The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1890. THE APPROACHING ELECTIONS.
A seat m a New Zealand Parliament is a coveted honour to .which many aspire. The debates and conduct of business m the representative chamber m past years has made a seat m the House a laudable ambition, and, as a consequence, the class of men who come forward at each election arc men of whom any country may be proud. It is quite true- that a few of those who aspire to political fame are unfitted to discharge the important functions of legislators, but the great majority are men whose opinions are worthy of all respect, and whose motives are unimpeachable. The difficulty with the electors at each triennial contest is to decide between candidates of equal merit, whose political views are almost identical. Many candidates, while undoubtedly having the welfare of the country at heart, have not the public weal at heart so much that they will retire from the field, and thus permit the contest to lie between two candidates advocating distinctly opposite views. Liberal candidates are especially at fault m this particular, and a time-honored practice of the Conservative party is to split up the Liberal ranks by urging as many candidates as possible forwarl m the opposing interest, and voting en masse themselves—thus securing the return of men pledged to their views, but who really do nob represent the interests of the majority of electors. History will no do ibt again repeat itself m this part'cular at the forthcoming elections ; m fact we already notice that m several constituencies this is the case. The Liber.il candidates, as a rule, lack combination and cohesion, and fight with each other, instead of sinking m lividuality and fighting for the coinm m jause. Telegrams daily arriving point to the conclusion that at the forthcoming general elections each constituency will be keenly contested by ol 1 and new aspirants for Parliamentary fame. Well-known public men, whose p >litic'al views are wide as the poles asunder, will be opposed to each other m tho several constituencies, and each will endeavor to persuade the electors that the particular party with which he intends to associate himself is the party whose policy alone will drive the colonyahead ; while another class—the political fledglings, on the oratorical stump for the first time—may be found modestly insinuating that the salvation of the colony entirely depends upon returning a new set of men to the House, and relegating older and more experienced men to the cool shades of enforced retirement. The supply of public men has always been m excels of the demand ;. but this fact, while it reflects the highest honour upon our' national assembly, is made use of by designing persons to serve their own ends, and who, by splitting the electors up into sections, return their own nominees to Parliament. We would especially warn the electors against permitting this to be done at the forthcoming contest. What is Avanted is that each party should select from amongst the candidates one whose views meet with the most approval, and support that one against all comers. If the colo iy is to continue to be governed on party lines, the sooner the lines are clearly denned the better ; if public men will not define these lines, it is to be, hoped the various political organisations everywhere springing into existence will do so, and that the electors will have something like a decided political issue submitted to them before the poll is declared m November.