The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1890. POLITICAL LARRIKINISM.
From a telegram elsewhere it -will be seen that politiqal feeling has alreadycommenced to run high m the "windy capital of New Zealand. Not long since Mr Bell was hooted and howled clown at Wellington when addressing a political meeting, aad this episode was followed by a similar experience m the case of Mr Jellicoe. Mr Duthie, another candidate, has now been treated to the same discourtesy. This is a serious reflection upon Wellington residents, and points to the fact that, amongst the freo and independent voters m the Empire City, there is included rather more than the average number of senseless political larrikins, who attend meetings, not to hear the views of candidates, but to interrupt and annoy the speakers. At the last election, m Wellington and other centres, there was far too much of this thing permitted, the result of which must be, if not nipped m the bud, that no colonist with any self-respect will allow himself to be nominated for a seat iiv Parliament. It is therefore to be hoped that the police authorities, during tho present elections, will make a point of being present at al| political meetings, and keep an eye upon the ringleaders of political disturbances; and m cases where the circumstances war rail t it, arrest or prosecute the offenders. As the election progresses th«re is no doubt that the Wellington infection will spread to other parts of the colony, to the disgrace of themajori fey of el ectors and discomfiture of candidates of all shades of political opinion who are earnestly desirous of serving their adopted country. It is only by carefully listening to and digesting both sides of political' argument that electors can distinguish who is the best representative to advocate their views ; but if political meetings arc to be made a perfect pandemonium by senseless interruptions and ribald choruses, intelligent electors hadbttter remain at home, and read the candidates' views m the Press. Unfortu: nately the latter resource m the present day is not as good as it used to be, there being so much demand on the columns of a modern newspaper that a candidate's " platform " can only be briefly set out, with little or no argument brought forth m support of it. It is therefore imperative that electors who wish to vote for the most eligible candidate should attend the meetings and jurlge for themselves; and it is equally imperative that when doing so they should be protected from senseless annoyance. We trust that the respective chairmen of political meetings throughout the colony will rule with firmness and decision during the coming elections, and will not hesitate, to hand over to the custody of the police any disturbers of the peace. If this coui'so is followed, and the police do their duty, we have no i doubt that scenes like those now being enacted at Wellington will soon become a thing of the past, and that m consequence thereof, a suitable class of representatives will continue to come forward to represent the colony m the national assembly. But unless some strong steps are taken, we are much afraid that only those politicians with hides as thick as a rhinoceros will venture upon a platform to address the electors of some of the constituencies.