THE RECENT ELECTION.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—When one considers the various combinations which were working against the _ Reform candidates at this election, it is really surprising that they have I dono as well as they have. ! For instance, let us take the Punedin Central seat and see what Mr Statham (Government) was up against. First of all, owing to the Liberal and Labor alliance. bo bad the combined forces of these two particular parties against him. Secondly, owing to his adherence to tho throe-fifths majority on the Licensing question, ho had the bulk of the Prohibition vote cast against him. Thirdly, owing to his opponent's declaration that lie would support Sir Joseph Ward on a no-confidence motion, Mr Statham had tiie block vote of a certain influential body cast against him. Fourthly, owing to his opposition to the Riblo-in-Schools Referendum Bill, Mr Statham's candidature was strongly opposed bv the ISible-in-Schools League. Fifthly." strange as it. .may seem. Mr Statham. although standing strongly for the three-fifths .majority on the Licensing question, while his opponent was for the bare majority, is supposed to have had tho votes of the "•trade" cast largely against him.
. In _ tins, relation the folly of the Prohibitionists lies in not' recognising' that their cause would be iiifinitc-lv better off with a three-fifths man for Dimedin Central and a Massey Government in power than with a bare majority man for Central with a. Liberal Government in power. In Christt-hurch North exactly the same factors were in operation, and Mr Isitt (No-license advocate) was returned with a large majority, the "trade" there supporting his candidature because he is now barking tho Liberal party. If the action of tho Prohibitionists in"such cases as those of Dunedin Central and Christ church North means the defeat of the Government and tho substitution of a Liberal one, it will be good-bvo. to any fresh licensing legislation for a* long time to eorne.
As an alternative to a change of Government or a dissolution .Air Massey may offer, temporarily at least, a portfolio to a member of the Opposition. Jf he does Mr Myers, the one strong man in the Mackenzie Government, will in all probability be chosen. Thus the Prohibitionists who helped to defeat the Government member for Central will have again been the moans of Mr Mvcrs (a brewer) being included in the Cabinet, so that a reduction in the three-fifths majoritv would again seem to be very far off. However, the Prohibitionists have onlv themselves to blame for the present state of affairs. If such well known No-license advocates as Mr Bedford (Dm-.cdin). Mr Isitt (Ohristchuivh), and Mr Poole (Auckland) had taken their stand on the side of the Reform party, instead of on tho other side, the Government would have gone hack with a good working majoritv, and a reduction of the 60 per cent, handicap on the Licensing question would have been an accomplished fact before another .session of Parliament had ended. T am a Prohibitionist, and have always voted Prohibition: but now that leaders of tho Prohibition movement are allying themselves with the Ward party 1 am getting a bit distrusted with the whole business. If a stable Government "-•'.ii be formed by the inclusion of MiMyers in tho Cabinet I will welcome the fact whether it be to tho detriment of the Prohibition cause or not.—l am, etc.. Common Sense.December 12.
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THE RECENT ELECTION., Evening Star, Issue 15675, 14 December 1914