The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY JULY 2, 1889. LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL REFORM.
This is another matter which has been called for by the g?neral voioe, but whether the Government Bill will meet the approval of either the House of Representatives or the Council itself, to say nothing of tbe community, is open to doubt. The Bill proposes, it is stated, that present members of the Council are to remain members, bat the powers of appointment by tbe Governor are to cease, and members are henceforth to be elected as now provided. When the numerical strength of the Council shall fall to less than half that of the Lower House a vacancy will arise which shall be filled up, Ihe Speaker of the Council is to garette the vacancy, and notice is to be sent to every member of both Houses. If the vacancy occur m the recess the election is to take place the second Tuesday after Parliament meets. If it occur during a session the election is to be on the second Tuesday after the publication of the gazette notice. r lhe Clerk of Parliaments is to be the Returning Officer. Three members of the General Assembly may nominate a candidate to the clerk, who is to post up printed notices of tbe name about the Parliamentary Buildings, and notice is to placed on the Order Papers of both Houses. The election is to be by ballot m a room m the Parliamentary Buildings. Each member of either House will be entitled to vote. The polling is to take place between noon and 2 p.m. Ihe Clerk is then to open the papers, and the candidate having the votes of a majority of all the members of both Houses is to be declared elected. If no candidate obtain such an absolute majority a second poll is to be tnken a week after, and a third if necessary a week later, t but if then there be no election the Governor shall appoint a member within three months. If there should be more than one vacancy tb« elections may go on simultaneously but separately. Elections may be appealed against, first to tbe Supreme Court and then to the Privy Council. The Council is to choose it's Speaker from among its own members. There are always to be two Maori members of the Council. Each member will be elected for seven years but may resign his seat at any time. This seems to be the most practical of the long series of Government Bills dealing with electoral questions, and the mode of election appears fair m principal. In effect, however, members of the Legislative Council will continue to be practically nominees of the party m power, and the measure of reform now proposed will do little to improve the personnel of the Upper House.