Charles Pingle - Political Career

Political Career

From 1910 to 1912, Pingle sat as an alderman on the Medicine Hat City Council, involving himself in the Police Committee and Electric Committee.

Pingle ran for a seat to the Alberta Legislature in the 1913 Alberta general election as a candidate under the Liberal banner. He won a hotly contested two way race to pick up the new Redcliff electoral district for his party. Prior to the election, Pingle served as president and vice president in the Medicine Hat Liberal Association. From 1918 to 1919, he chaired the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous and Private Bills in the Fourth Legislature.

He was returned to office by acclamation under Section 38 of the Election Act in the 1917 Alberta general election for MLA's who participated in active service in the war.

In 1920, following the death of incumbent Speaker Charles W. Fisher, Pingle was nominated by Premier Charles Stewart and Attorney-General John R. Boyle to become Speaker of the Alberta Legislature. He took up the position on February 17 of the same year.

One of the first issues he dealt with was one involving MLA for Beaver River Wilfrid Gariepy. The fact that Gariepy, who did not reside in Alberta, appeared not to be eligible to sit in the house, in accordance with the Legislative Assembly of Alberta Act and Alberta Election Act, was raised. Although the mention was revoked, Pingle later ruled that it was not his duty to decide on the status of Gariepy, and it was only his duty to recognize every elected member of the house who had been administered the oath of office.

He ran for re-election to his third term in office in the 1921 Alberta general election but, contrary to many reports, was defeated in a hotly contested two way race by United Farmers candidate William C. Smith. He was the first Speaker in Alberta to be defeated.

Pingle attempted a political come back by running as a candidate in the Medicine Hat electoral district in a by-election held on September 29, 1925, following the death of incumbent William Johnston. The election was hotly contested with Pingle winning on the second choice preferences of the new Alternate Vote system.

The 1926 Alberta general election was called less than a year later forcing Pingle to run for his fourth term in office. He won the three way race in ballot transfers once again. In the following year, he was appointed to the Legislature's Special Committee on the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceedings.

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