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alone with his chairman conveys a poor impression of popular support to the meeting he is facing. If possible some past or present members of the Council to which the candidate is seeking election should be at his side, and one of these, or a prominent person in the district, should propose the vote of confidence which is nearly always a feature of election meetings. If an elector among the audience can be induced to make a short, effective speech as seconder, nothing better could be arranged. The following suggestions for agenda may be useful:—

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"That this meeting of electors is of opinion that is a fit and proper person to represent them in the [County, or Town, or District, or Parish] Council, and that those present pledge themselves to use every legitimate effort to secure his election."

Proposed by
Seconded by

5. Vote of thanks to chairman and speakers.

Proposed by

Seconded by

...

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It will be observed that even the above modest programme involves no less than six speeches, and at an average of fifteen minutes a head the hour and a half is already mortgaged, so that a more extensive list of speakers is unnecessary and even unwise. If the preliminaries have been carefully arranged-and by preliminaries we mean, first, making the meeting, its hour, place, object, and speakers known to electors; secondly, the provision of the room with proper attention to its heating, lighting and ventilation, not to mention seating accommodation for for the audience— that on which much of the success or otherwise of the gathering will turn, is the choice of chairman. He should be both well known and well liked in the neighbourhood, and if possible, be more ready to listen than to speak. The function of a chairman is to introduce the candidate and other speakers to the audience, and to preserve order and decorum in the gathering. A chairman who takes the cream off a meeting by an exordium of forty minutes' duration is an instance of a person having mistaken his vocation. Perfection is seldom found, even in a chairman, but it is secured in one who makes a pleasant ten minutes' opening speech, dealing generally with the objects of the gathering, and touching lightly upon the personality of the candidate. These personal allusions are delicate matters, however, particularly when they refer to the abilities of the candidate, and require gentle handling. Next, and not less important, an ideal chairman must have mastered the art of dealing with manifestations of disorder. Not many municipal election meetings, it

is true, are marked by turbulent opposition, but uproar does sometimes occur, and a feeble, inexperienced chairman is apt to get into difficulties, or-worst of all-to lose his temper. In some districts interruption is the regular thing, and may be counted upon. Under these circumstances it can be prepared for, and minimized. Interruptors nearly always get to the back of a meeting, and sit or stand about in groups. Care should be taken to divide up such groups by interspersing a few stalwart supporters, and suspected disturbers are less likely to make themselves obnoxious if they are seated somewhere near the front, among adherents of the candidate. "Chucking out" is an inartistic method of dealing with interruption, but where persistent efforts are made to prevent speakers getting a hearing, it may have to be resorted to. No one is entitled to obstruct a lawful assembly, and consequently the disturber of the peace who is forcibly ejected has only himself to thank, and only himself to blame, if he receives rough handling; but those who exercise this summary discipline on the offender must refrain from the administration of anything in the shape of deliberate punishment, as all they are permitted to do is to exert such force as may be necessary to remove a persistent interruptor who refuses an invitation to walk out quietly.

Unless there is some regularly organised opposition, a chairman who is genial, but not too genial to be firm, can generally secure a quiet meeting. But he must not be left to arrange a number of details. Those responsible

for the meeting should prepare the agenda, and settle on

speakers to the various resolutions beforehand, so that when the chair is taken its occupant should have the evening's programme clearly set out in front of him. Too often it happens that things are left to the last minute, and while the meeting is in progress persons keep moving about in search of some one to propose this, and some one else to second that. Bad stage management of that kind goes far to spoil a meeting, and it is just as easy to arrange matters a little in advance. Many men cannot make a good speech under any circumstances, but no man can be expected to display the eloquence of a Demosthenes at three minutes' notice.

QUESTIONS TO CANDIDATES.

Besides speech-making, there is another ordeal which a candidate must be prepared to face, and that is answering questions put to him at meetings. Electors are entitled to cross-examine him as to his views and intentions, but the privilege does not extend to those who are not voters. Hence, it is usual at election meetings for the chairman to announce that the candidate after having addressed the gathering will be pleased to answer questions to be sent up in writing, with the name and address of the enquirer attached. The pleasure is usually a figure of speech, as the process is anything but a pure delight to most candidates although, as they have to go through with it, it is well to put on, despite the depressing circumstances of the occasion, that pleasant expression the photographic artist demands with irritating exhilaration from the prisoner in his chair. Some candidates, however, are

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absolutely unable to withstand a constant volley of oral enquiries, couched as such often are in a way that makes adequate reply most difficult. Any hesitation or an appearance of evading an inconvenient questioner may embolden the latter to resort to that most unfair of all rhetorical devices by the demand of a simple "yes or no reply. Not all candidates in such circumstances are able to turn the tables upon the tormentor so successfully as was done by one who borrowed the very weapon of his adversary, and promised a direct reply provided a similar concession was granted previously to one enquiry he proposed to make himself. The seeker for political information incautiously agreed, and only realised the predicament in which he had landed himself when a roar of laughter went up at the quiet demand—“ Have you left off beating your wife, sir; yes or no, please?" Heckling" is a matter in which the chairman's power of control may be usefully exercised, but while a public meeting will almost always support the chair in demanding fair play, anything which approaches a muzzling order is certain to be resented, and to impair the prospects of a candidate.

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TIME OF MEETINGS.

A point of importance is to fix a suitable hour for the meeting. Roughly, it may be said that meetings in manufacturing towns should rarely be billed for a time earlier than 8 o'clock, as operatives want to get home for a wash and a meal before they will turn their minds to public matters. In such districts, an open air gathering

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