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Wakamii is one of those constituencies which Canterbury owes to the present Government. In obtaining it they-sacrificed the friendship and support of the Nelson members, who had always been staunch allies of Mr Hall. But justice demanded the re-distribution of seats, and Nelson had to go to the wall. Wakanui is a gainer by Nelson’s loss. At the outset four candidates we.-e suppliants for the favor of Wakanui. But one gentleman, after performing, in his eventful electoral career, many strange parts, whispered, but not published, withdrew in favor of Mr Ivess. Mr O’Reilly was only acting in the humble capacity of warming pan for Mr Ivess. Of the candi-

dates, Mr Purnell is not unknown in Christchurch ; but he must have taken tremendous strides if he has qualified himself to fill, with anything like efficiency, a seat in Parliament. Mr Ivess is somewhat more widely known to fame. It has been his aim, hitherto, to improve the shining hours of life in the establishment of newspapers in various parts of the colony. We have many fathers in New Zealand —the father of Canterbury, the father of Otago, and Mr Montgomery, who is usually known as the Heavy father. We think Mi Ivess may be added to this paternal list, and go down to posterity as the father of newspapers in New Zealand. Apparently he has not found them a lucrative undertaking, for he is anxious to make a “ grab ” at the honorarium ; yet, if he has not found newspaper proprietorship profitable he has found it powerful. For in his address at a late noisy meeting hethieatened his hearers with “putting their names ” in his-paper: —And-he owes his present candidature to the fact that he is , proprietor, or part proprietor, and editor, or part editor to the Ashburton Mail. Mr Wason, the remaining candidate, is an old friend. ’ He' has been in the House before, and when there did good service as the Liberal member for Coleridge. He is a traditional Liberal, his father having been a member in the English Parliament of the Liberal interest. Mr Wason said, in his address to the electors of Wakanui :—“ I am a Liberal in politics, always have been, and h®pe always to remain so ; but I am not a Communist, and I entirely deny the right of Sir George Grey and his Communistic followers to arrogate to their faction the time-honored title of Liberal, a piece of impertinence which I trust you will resent on the day of the poll.” It is true that in these days, and in Christ-, church, it is sought to apply a new test to a man’s political principles : —The new test is—will he follow “ bogie Grey does he take the Lyttelton Times 1 Unless a man will swear by “ bogie Grey and the Lyttelton v Times,” it matters not that he has always held Liberal opinions ; that he has sucked them in with his mother’s milk; that he is even republican in sentiment; he is not Liberal. We trust, indeed, that the electors will resent this “ piece of impertinence ” on the day of the poll. In his speech Mr Wason addresses himself in a powerful and convincing way to disperse some of the many fallacies that have been interspersed in the speeches of a good many of the candidates for popular favor. The most telling part of his address is that which deals with Mr Sealey’s pamphlet. Here he appeals to the farmer’s practical sense, and does not appeal in vain. Mr Sealey is a man of figures. Like the leather merchant who would fortify the threatened city with leather, Mr Sealey would dispose of all political questions by a division sum. He appears to forget that there are other sciences than that of figures, the science of physical geography for example. Nature has an important part to play in all questions of political economy; and, as Mr Wason says, “ Let nature swing ;” let there be freetrade in land. “ Remove all restrictions from the sale of land ; prevent it being tied up by wills and settlements.” Let everyone—“the farming man who has his eye on the servant girl,” , and every industrious man be able fairly to acquire a holding. This is sufficient ; the country will surely prosper. For a specimen of good, plain, common-sense reasoning we cannot do better than commend Mr Wason’s address to our readers, and we are much mistaken if the farmers of Wakanui do not show their appreciation by placing Mr Wason at the head of the poll on Friday next.

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Bibliographic details

THE WAKANUI ELECTORATE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881

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THE WAKANUI ELECTORATE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881

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