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The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1890.


In our issue of Wednesday we had something to say anent the necessity for a better definition of the term " householder" in connection with j School Committee elections ; and now turn to that other blot upon our Education Act the Cumulative vote. This fad, for which the colony is indebted to " Count" Grace was foisted into Mr I Bowen's Bill in the Legislative Council in 1877, and for the past dozen years has been a source of general dissatisfaction throughout the colony. Seven successive, times in three' successive Parliaments the House of Representatives has repealed it, but all in vain, owing to the dogged insistence of the Legislative Council upon its retention. At an election in Dunedin a resolution was passed urging the removal of the attempt to do away with the objectionable system and now we see that at the other end of the colony also—in the city of Auckland there is a great outcry against it. The correspondent in that city of the " Otago Daily Times " says :—" There is indignation over the way in which the cumulative vote has been exercised at some of the school committee elections. The chairman of the City Schools' Committee, Mr Gorrie, who has served as such since the Education Act has been in force, and done splendid service, was thrown out, and a candidate placed at the head of the i poll whose "public" services have principally consisted in forwarding the interests of the Licensed "Victuallers' Association at licensing elections. The city householders were so indignant that a resolution was passed by a majority, in the ratio of 10 to 1, that the incoming committee communicate with the Government requesting them to take steps to repeal the cumulative clauses of the Education Act. At the election men were detected attempting to vote twice, and the chairman (Mr Speight) impounded a bunch of voting papers which one man was attempting to place in the box, not allowing them to be opened. Councillor Crowther, one of the candidates elected, said he had 22 employes entitled to vote, and all he had to do if he had liked was to bring them in and record 154 votes for himself. The whole thing, he said, was simply monstrous, and he declined to be a party to it. Matters were not much better in one of the suburb?. The ex-mayor (Mr Devore) and chairman of the Ponsonby School Committee for years past, was placed fifth on the list, the poll being headed by a candidate by 50 of a majority over his his fellows, who had got the benefit of the cumulative vote. There is a general feeling that those clauses of the Act originally intended to protect a minority are being grossly abused, and should be repealed." To this we may add that ths attempt to effect that repeal will certainly be renewed this session, and would advise, those who are anxious to see it successful to endeavor to convince members of the Legislative Council of the necessity for passing " The School Committees Election Bill," the chief provision of which is the repeal of the cumulative voting clause of the Act of 1877. The Bill is quite safe in the House of Representatives, because so many of tlie members themselves serve on School Committees that the evil operation of the objectionable system is well understood, but the case is quite different in the Upper House, for the precise opposite reason, viz., that very few Indeed have any practical personal experience of the working of the Education Act.

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Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1890., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2419, 2 May 1890

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The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1890. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2419, 2 May 1890

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