The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. TUESDAY, MAY 10, 1881. The Political Outlook.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 430 p.m.]
Scarcely a month will elapse before our representatives will be “ in Parliament assembled,” and, judging from the pre-sessional utterances of members during the recess, our Ministers will be even more strongly ensconced on the Cabinet Benches than they were during the latter part of last session. The hon. member for Clive, in his speech to his constituents, took occasion to find fault with almost every act of the present Ministry since their accession to office. He carefully abstained—as, indeed, he always does—from enunciating any fresh policy, or pointing out in what direction he would support or otherwise treat the policy of his Excellency’s advisers. The Hon. George McLean in his address at Waikouaiti, on Saturday night, told his hearers that he was really a follower of no party, and would support the present Government, or indeed any other, so long as he thought they commanded the confidence of the people and were acting for the well-being of the colony. The attitude of Mr Bryce towards his late colleagues will be watched with some lit/ij£ interest, albeit his postsessional address, delivered after he had resigned his portfolio, was undoubtedly favorable to the gentlemen with whom he had so recently been associated. But at the same time there pre suspicions still remaining in the minds of political querists that Mr Bryce had other questions besides the one which was the cause of his Ministerial vacation. Of the other members who have taken their constituents into their confidence we should surmise that “As you were ” will be their motto. When the collective wisdom of the colony again finds itself within the four walls of the House of Assembly the Government will, we think, find it no difficult task to stave off the assaults of the discontented, whether they come from Sir George Grey, Mr Macandrew, or one of the “Middle,” or lately termed “ Young New Zealand ” party. We have every confidence, and wish to give the Hall Ministry a consistent and fair support, believing that they have the fullest confidence of the country, in their desires for retrenchment; but we shall be glad to see them at the opening of the next session met by a compact and not factious Opposition.
A presumably strong Ministry never has the power, nor is it so effectual, until an Opposition is raised to restrain its vagaries. We would like to see an Opposition sufficiently powerful though numerically non-dangerous, led by a man who possesses the fullest confidence of his followers, a good tactician, and a thorough statesman. This has been found over and over again to be absolutely necessary for successful Government by party. Although Sir George Grey has announced his intention to assume the leadership of the Opposition, the venerable knight must pardon us when we express a doubt as to his being able to raise sufficient followers in the present House to make it more than an Opposition in name only, and that any attempt from him will only render the present Government more secure. Out of those members who are unfavorable to the present Ministry we hope an able leader and a good and efficient band of followers, capable of gathering up the ends of the “ great Liberal party,” will come forward and exercise a watchful care over the acts of perhaps the most powerful Cabinet we have yet had at the helm in this colony.