Story: Voting rights

A new breed of politician

A new breed of politician

From the 1880s more locally born, less-educated men, many of them manual workers or journalists, became members of Parliament. Prime Minister Richard Seddon, shown here as a Roman emperor, was an early representative of this new breed, entering Parliament in 1879. Seddon, nicknamed ‘King Dick’, had been a miner, store keeper and hotelier. T. L. Buick, depicted in this 1896 cartoon watching Seddon, had been a journeyman baker before entering Parliament in 1890. The cartoon was prompted by a speech of Buick’s discussing Seddon’s sense of his own status and describing him as a man ‘with the blood of the Caesars in his veins’. (Poverty Bay Herald, 8 August 1896, p. 2)

The cartoon says: ‘Great Caesar! / Cassius (Buick, M. H. R.): “Upon what meat doth this our Richard feed that he is grown so great?”’

Using this item

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Observer, 29 August 1896, p. 1

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Voting rights - Male suffrage', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/cartoon/36433/a-new-breed-of-politician (accessed 17 June 2019)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015