. The N.Z. Times says:—The country has now practically got its Second Ballot Bill with, gag attachments. For the first time in history a Liberal Administration has fathered a measure providing a close season for Parliamentary candidates, and making a speech from fche hustings a penal offence. The tenacity with which the Government has chmg to the proposal in the face ofofehe determined hostility of a united press shows how greatly attached politicians are to the measure. The Legislature has deliberately gone out of its way to subvert a fundamental democratic principle; it has sacrificed popular rights to political exigencies; it has embodied in a Bill calculated to ensure more effective representation a clause which strikes at the root base of popular control. Upon its own head be the consequences. There are not wanting signs of a quick-shod-Nemesis. When a responsible journal like the Lyttelton Times declares its contemptuous defiance of, and its determination to resist the application of the gag, it is a potent sign of coming trouble, because what this unswerving exponent of Liberalism feels constrained to fight will be opposed to the bitter end by every powerful and self-respecting newspaper from one end of the Dominion to the other. The thanks of the democracy are due to the Members of both Houses who by advocacy and vote resisted the pernicious innovation of making free speech criminal in a British community.
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