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END OF THE DEADLOCK., Issue 7977, 5 August 1889
END OF THE DEADLOCK.
At last the Parliamentary deadlock ig over, and it is well that it is so. Some of our contemporaries—notoriously those of Wellington—have been interlarding their leaders on the situation with strong adjectives. Tbey have described the contest as "disgraceful," and declared that it was a blow at Constitutional Government. They did not reflect that the delay was caused by the very natural and proper action of the town members in insisting on a fairer share of representation than the Bill, as introduced by the Government, proposed to accord to their" constituents. There is nothing disgraceful in that; and it seems exceedingly strange that in Wellington, above all places, the local Presa should object to the action of the town members. As to the country members?, they simply maintained a passive resistance to the demands of the town members ; and it was also their duty to do so in a struggle for what they conceived to be justice. Neither party can be blamed for holding out to the last. We pass by all such absurdities as are conveyed in the phrases " tyrannical majority " and " tyrannical minority." The one is as easy of utterance as the other, and perhaps more so. The truth is that had the territorial instead of the population basis been adopted, there need not have been any difference made between the town and country electors. As the question has gone past, it is not now worth while to dwell npon it, but this much may be said : in some of the inland electoral districts there are more adult males—that is, electors —than in any city district. The compromise arrived at appears to be fair enough. Twenty-eight per cent, added to the country districts is not too large a proportion when the area to be travelled over is considered. The large towns are now placed on a proper footing, and the amalgamation of the city electorates 13 certainly a much-needed reform. If the country districts were also judiciously amalgamated it would mark an advance. The thins; seems so easy of accomplishment, the number of members having been reduced by one-fourth, that the difficulty and expense of constituting new districts might be avoided by converting every four of the present electoral districts into one returning three members each. By this means there would be laid down a basis for full and fair local government; because, assuming the boundaries of each electoral district to be the boundaries of each local government district, there would be a homogeneous system evolved, to which large powers and privileges could be granted without danger. Thus the congestion of public business, from which Parliament and the country now suffer, would be remedied. Literally there should not be any work connected with roads and bridges in Parliament. Representatives are sent there to legislate, not to practice log-rolling or " gerrymandering" ; and the sooner larger powers are granted to the local bodies, with much enlarged jurisdiction, the better will it be for the community at largo and for the Parliament in particular. One moreword must be said. During the continuance of this wearisome and protracted debate, so far as we know, there has not been any unseemly language used, nor any coarse wrangling indulged in. We may well take heart of grace from this, and be thankful that, however strong the feeling of resistance may be to any proposed measure, the New Zealand Parliament consists of members who know how to behave as gentlemen, even in the heat of the bitterest debate.
END OF THE DEADLOCK., Issue 7977, 5 August 1889
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