The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 1880.
Parliament appears to bo on the pro per path to civilization. Session after session in the past our worthy legislators have kept up their wordy battles far into the night, .and not infrequently till the hour hand had done a half round of tho clock since midnight. Seldom did the House adjourn before two o’clock in the morning, and in the extravagant special wire days, we had as often as not to cut the wordy stream of some orator of greater or less brilliance in the middle of his flow. All this is to be changed now, and like respectable men the chosen of the people have x-esolved to keep more decent hours than has been their wont. Mr. Macandrew, douce man, would rather have a month’s longer session than sit np to all hours of the morning, and seems to have conceived a new born horror of the “ Wee short ’oor ayont the twal,” and strenuously opposes a longer sitting than half-past twelve. The movement for shortening the hours of “labor” on the part of the House has been received gladly by the members, and henceforth business must be interrupted at 12.30 am. If the new order turns out to be as effective in causing less talk and more work as it can scarcely fail to be in reducing tho consumption of stimulants at Bellamy’s, some real good will be done. We know one class of men, at all events, who know what working in the night hours means, and who will gladly receive the news of the change—and that class is newspaper men. From P.D. to Ed., the whole tribe of newsmen have been guilty of—well, not of blessing the long, wordy sittings of the statesmen of the day.
The Representation Bill is promised by the Premier to be introduced next week, and there can be little doubt that it will contain a provision for giving Coleridge another member. In looking over a Parliamentary paper by us, we find that in no other electoral district where only one member is sent to Parliament is there an an adult population numbering, as that of Coleridge does, 3,500, and there are seven constituencies returning two members each that have a smaller number of male adults within their boundaries. Beginning with Auckland City West, we find, from the return before us, that in the 1879 election, 2,248 male adults resided within the Auckland City West boundaries, 2,390 names were on the roll (these are the official figures, and are no misprint), and 1,384 votes were recorded. Next in order comes Franklin, represented by Messrs. Hamlin and Harris, —male adult population, 2,209 ; on the roll, 1,957 ; votes recorded, 1,372. Then comes the Thames, represented by the redoubtable Sir Geoi’ge and his ally, Mr. Sheehan. It has 3,499 of a male population, and 4 446 (!) on the roll—but as there was no contest, of course no votes were recorded. Napier enjoys the sunshine of Messrs. Russel and Sutton’s representation. They are the mouthpieces of 2,387 male adults, of whom 1,971 are on the roll, of
which number 1,170 exercised the franchise. Wairarapa returned Messrs. Beetham and Bunny, and has a male adult 'population- of 2,561. with 1,820 on the roll, 1,105 of whom came to the booths last year to vote. Wanganui sent Messrs. Bryce and Ballance to Parliament. It has a male adult population of 2,045, with 1,408 on the roll, and 1,130 of these voted. Nelson is represented by two local lawyers—Messrs. Pitt and Adams—and has a male adult population of 1,340, with 1,091 are on the roll, and 802 of them found time and opportunity to vote. Hokit'ka sent Messrs. Reid and Seddon to Parliament, and after the Thames comes next to Coleridge in the number of men within its borders. It has 3,416 of a male adult population with 1,823 on its roll, of whom 1,723 voted. The smallest constituency in the colony is that of Nelson suburbs, which contains only 433, with a roll of 352. In view of the figures we have given above, we think Coleridge has an indisputable claim to a second member, for the return before us credits our district with 3,500 of a male population, and a roll of 1,297, which, but for the very wide area the district covers, and the difficulty that existed under the old Act in registering, might very easily have been doubled. We understand that increased representation will be given to us, but whether the district will be divided or simply another member added, we cannot of course say. Doubtless Government will see the wisdom of cutting the district into two, in preference to giving it another voice as it stands.