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Newtown Annual Eisteddfod.

Welsh Amateur Cup.



[No title]

[No title]

IThe Great Gale and Floods.


An Interesting Fact.



THE PLURAL VOTER UNDER NOTICE. THE declared intention of the Government to pass a Plural Voters Bill at an early date is an exceptionally bitter pill for the Tories, to whom this class of elector i a valuable asset. It is a long time since the inequity and absurdity of the plural vote were ex- posed and admitted. They are now admitted by Mr Balfour himself, who explicitly stated that a referendum" would be conducted on the priiiciple of one man, one vote." If he acknowledges that the direct pro- nouncement of the country upon a particular policy can be most truly made by eliminat- ing the plural elector, what ju-tification can there be for preserving the present electoral system, which in one notorious instance gives four brothers 120 votes ? Tn fourteen constituencies at the General Election twelve months ago, the number if outvoters in each division largely exceeded the Conservative majorities. And yet we talk of the representation of the people. This is but the representation of stone and iime and soil. But the most a.Moma.'ous thing is that it is not always the quantity of stone and lime and soil which a man owns that enables him to obtain more votes than one. That privilege is secured by a division -of his property throughout different for- stituencies. Thus a man may own ha'u a million pounds worth of property scattered over a city, and yet have but a single vote. On the other hand, if he owns a house in the city and another in the neighb)-iring county he has a vote in both places. If the purpose of the plural vote is to give extra electoral weight to property it does it in a ridiculous way. By the studied investment of several thousand pounds any man might a'cquire the vote in scores of constituencies, while another man, like Lord Powis, owning a vast territory in one county, has only one. The unfairness of the system which permits the plural vote has not altered since Mr Chamberlain condemned it. I consider it an anomaly," he said, altogether incon- sistent with the principle for which we stand,—the principle that every nousebcIJer. at all events, has an equal stake in the good government of the country. His life. his happiness, his property, all depend upon the legislation which he is entitled, like everyone else, to assist in framing. Tf we are to make that distinction, I am not c.uite certain whether it is not the poor men vho ought to ha\e more votes than the rich man, for individually his interests are more direct than the rich man's. If you have bad legis- lation it may lessen the income of the one, but it may destroy altogether the means of subsistence of the other." Incidentally, it may be recalled, as an illustration of Mr Chamberlain's astounding renunciation of principles, that notwithstanding this declara- tion, he voted against the Plural Voters Abolition Bill in 1906, introduced by Mr Lewis Harcourt, which restricted electors with several property qualifications to the selection of one constituency. The same reason which prompts the Tories to stand by the plural voter inspires them to fight against the proposal to hold all elections on one day. The plural voter and fleets of motor cars are advantages which Toryism is wishful to retain, but plurality has got to go in the interests of equitable representation and a reliable national mandate. And as surely will the small pocket boroughs go in a later scheme of electoral reform, which must simuitaneously do justice to the lodger voter, now disqualified for the best part of two years when he migrates to other apart- ments only across the street.