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Christchurch, NZ Truth, Issue 725, 10 May 1919
- TH ACKER'S TRIUMPH. The "Doc" Distances Dougall. (From "Truth's" Christchurch Rep.) Never m the history of .Christchurch has the Mayoral election caused such interest as that of last week, not that the polling was (heavy — as a matter of fact it fell short of previous occa- . sions— but • because of the attitude of the day-lie press towards two of the three candidates. • There were three starters, Messrs. J. J. Dougall, of the "costs i and horsehair" fraternity; Dr. Thacker, M.P,, a Port Christchurch advocate, and J. McCombs, M.P. All three are well-known and required no introduction to the people of Christchurch, and it was quite unnecessary for the penny press to go stark staring mad as it did do, and while hysterically appealing to the electors to support Mr. Dougall, write venomous articles about his two opponents. There is no doubt the penny, press, and the Citizens' Association, and even bur late Mayor, Mr. H. Holland, were not prepared m the least for the unexpected, for m the field of three they looked upon Mr. Dougall as a Gloaming. . But the favorite very often gets beaten, and so it was last week when the "doc" distanced Dougall after anything but a fair fight on the part of the opposition press. Nothing that could be done by the day-lies to belittle Thacker or McCombs was left unsaid or undone, and at times the leader-writers must have been hard put;. to it to find something to say derogatory to the candidates mentioned. But, and a big "but," it is becoming more apparent that whatever influence the penny plutq press ever possessed 'has dwindled away, when- it comes to an endeavor to influence the people m matters municipal.. Never was this so demonstrated as last week, because never did the sup-press more -strongly denounce anyone than it did Messrs. Thacker and McCombs. A stranger (reading, their putrid piffle must have thought that such persons as Thacker and McCombs SHOULD BE , DEPORTED. Just to give some notion of the t ideas of the writers, ','Truta" will re.prlnt the following passages taken from the articles. . Thus the "Sun". i ' ■• From the point of view of actual qualifications, Mr. J. J. Dougall should be- an easy winner tomorrow. Unfortunately, mainly because Christchurch is Christchurch — , it is' not necessary to go further into i details of explanation — there is a danger of misfits like Dr. Thacker, Mj?., and , Mn J. McCombs, M.P., splitting the votes sufficiently to manoeuvre a majority. It Is generally true that m national or civic politics the people get the representation they deserve. Are citizens, then, going to order things so to-morrow that the day after they will, be 'the 1 laughing-stock of the v rest of the . Dominion? His [Dr. Thacker] .Jovial, and reckless ( irresponsibility is proverbial. He knows little or nothing about municipal • enterprise.* . •'. . ; They [the electors] will vote — and ' vote, right." Which is to say, that they will, not be misled by windy eloquence about ■ matters unconnected with the city's affairs into bestowing their confidence on unworthy and ill-equipped propagandists. .' Thus the The Mayoral contest Ib* not one, between two* competent and presentable rivals. It differs from ordinary Mayoral contests 'in the fact that : the only really representative citizen seeking election is opposed, by two politicians so extraordinarily unsuitable that if they had !the opportunity, an overwhelming majority of the citissens would eagerly reject either of them. . . . As for Dr. Thacker, we are iinable to comprehend the men"tality of those who may be called ■ Thackerites, but there are many wortKy citizens who will support him on. one ground, or another. We ' put it to these people that they can further no useful interest by vot^ig for him; But the best of thebunch is the "Star." On the eye of the election, m emphasising the "overwhelming claims" of Mr. Dougall, the "Star" referring to Messrs. Thacker and Mr. McCombs said: . The election of either of these aspirants to the .Mayoral chair would inevitably involve the shocking neglect of the city's business. If we are reminded that the late Mr. T. E. Taylor was M.P. and Mayor, we can reply that the work belonging to the ! Mayoralty, has grown very considerably' since then, arid that, at any : rate, and most unfortunately, 'MR TAYLOR DIED UNDER THE ■ ■ ■ • " :" """strain."- 1 7 "'■'■•' v< If the work of 'the -Mayoralty, when not nearly 'sp great as at present killed Mr. Taylor, then "Doc" Thacker had better beginr'tp say good-bye to > his friends at once. 'If the "Star" is cor- . rect, then it >looks \re/y much as though he was elected by Ills enemies. i The writers of the above selections expected ; Mr. Dougall to do : as Gloami ing does and spreadeagle, the field. But they did not count upon "The ■. Tet- ■ rarch " aiias ■ "Doc" Thacker, and to their surprise 'and chagrin home The Tetraroh rolled nn easy winner. As i one paper remarked, "for , once' the ■ whole of tin? penny papers saw eye-tn-ev'c were m ' accord," and .for once ' they wei-p bsi^lly beftteh.' Tiie stim total of the position \h Mint the . ncople preferred the "Doc;" , they would .not '•bo lSludceoheii or coerced into voting i '"foi'Dou'saU, Respite the waillffßS'-'and ■ nieadihi? of the press; : And the nuos- . Son arises: Why should not Dr. Thac-
ker be every bit as capable to fill, the Mayoral chair as either Mr. Dougall, or for that matter Mr. Holland; Is it such a difficult role to assume and are the duties such that only a Presi- , dent Wilson or Lloyd George could successfully manage them. "Truth" does not think so, and has every confidence m the choice of the citizens, and, indeed, this journal will be greatly surprised if the Cathedral City suffers at all by the election of Dr. Thacker. May be it will benefit. Any way, "Truth" congratulates the doctor on his success, gained , despite the strongest possible opposition.
Christchurch, NZ Truth, Issue 725, 10 May 1919
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