The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY JULY 5, 1889. THE OPPOSITION LEADER.
The appointment of Mr Ballance to the leadership of the Opposition has put an end to a very undesirable state of Parliamentary affairs. The existence of I an organised Opposition is recognised as a necessity ot Parliamentary government, and it has been a want of the previous sessions of the present Parliament ot New Zealand that there has not beeu each an Opposition. Opponents of the Government there have been, but each has followed to a greater or less extent his own free will, and the ÜBual results of independent action, or, rather, irregular I skirmishing, have ensued. An organised Opposition, following a recognised leader, has its influence upon legislation, even against the power of numbers, where any attempt by an individual opponent m that direotion would prove futile. We trust now to tee the function of the Opposition resumed and discharged with credit. The choice of Mr Ballance as leader is a wise one, and with both the old leaders of the Liberal party, Sir Robert Stout and Sir Julius Yogel, out i of the Houee, another election could scarcely have been made. Similarity of political opinions with the ex Premier Sir .Robert btout, made Mr Ballance the natural successor to the leadership, even m preference to Sir Julius Yogel, and it was no doubt m great measure owing to the latter's continuing m Parliament that the vacant leadership remained so long unfilled. The resignation of bir Julius cleared the way for the present step, and we hope that the unanimity with wtich the new leader waß elected will long prevail among his followers. Of Mr Ballance's qualifications for the position it is needless to write at length. His public career is well-known and his record is good, and his abilities as a politician have been ottm proved. His Parliamentary experience has given him a knowledge of the forms of the House second to no member on either Bide. He is a ready, logical and fair debater, and has given evidence of considerable resource—a quality which is all-essen-tial m a leader. The graceful welcome which the new chief received from the Premier gave Mr Ballance the opportunity of making a brief declaration of the course he intended to pursue — to assist the Government m all beneficial measures, and to abstain from factious opposition. The Opposition is once more a solid party, and its duties are already calling for attention. Very few of the Government's legislative proposals are such as will pass mus e; before an Opposition which is acting upon clearly defined principles. We have already expressed the opinion that some of these Bills seem to have been introduced for no other purpose than to cause discord between the different sections of the House. A strong epposition will cause such schemes to recoil upon those who promote them, and if Sir Harry Atkinson wishes to remain m power, he must adopt a more dignified treatment of Parliament, Ihe Opposition leader has the encouragement of having thus early been successful m showing the Government, through the medium of the division lobbies, that they have now a tangible body to reckon with, and the fact will no doubt tend to consolidate his party, and strengthen their confidence m their chief.