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*any thing so absurd, and, indeed, paltry cter, effected by the landed interest, was or imagined. We know it is said by the 1 is so trifling. But many Englishmen won't y cannot see the reason why they should

pay heir right. By s. 54 of the Reform Act it is ery elector whose name shall be on the register of city, 8c., shall be liable to the payment of one shily! It has been decided, however, that the non

this tribute in cities and boroughs, does not disqualify sut in counties it is expressly provided that the claim

be valid till the shilling is paid.* Lord John Russell's ution bill provides also for the removal of this improper ition :

And be it enacted, that, notwithstanding any thing in the said act ntained, it shall not be necessary for any such claimant to pay or ause to be paid to the overseers the sum of one shilling, or any other sum of money, upon giving notice of his claim.'

The law, as it stands at present, requires four provisions in addition to proof of the nature of premises, before a voter acquires a perfect right, viz.:

1. Occupation for a sufficient time.
2. Rating to the poor.
3. Payment of rates and assessed taxes.
4. Residence.

The provision relative to residence and occupation for a given time before voting is a useful and unobjectionable one; but the clause requiring proof of the payment of poor rates, is one of a very different character. If the law does not facilitate the collection of rates by overseers, it must be admitted that the regulation is a vexatious one. We have no hesitation in averring that it affords them no facility. The assessment in parishes does not all depend upon the fact of registration. Houses that do not qualify a man to vote, are assessed for poor rates. But it is still thought by some good folk who never trouble themselves by inquiring into such insignificant matters, that the clause in the Reform Act is an inducement to persons to pay their rates. Where the law is imperative, and where payment is inevitable, the inducement is unnecessary. We object to the law, because it imposes a troublesome and a tedious task upon voters, whereas every difficulty, as far as practicable, should be removed out of their path. The proof of payment of rates is not so very smooth and easy a matter

* See Rogers on the law and practice of elections.

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provision as to certain rights of voting,' brought in by Lord John Russell. Those bills, although abandoned for the present, deserve the serious attention of all Reformers; for, if passed into laws, they would add strength and power to the friends of the people. Lord John cuts at the roots of the two first causes of complaint, by providing, that no one once registered as an established voter, shall be liable to objections so long as he continues to hold the same qualifications ; and that a person objecting must give notice to the person objected to, stating the grounds of objection, and must also give notice to the overseer, accompanied with an affidavit that he believes the objection to be true. The two latter regulations are extremely judicious. A man has certainly a right to know beforehand, what the objection or objections against him are. What would the world think of the justice of bringing a man to trial without allowing him a copy of the indictment preferred against him? Again, if a man does not believe that an objection is true, and yet brings it, he is actuated by improper motives : if he does believe it to be true he can have no objection to swear that he does so.

We never could comprehend the meaning of those who urge that a ten pound householder removing from one house to another in the same county or borough, should be disqualified from voting. If a man is in the actual possession of a legal qualification at the time of election, we think it is injustice to prevent him from voting. Lord John Russell has introduced a clause to meet such cases, which is in the terms following:

* And be it enacted, that so much of the last-recited act as authorizes or requires the returning officer or his deputy, at any election of a member or members to serve in parliament, to put to any voter at the time of tendering his vote the following question (that is to say), “ have you the same qualification for which your name was inserted in the register of voters now in force for the county of, et cætera, [or, for the

riding, et cætera, or for the city, et cætera, as the case may be, specifying in each case the particulars of the qualification, as described in the register], shall be repealed ; and that after the passing of this act, no person shall be excluded from voting at any such election by reason of its appearing to the returning officer or his deputy that the person claiming to vote has not the same qualification for which his name was originally inserted in the register: provided always, that this enactment shall not be construed to authorize any person to vote at such election who is subject to any legal incapacity, or to prevent the vote of any such incapable person from being void.'

It is also proposed to do away with the payment of the shilling which is now required from claimants. A man ought not to have to pay for a right of this nature. The Edinburgh Review, in the early part of 1833, very properly condemned this exaction ; ob

serving that it doubted if any thing so absurd, and, indeed, paltry as the saving in this matter, effected by the landed interest, was ever before attempted or imagined. We know it is said by the Tories, • O! the sum is so trifling. But many Englishmen won't pay it, because they cannot see the reason why they should pay for that which is their right. By s. 54 of the Reform Act it is provided that every elector whose name shall be on the register of voters for any city, fc., shall be liable to the payment of one shilling annually! It has been decided, however, that the nonpayment of this tribute in cities and boroughs, does not disqualify a voter; but in counties it is expressly provided that the claim shall not be valid till the shilling is paid.* Lord John Russell's registration bill provides also for the removal of this improper imposition :

And be it enacted, that, notwithstanding any thing in the said act contained, it shall not be necessary for any such claimant to pay or cause to be paid to the overseers the sum of one shilling, or any other sum of money, upon giving notice of his claim.'

The law, as it stands at present, requires four provisions in addition to proof of the nature of premises, before a voter acquires a perfect right, viz.:

1. Occupation for a sufficient time.
2. Rating to the poor.
3. Payment of rates and assessed taxes.
4. Residence.

The provision relative to residence and occupation for a given time before voting is a useful and unobjectionable one; but the clause requiring proof of the payment of poor rates, is one of a very different character. If the law does not facilitate the collection of rates by overseers, it must be admitted that the regulation is a vexatious one. We have no hesitation in averring that it affords them no facility. The assessment in parishes does not all depend upon the fact of registration. Houses that do not qualify a man to vote, are assessed for poor rates. But it is still thought by some good folk who never trouble themselves by inquiring into such insignificant matters, that the clause in the Reform Act is an inducement to persons to pay their rates. Where the law is imperative, and where payment is inevitable, the inducement is unnecessary. We object to the law, because it imposes a troublesome and a tedious task upon voters, whereas every difficulty, as far as practicable, should be removed out of their path. The proof of payment of rates is not so very smooth and easy a matter

* See Rogers on the law and practice of elections.

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