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If tie election for the vacant Ciiristchurch seat were confined to a contest between Mr G. J. Smith and Mr A. H. Tiunbull, the electors would have some difficulty ■in. making a selection. Both candidates axe Liberals, • and they hold very similar views with regard to the political questions of the day. Mr Smith's past record in the House of Representatives is sufficient evidence that he is what he ' claims to^be, an Independent Liberal, who pledges only a general support to the present Government ; and (Mr Turnbull, in the ) address which he delivered at Waltham i yesterday .evening, made it clear that he '■ was a Liberal who would remain loyal to the present Government only so long as its policy is sound and progressive and its administration economical and pure. On questions of policy the views of the two candidates differ Very slightly. Both* are prepared to support progressive measures, i and both are inclined to condemn the Go- j vernment for having delayed certain mea- • sums which' ought to have been passed ■ some years ago. Both, it will bs noticed ' from turning to the report of th« speech which Mr Smith delivered eb Richmond , yesterday evening ar.d comparing it with i Mr T-u-rnbull's Waltham address, speak in ' flattering terms of the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act. Mr Smith claimed to have given the Act a hearty support, and Mn Turnbull asserted that ihe measure redounded greatly to the credit of the Government. These utterances in themselves are a valuable testimony to the utility of the Act, and the fact that Mr Smith is am j employer of labour and Mr Turnbuil has * sat on the Conciliation Board, lends additional value to their opinions. On matters affecting the administration of the ' present Government there is more room for a difference of opinion, and' here we do not find the candidates always in accord. At tlie same time, their views on veiy many matters "are by no means dissimilar, while .thsy differ materially on very few. The one point on which the two disagree mere widely than on any other is licensing legislation. Mr Smith, although not quite so pronounced in his opinions as Mr T. E. Taylor and othor members of the Prohibition party, is, nevertheless, a . prohißitionist, and he holds strong views regarding the right of full control of the liquor 'traffic byVthe people. Mr Turnbull favours tern- ; perance, but is convinced that "-temperance a-nd prohibition are as wide apart) as the poles." Moreover, to fiu-tliar quote his remarks last night, he would have no objection to the time between the local option polls being extended* -to six or even nine years. This, of eource, is just what the person with leanings towards prohibition would oppose with all the strength and energy that he could concentrate on the subjec;. But, as we have said already,' in nearly every other respect the views of the two candidates are ':n close sympathy, and we repeat, if the choice of the elector wera confined to the t«svo they would find it no easy matter to decids which to selvtt.'

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Bibliographic details

THE BY-ELECTION., Star, Issue 7115, 9 July 1901

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THE BY-ELECTION. Star, Issue 7115, 9 July 1901