18 SEPTEMBER 1880, Page 2

Perhaps the most original passage in Mr. Courtney's speech was

one in which he advocated a reform in the system of municipal elections. The present system, he thought, failed to represent the varieties of English thought, and should be altered in favour of one that would give the minorities their fair chance. He knew of one city in England "where there is a Con- servative municipality which had gathered round it the whole political activity of the borough," and the Liberals had no in- fluence; and another where out of sixty or seventy members only one was a Conservative. He thought that until all parties could find in municipal life a sphere of activity, that life could not be considered perfect. This is just, and was, we are glad to perceive, received with applause ; but Mr. Courtney should suggest a working scheme. We believe there is a great disposi- tion to correct the evil, but three-cornered representation cor- rects it imperfectly, and Mr. Hare's scheme, which would admirably suit municipal ways, has never been tried. Any great city which asked for it would get it, statesmen being only too glad to see experiments for which they are not responsible ; and it is to persuade some one city that argument should now be directed. Edinburgh would be the most fitting place.