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ROMAN CATHOLIC DISABILITIES.

"ONE MAN ONE VOTE."

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"ONE MAN ONE VOTE." In a recent article in the lorum, "On the Government of American cities," Mr White, one of the United States ministers, describes the city governments of his own country, as the worst in Christendom the most expensive, the most in-efticient, and the most corrupt. Everywhere are wretched wharves foul docks, inadequate streets, and inefficient Z5 ZD systems of sewerage, paving and lighting As a rule the men who sit in the councils of our larger cities, dispensing comfort or discomfort, c z5 justice or injustice, beauty or deformity, health or disease, to this and future generations, are men few of whom have gained their position by fitness or by public service j many have gained them hy scoundrelism, some by crime." Mr White attributes this state of affairs in a great degree to the fact that the political clement is introduced into the elections of alde/men and other officials. He also maintains that the only remedy is to be found in depriving municipal affairs of their political aspect. The franchise in the United States is in general based on manhood suffrage, the only requirements being twelve months' residence, and, of course, due registration. Mr White fi-itrikly tssei-ts his belief that these convenient conditions of citizenship do not produce good results. He advocates the creation of owners' franchise, and would give powers to the owners of property alone to elect a board of control, who would have a veto upon all important decisions and expenditure. The extension of the franchise, us we now have it, to every householder, has not conduced to the dignity or the competency of our representative bodies. Mr Gladstone, in pursuit of his new panacea, "One man one vote," will not improve this state of things. We believe that property, as such, is entitled to representation, and taxation should always accompany representation. These are funda- mental principles of politics. John Stuart Mill, a great Radical authority, says, it is important that the assembly which votes the taxes, either general or local, should be elected exclusively by those who pay something towards the taxes imposed," and, that representation should be co-extensive with taxation, not stopping short of it, but also not going bayond it, is in accordance with the British institutions." The one man one vote policy drives at the very root of this principle and destroys it by ignoring the fair rights of property. It in- sists on residence alone as a qualification, irrespective of the p iymerit of rates or taxes. Property franchise has been in existence, al- most unaltered, since the reign of Henry VI. Our freeholders are one of the most inde- pendent and valuable elements in the electorate, and often have they asserted the rights and privileges of the people against their aggressors. The working man, also, who buys a cottage out of his own hat d earned money, would be deprived by this policy of Mr Gladstone of any vote unless he chooses to live in it. The man of business, often the largest ratepayer in a constituency, would not be allowed to vote in it if he happened to live outside its boundaries. Mr Gladstone him- self voted against this injustice when it was proposed on May 26, 1884, and set his face against the attempt that was then made to abolish the property franchise. The change is now demanded by him avowedly on party grounds, because, as he asserts, the vote of the owners of property was cast against Home Rule. The abolition of the ownership vote is advocated solely with the aim of removing one of the obstacles in the way of the policy of Separation on which Mr Gladstone has set his heart. Our politicians would do well to ponder over Mr White's expression of opinion —the fruit of years of experience of the work- ing of this policy.

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