17 MAY 1884, Page 3

After the Vice-Chancellor's speech, Sir John Lubbock de- livered a

short defence of the proposal to obtain what is called "proportional representation" for all parties, by adopting a system of polling under which a large minority shall always secure a minority of seats. He ridiculed—justly, we think —the notion that the electors could never learn how to work the system, declaring that, oddly as stupidity sometimes shows itself; it could hardly be possible for electors to achieve such stupidity as this,—unless, indeed, they emulated the " model" of a famous artist, who, when he had with great pains endeavoured -to give her some idea of the way in which astronomers deter- mine the distance, weight, and chemical composition of the stars, replied that that did not puzzle her so much, but what did puzzle her was how it was that the astronomers found out their names. Sir John Lubbock, however, did not touch the real objection to most of the schemes for proportional representation —which Is not the difficulty of understanding how to poll, but the difficulty of so explaining the poll, after it has been taken, as to make it plain to the apprehension of the people that those elected by a transfer to them of votes given, in the first instance to another, are really in any true sense the popular choice. It is popular confidence in the result of such polls, not ability to fill up the ballot-papers rightly, which is, with some justice, questioned by political critics.