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The Star. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1888.

Thb dboisivb hajobmv obtainbd bt Mjt ' Hulbert ia the Ohriitohuroh Majonl eleotion yesterday, ia an emphatic contradiction to the frequently-repeated assertion that " there was not a pin to ohoose " between the two candidates. The citizens, when their attention was drawn to the issues in thiß oonteet, and when they had weighed with sny degree of care the relative fitness of the candidates, had an unmis take able line of action, That line wao followed by a large majority. Ihe deoision would have boen more emphatic but for certain evils hitherto attendant upon our oivio elections, one of itbo most vioious of which is the system of securing early pledges of support. It so happens that in oonneotion with the election of yesterday, several instances of this pernioious praotice have oome under our notice. Subsequent to the giving of tbe pledges, the oitiz»ne referred to were foroed to the conclusion that their declaration in the polling booth must be oontraty to their riper judgment ; they felt bound, as honourable men, to fulfil their promise j thoy therefore voted for one oandidate, no doubt sincerely hoping the while that the other oandidate would be eleoted. These men must have experienoe a bodbo of relief on learning tbe result, whioh waa generally known lust night • and so lar as they are conoerned, the experienoe will not easily be forgotten. It is a thousand pities that all tho principles of the ballot are so systematically ignored in these eleotions. We> have " numorously signed n requisition* *. we have " influential" Committees j we have* hired conveyances, paid canvasisrs, paid lampooners— and all these features are utterly opposed to tbe spirit of tho ballot. But the worst feature of all— as we have before stated — is the touting for early promises, whioli are unguardedly given, aotually before it is kuown how many oandidates there will bs, and what mannor of men they are. No doubt many of those who voted for Councillor Ayers did so with the belief that he had the best olaim to the position ; some, perhaps, thought him the beat man. Bnoh voters, we nre satisfied, will aoquieace cheerfully in the deoision of the majority. They will not share in the feeling of resentment, whioh come weakminded men display wheu their opinions are put aside, but wHI aooord to tbe Mayor eleot that loyal good will whioh his predecessor* have enjoyed. Wo congratulate the citizens upon the re* suit, whioh we believe to be for the interest! ! of the City 5 and none the lean heartily da j we congratulate ex-Councillor Hulbert npoa his acquired distinction. In our issue of Baturday we stated, in the plainest possible terms, what hie faults as a member of the Oounoil appeared to have been, and we at the same time confidently predicated onr faith in his good qualities. These latter will, or we are grievously mistaken, be conspicuous' during his Mayoralty. Txfe Govbbnmbnt or Nbw Zbaland hasbeen oalled the Government by Oommisiion Whenever the publio begins to express more than "Ordinary disgust at the laittea fair*, laisset alter policy of the Govornment, that if, whenever itjbegins to take any interest in its own affairs, a Boyal Commission is sp* pointed to enquire inte the matter. This, of oourse, affords a capital excuse to the Government for doing nothing; a Commission baa been appointed and they must await ite report before ooming to any deoision. It by no means follows, however, that they will come to any deoision when it has reported. Of oourse, in seleoting the persons who oom* pose the Boyal Commiseion, it is neoessary to have safe men; it would nover do to haTe those awkward people who will get to the bottom of every question, and who have m disgusting habit of speaking out the plain truth. On the other hand the publio wonldnbt be satisfied without an appearance, at least, of a thorough inveitigation, and rigid impartiality, on the part of the Commissioners. The ohoioe of Commissioners beoomei, there* foro, an important matter ; and is somewhat limited, as the Government must put in iti own friends, unless it wants for a time to silence politioal opponents. It mnst put in men who can take a hint without the MNf»

■rjcss— r^ nsa— — bbb—s— ast—a—— ms— —bibbs tiftry of reoeiving formal instructions; they moit be shrewd men, and men of the weather* cock order, who know exaotly whioh way the wjnd blows, and gyrate easily and noiselessly •with it If the objeot is to white-wash a department, or an offioial against whom charges have been made, they mnst conduot the enquiry exactly as if it were a trial for a capital offenoe before a Judge and jury. Oonnsel must be allowed on eaoh side,. and no evidenoe must be admitted that would be •Minded by a Judge of the Supreme Court. The witnesses muat be cross-examined, and the oross-examining oonnsel is allowed to put questions tending to shake the witnoss 1 credibility. Direotlya witness begins to speak •bout something he has heard he is aeverely stopped, and informed that no hearsay evidence is admissible j if he ventures to say what he thought, he is abruptly informed that the Commissioners only want to hear what he knows ; if he is known to take a glass or two of beer or whisky during the day, he is asked in a jocosely friendly way how muoh of the intoxioating fluid he had imbibed beforehe witnessed theevent»,orheard the con•versation, about whioh he is giving evidence j if there is a shady point or a weak point in his previous career, it is carefully brought one, although it may have no more to do with ihe question nnder investigation, than it has with the transit of Venus, or the earthquakes in Java. A system like this, rigorously pursued with fche first two or three witnesses, immensely lightens the labours of the Commission by preventing witnesses from ooming forward. The publio are pus-sled, and very few have -suttioient aouteness to perceive that rules of evidence whioh have been devised to proteot an innooent person unjustly aoeused of orime, are inapplicable to investigations into the mismanagement or abuees of a publio department, or to negleot of duty by offioial", not •mounting to crime. In the one oaae it is thought better that ten guilty men should esoape than that one innooent man should •offer. In the other the objeot ought to be to ferret out all kinds of evidence bearing upon the snb] eot of enquiry, whioh the Com* missioners shonld make it their business to plaoe before the publio and the Government in snoh a way as to show its true value.

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Bibliographic details

The Star. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1888., Star, Issue 4862, 29 November 1883

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1,119

The Star. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1888. Star, Issue 4862, 29 November 1883

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