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CHRISTCHURCH EAST.

The political situation in Christchurch East is daily growing more interesting. Tho electors have the choice of four candidates —Mr T. H. Davey, who represented the constituency in the last Parliament, Mr C. Boxshall, who is standing in tho interests of the Opposition, Mr J. McCombs, who may best be described as a Radical Prohibitionist, and Mr F. R. Cooke, a LabourSocialist. A second ballot is a practical certainty, and wo <lo not think that either Mr McCombs or Mr Cooke will (figure in it. The doctrines of Socialism have few supporters in the oistrict—at the last election Mr Cooke polled only 91 votes—and there is no indication that tho electorate is now any more desirous of helping the revolutionary Socialists to gain their object. Partly for the same reason we think it is unlikely that Mr McCombs's first attempt to secure political honours will land him in the House. Ho is an extremist on the temperance question and in other matters, who has adopted most of the political fads of the day, and pours contempt on any idea that the country needs "legislative rest." The rate of progress is not half fast enough for Mr McCombs, who, if ho did get into;. Parliament, would apparently be constantly spurring on th© Government to fresh experimental legislation. Mr Davey seems to havo been prosecuting his candidature in very leisurrly fa-hion. His position as sitting member gives him a certain advantage, and such views as he holds are suflßciontly well known. They do not, indeed, differ in any marked' degree, except in regard to Bible-reading in schools, which Mr Davey favours, from those of dozens of other Government candidates. As a faithful supporter of the Government, Mr Davey is, of course, enabled to take politics easily—the ganio of follow-my-leader requires no mental exortion— but a good many electors in tho constituency think that something more is required of a member than unquestioning obedience to tho Government. No one wants a member to bo a mere talk-ing-machine, but a voting-machine is held in as little regard. There is plenty of good useful work to be done in Parliament by those who want to work. Mr Boxshall, the Opposition candidate for tho seat, has ployed an uphill game, an<J has playod it well. Ho has succeeded in compelling many electors who at first regarded l his candidature as a joko, to recognise that ho is in thorough earnest, and that proficiency on tho cricket field' is not incompatible with a good working knowledge of political matters. He has tho groat virtue of being plainspoken ; no one can accuse him of trying to catch votes by statements of his political beliefs. There is no suspicion of "wobbling" in his political attitude. At a time when so many candidates think that by trimming their sails now and then they can catch favouring puffs of wind from all quarters, it is pleasant to see a man sailing on a steady course. Of the soundness of Mr -Boxshall's opposition to the weakness and extravagance of the present Administration there has never been any doubt, and he deserves the support of all who think the Government need a strong Opposition to keep them in order.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19081113.2.22

Bibliographic details

CHRISTCHURCH EAST., Press, Volume LXIV, Issue 13272, 13 November 1908

Word Count
538

CHRISTCHURCH EAST. Press, Volume LXIV, Issue 13272, 13 November 1908

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