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TO Till; ICIHTOK. Sir, —" Square Deal/' in your issu? o£ the sth, says tho '.\lassey Government repealed the Second Lallot and reverted to tho present system because it was owing to the Seco'ud Ballot that they lost the two by-elections Grey and Lyttclton. If ho had only made .sure of his facts before rushing into print your correspondent would "have tound cut that Mr

M'Combs, the present member for Lyt telton, headed the poll in tho first ballot

in fact, his majority over tho Government candidate in the first ballot was over cOO,

whereas in the second ballot it was only

200. The Labor candidate, if he could , m only see it, hasn't the siune chance of . y& into Parliament und< , r the Second iV% Ballot as he has under the present system, j |ft He has been running away with." the idea | W that in a contest between threo candi- ! |f dates representing Government, Waivlist, ' &* and Labor tho votes are piina; t<> be ; te split by the two latter candidates, thus li enabling the Government candiilate i j ||] win. What has led the Labor party lo m come to this conclusion j don't Uno-v, g§ unless it be that tho Leader of tho Oppo- |jj

sition has cast, a spell over them in the ES meantime. Why, the Second Ballot wa.s R purposely introduced by the Liberal party g to keep out tho Labor candidate. It kept out Labor nil right, but it let Mr Masscy in, «ukl now M r Massey is being condemned for repealing the Act that benefited himwlf and did not benefit Labor at all. To return to the Lyttelton by-election. tho figures of the first ballot chow that it was between the Reform candidate and tho Liberal candidate that the vote-split-ting occurred, thus giving the Labor candidate the beet chance of .success. Tho same thing happened last election in the contest for the Wanganui feat, Mr Veitch (the Labor candidate) heading the poll at the first -ballot through tho pplittinp of the vote-s between tho Liberals and tho Reformers. Now take. Duncdin South, whera there, was no Ma3sey candidate last election. Mr MacManus (Labor) was only

defeated by obout 700 votes. Dec* it not look as if this seat would have been a certainty for Labor if there had • also been n Reform candidate in the field, who would have assuredly got a huge number of the votes east for the present member (Mr Sidcy) ? This time, owing to the absurd compromise between the Labor party and the Liberals, Dunedin South is oeiiiK uncontested by Labor, when, ae I have already* painted out, they would stand a good chance of winning the seat. La>bor. if it had been wise, would have contested every seat possible. Whether it was held by the Reform party or the Liberals should not have made any dif-

feronce. Labor stands to gain nothing by helping to put the Ward party back into power. It will, on tho contrary, spoil its own rhiinco of capturing tho reins of power next election. In the three byelections—at Egmont, Grey, and Lyttel l ton—Labor captured two seats and Reform one at tho expense of tho Liberals. If Lafoor had not allowed itself to 1m made the cat's-paw of the Liberal party this election it might have, captured many more- seats from the Liberals. The re-

sult then would have been the dropping out of the Liberals altogether, and their absorption in either tho ranks of Labor or of the present Government. The issue next election would thus have been oolely between the Massey party and the Labor party, -without any disturbing Liberal element. Howover, tho offidarLabor party .' have seen fit to again pander to Sir Joseph j Ward, and have even recommended the ■ electors in certain constituencies to vote ! for Liberals in preference to Labor can- ; didates. This, I think, is especially un- ! kind in the case of the Chalmers electorate, where a respectable yonng man in the person of Mr G. >S. Thomson is standing in the interests of Labor. His view* on the Prohibition question coincide with those of official L*bor, and he is, I contend, th» candidate most entitled to the votea of the workers.—l am, etc.. ■ Searchlight. ; December 5.

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LABOR AND THE COMING ELECTION., Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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LABOR AND THE COMING ELECTION. Issue 15669, 7 December 1914

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