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The Government cannot/ 'fee said to have either indicated m the Governor's speech, or to have since introduced anything m tUo nature of a policy Bill. Veiy few measures were indeed enumerated m the Speech from the Throne, and of such as were mentioned only four can be regarded as of any great, importance. These four are the Registration of Electors Bill, the Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Bill, the Civil Service Bill, and the Bankruptcy Bill. The first of the quartette has made its appearance, has been debated, and has already received its quietus. Not that some improvements m the law f elatiiig to registration are not required—indeed it is admitted that some legislation on the subject is necessary—but the Government have blundered again; as they blundered last session, by submitttng unwieldy and revolutionary proposals, instead of contenting themselres with an l endeavour to amend the existing law. The Bill npw 1 before the House might very fitly have been intituled " A Bill to IJisfranchise the Electors of New Zealand/ for it proposes to annihilate the existing rolls, without giving sufficient opportunity for the formation of new ones. Had it b^en passed .as printed, then at the next election fully three-fourths of the electors m some districts, or rather three-fourths ;of the persons qualified to be electors, would have, found themselves incapable of voting ; because no vote could be received other than those tendered by the holders of {lectors' rights. It was shown conclusively m the course of the debate thajtno system of electors' rights can be brought into operation successfully uutU ample time has been allowed to the public to make themselves acquainted with the "change m the law; and the Government, admitting this, thereupon proposed tha.^ the operation of', the Bijl- should c suspended until after, the- next eneral election. , That at 'onde, of course, raised the question "-Why then proceed with the Bill at all ? r^FHy not leave the master to the ,new, House V There is uo possible xepfy to that query, other than that of dropping the Bill; and that is practically what has been done;, for we predict that nothing more will be heard of it this session. It would have been rejected on the second reading but for this understanding, and thus the first of the four ' principal Biljs of the Gbyarjunent has gone the way that nearly'ail important Government measures have .gone since the present Ministry, took (office. Probably a new Bill, of a dozen clauses or so, providing for a seamen's franchise and amending defects m ;the existing law, will be submitted and passed, and that we fancy is a pretty fair indication of what is likfcly to happen m connection with the otner large measures which form' part of the Government's legislative programme.' ' ■ r-

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Bibliographic details

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2455, 1 July 1890

Word Count

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2455, 1 July 1890