor elected, they did increase the percentage of votes for Moderate candidates by three percent.
|Cornish Progressive Party||106||49%||3|
In the prior election it was only a two way race for the seat, with Councilor Scawen winning with 64% of the vote. Now the Moderate Party was running a full list of candidates and attacked Scawen's vote on creating a property tax which might hurt the more wealthier residents. Still Scawen was able to win 61% of the vote, with the Conservatives just finishing in second place.
With Craig Baxter being a charismatic and strong leader in his home district with dockworkers and those in the Cornwall Town Square he had an easy time winning this seat again. It was actually reported that many voters on election day thought he was running unopposed because not a single piece of election material was made or advertised for the other two parties in the District. Baxter won with an improved percentage of 60%.
The District Southwest was more difficult for Conservatives than normal. All three major Party candidates were related to former or current candidates and councilors. Thomas Ross retired after one term as a councilor and the Conservatives selected Jamie Wintz the father to former candidates Cameron and Gregory Wintz, who both loss. Frank Baxter the brother to current Mayor Craig Baxter and then Moderate Party candidate Chirs Reginald who ran last time and is brother to Ben Reginald. The only independent candidate of the time, Joe Harris ran a platform of anti-nepotism and anti-corruption. The Conservative District did go for candidate Jamie Wintz.
George Oswald again ran in the small southwest district gaining support from the workers in the the north of the district, this time a bit harder with Conservative candidate Jamie Roche winning 44% of the vote.
Incumbent Mark Madison was popular in his first term being a "man of the people" rejecting about 5% of his pay, which was already below average, to help the Council pass their first two budgets. In addition, with his heart problems, still managed to meet everyone in the settlement, which had grown, three times. No other candidate was able to. On Parliamentary issues he showed that during his first term, he was forceful in adopting the bylaws and procedure, which mostly is still used today, in a Westminster style code with an emphasis on the fast process of a bill in the council called the "Madison System" (Going from First Reading to Committee to Second Reading to Committee to Final Passage). While support for proportional representation was going for Conservatives, Madison was able to increase his percentage to over 65%.
The Conservatives had thought of running a joint candidate with the Moderates to defeat Madison, but talks fell through. The Conservatives ran candidate Ryan Buck who was accused of buggery, during the campaign, with his a prostitute, since the town had not enacted any laws against the sexual practices of people it was seen as more of a personal scandal. The Moderate Party ran low profile candidate Wallace McAdams.
The Progressives weren't able to translate the support from Mark Madison and district elections into support for proportional representation. The Conservatives excelled in this area with support from Party leader and first candidate on the list Barry Winters. He was able to switch a seat over from the Progressives to the Conservatives by winning 49% of the vote
By gaining a seat the Conservatives won five of the ten seats, the Progressives with four, and the Moderate Party gaining their only representation with one seat.
|Cornish Progressive Party||86||40%||4|
Council President by-election 1927Edit
Mark Madison had a heart attack in 1927 which led to a power struggle in the Council and some odd actions taken by mayor Craig Baxter. The coup d'eat that occurred led to many new laws to be passed for fairer elections and to crack down on corruption. The election was a first for two reasons, being the first ever by-election and first black candidate to run, being George Thomas. In a quick three week campaign George Thomas was able to become the youngest councilor at that point and until 2000, and first black councilor.