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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 14. 1966.

Editor illogical says Alliance

Editor illogical says Alliance

Sir,—I appreciate your courtesy in forwarding me a copy of Salient of September 9, 1066 and drawing my attention to the contents of your editorial on the Licensing Poll.

I cannot leave your remarks unchallenged. They emanate from little knowledge or from considerable prejudice — or perhaps from both.

I can agree that the Ballot Paper becomes more meaningful and better adapted to ascertain the real will of electors if it is split into two parts with two issues in each part. Furthermore, the phraseology of the issues and the law determining the result of the vote have long been in need of revision. It is improper and impossible to put three issues to a group of people and ask them to vote on one of those issues to determine the common basis of opinion among them. Normal procedure is a motion and amendments with two issues until the final issue is determined.

This amendment to the ballot paper, you say, has been long advocated by reformers. If you mean by reformers, the New Zealand Alliance and churches and bodies affiliated with it, I agree. But your article does not infer this. So I am led to challenge you to say: Who are the reformers? Where are they? What have they done? When did they do it?

Full marks to the New Zealand Labour Party for adopting a remit a couple of years ago upon this theme. I have good reason to believe that the interest in this matter arose from a petition widely supported by trade unions and organised and presented to Parliament by me in 1962 on this issue.

You recognise some significance in the suburban nolicence polls. Your reference in this matter to "the hypocritical stand of the prohibitionists does them no credit" can only be regarded as prejudice and meaningless. There is no prohibition vote in local no-licence. The voting in those districts for local nolicence bears no similarity to the Prohibition vote. The issues are distinct to any voter of normal intelligence— so why the editor of Salient should be confused Is a matter of wonder. Perhaps it is prejudice rather than ignorance.

According to your editorial, it is not undemocratic or illogical to disqualify a supporter of Prohibition from exercising a vote on licensing hours. Perhaps, then, any person other than a criminal should have no mind on criminal prnalties including capital punishment; only persons in military service should have any thoughts on military policy and even foreign affairs.

After reading your editorial and your reporting of Mr. Butler and the democratic Society on the front page of your paper, I wonder really whether even Mr. Butler has as jaundiced a view on democracy as seems to be the case with the editor of Salient.

T. G. Young

General Superintendent

New Zealand Alliance