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Evening Post. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1888. THE LINCOLN ELECTION.

The Lincoln election seema to be exoiting comparatively little interest, even in Canterbury, and although there are one or two other candidates nominally in the field, it looks very much as if Mr. Saunders was practically going to have a walk-over. It will be a misfortune for Lincoln, for Canterbury, aud for the Colony if he does. Mr. Saundebs is by no means new to politics. He has had considerable experience of pnblio life, and the publio have had very extensive and most unsatisfactory experience of him. He is a narrow-minded, obstinate, soured, and disappointed politician. He has no following himself, and he will not condescend to follow anyone olso. He is a disturbing element in any possible political combination, full of strange fads, ntterly unsympathetic , rude, selfish, arrogant, and intolerant in all his publio relations. He is a politician whoso voice carries with it neither weight nor conviotion in the House, and whose vote can never be with any certainty calculated upon on any given subject. With Mr. Saunders as a private gentleman we have nothing whatever to do beyond saying that so far as are known his private virtues are not so great as to ontweigh his public defects. They would have to be enormous to do so. During the last 20 years we havo never known any member of tho House of Representatives so politically disliked and distrusted on all sides as was Mr. Saundekb when he occupied a seat in that Chamber. There was o. time when Canterbury used to send to Parliament a body of representatives who contrasted more than favourably with those of any other part of the colony. That time is no longer. At the last general election it returned a very mixed lot, of by no means high average whether in point of ability or experience. This average it Btill further reduced by the return of tho eccentric repreaantative chosen to succeed the late Mr. Pearson for Ashley. Mr. Verball's election to a legislative body oan only bo regarded as a kind of bad practical joke, but wo would, after all, prefer hia presence to that of Mr. Saunders, although, of course, there is not, mentally or in experience, any possibility of comparison between them. Mr. Saunders' presence in the House of Representatives, however, would be no joke, but a much regrettable reality. He would undoubtedly tend to still further ineroasb the party disintegration and confusion whioh was so unhappily apparent last session. I'hc farmers of Lincoln may like Mr. Saundeks beoauae ho preache├č to them of a great State Distillery which shall monopolise the manufacture of spirituous liquor in the colony, and ensure them a steady demand at a fictitious valne for all the barley they oan grow ; but the soheme is perfeotly impracticable, and can be ranked with Mr. Verball's pet fad of a State Bank of Issue. The electors of Lincoln are not in the least likely to derive any practical advantage from Mr. Saunders' advocacy of the distillery idea, but they may lose many things from being represented in the House by a kind of political Ishmael, a member whose hand is against every other man's, and every other man's hand against him. It is the greatest mistake which any Parliamentary electorate can make to return a representative on account of his view upon, or advocacy of, some proposal ontside of the range of practical politics, without regard to the possibilities of his general usefulness or his qualifications for taking an influential position in regard to the ordinary business of Parliament. We trust the electors of Lincoln will refrain from making suoh a mistake by eleoting Mr. Saundkbs. Genial John Ollivier, who is, we believe, one of the other candidates for their sweet voices, would prove a far more useful representative, for while Mr. Saundekb would oertainly ait as in a hostile camp Burrounded by enemies on ail sides and bereft of friend?, Mr. Ollivier would as certainly have all friends and no enemies around him under whatever particular political banner he might eleot nominally to serve. It ia much to be regretted, however, that a constituency such ac Lincoln does not eagerly Beize the opportunity afforded by a vaoanoy in its repreaentation to do what ia within ita power to raise the tone and capacity of the House by returning to it a man of Mr. Rolleston'B stamp, for instance. It is not creditable to Canterbury constituencies that Mr. Rolleston haa been so long left without the seat in the Legislature, of which the crass stupidity of tho Rangitata electors deprived him when they preferred Mr. Buxton as a representative. We havo very seldom found ourselves in political accord with Mr. Rolleston, but party differences cannot make us blind to the fact that his absence is a deoided loss to Parliament, and that his presence there would be decidedly beneficial to the interests of the colony. No doubt he would willingly have plaoed his services at the disposal of either Ashley or Lincoln had a general desire been expressed to take advantage of them, but he might, after being defeated by a Bdxton, well decline to risk the possibility of further humiliation by seemg 1 a Verrall or a Saunders preferred before him.

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Bibliographic details

Evening Post. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1888. THE LINCOLN ELECTION., Evening Post, Volume XXXVI, Issue 139, 11 December 1888

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885

Evening Post. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1888. THE LINCOLN ELECTION. Evening Post, Volume XXXVI, Issue 139, 11 December 1888

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