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» The perusal of the Registration of Electors Bill, and of the Corrupt Practices Bill, now under the consideration of the House, ehowß very clearly that notwithstanding the supposed liberal proclivities of some of the memberß of the Cabinet, a spirit of rank Toryism dominates the Government collectively. Instead of the sweeping away of the property qualification, and with it the possibility of plural voting, as was proposed last session, the new Registration Bill, while repealing the greater part of all previous legislation on the same subject, at the same time confirms or re-enacts the property qualification. In a word, instead of the one-man-one-vote principle the proposed measure gives manhood with residence one vote, and property as many votes as the propertied class is able to acquire. In point of tact the only new features of the Bill are the proposals relating to the issue of electoral rights, which are copied from the Victorian Act. We have no objection to the electoral right system — indeed, on the contrary, we see many advantages which will follow from its adoption — but we dissent altogether from the proposal to exact a fee from every applioant for registration. The sum is a very small one, it is true, but we dislike the thing on principle, and are further of opinion that it will play into the hands of those candidates who are willing to bear the expense of getting electors registered. This provision will, we feel sure, be rejected, and we hope that the Howe will also decide that there shall be only one qualification, that of manhood, with residence. There is also an objectionable provision m the Corrupt Practices Bill (Section 18) the effect of which would be that a candidate with wealthy friends could have as many carriages lent to him as they pleased, to convey electors to the poll, while an expressman or cab pro prietor who was willing to lend a licensed vehicl? apon polling day to a poor candidate without fee or reward, would be debarred from voting. Both Bills require to be very closely watched , and we have no doubt they will be, for as at present framed they are clearly of most pronouncedly conservative character.

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Bibliographic details

GOVERNMENTAL TORYISM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2162, 2 July 1889

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GOVERNMENTAL TORYISM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2162, 2 July 1889