Oliver Goldsmith was one of the most delightful writers of the 18th century. In essay, he describes the campaigns and celebrations of the English people during the public elections to the post of magistrates conducted every seventh year. The candidates make the voters happy by inviting them to numerous lunches and dinners. No festival in the world can be compared with it for the lavish eating involved A large number of cows, pigs, geese and turkeys are killed for preparing the election parties.
In many foreign countries, people discuss important matters over a cup of coffee But, in England, conferences and meetings can be conducted only over lunch or over dinner. When a new church is built, all the village people are entertained with a feast. When a new hospital is inaugurated all the doctors, nurses and the prospective patients are given a great lunch. When a company conducts a director board meeting, they eat upon the discussion instead of simply talking about it across empty tables.
The election dinners are very elaborate, because voters select their candidates on the basis of the number of treats given to them. If they are given a lot of beef fry and brandy, the voters applause loudly at the speech of the politician. People eat a lot of food and drinks a lot of alcohol during election parties because they get them free. After eating so much, they get excited and even start a quarrel with other political workers.
Sometimes the voters start the quarrel about the items of food served in the election party. One candidate gives local gin for his workers to drink. Another candidate gives foreign brandy to his supporters. After drinking the national gin and foreign brandy, the supporters start a big fight. Some people argue the England's own gin is the best drink in the world, while other say that brandy brought form outside the country is better than the local drink.
Once Goldsmith observed a quarrel between two political groups. One of them supported the distilleries of England where local gin is made. The candidate explained the sad downfall of the distilleries because of the competition from foreign brandy sellers. Many people supported him because they felt sympathy towards England's own local gin industry.
Most of the election parties are very exciting, because people eat and drink a lot. When finally their election time arrives, people are so drunk that they cannot even stand for voting. Many voters needed some support for walking into the secret compartments made for exercising the votes. One voter was so drunk that he opined that he would vote for 'Tobacco and Brandy'.
According to Goldsmith an election hall is like a theater where every kind of passion is seen openly. It is a kind of school where fools may become worse and intelligent people can get more wisdom.