The Curse of Government by Party.
(James S. Little, m the Circle.) It seems to me that party government has come to be a vehicle for self-seekers' ambition. It is a snaro and an entiqated delusion. Political programmes'of party are sriai.'es also. True, men: should owe allegiance to measures, not to party, and every government should be content to champion one important measure, and only one at a time. ' A Government should come m to pass a certain measure, and it dbould pass it and have done wibh it; if it be able to pass other measures all very well, but members should be elected to pass or oppose one measure only} and be free to jicb jusb as they may choose as to any future measures submitted to them. Thus all honest men could divide upon a distinct issue, which issue being decided, they would be free to. ...follow- their old chief or oppose him. May be this could never he, because men are nofc archangels, and, moreover, too many members of Parliament are m no sense patriots, while some are mere place-hunters. But we must try fco get a little nearer to this ideal; a government "by"'brag'and shout cannot be tolerated for ever. If that hateful fiend party could be slain, political warfare might be carried on. under far less,debasing conditions. In, every political struggle there would be a nearer approach to true unity on either side, instead of a false and forced cohesion of chance particles. A party man disoovers his; advocacy ;is compelled to measures distasteful or even hateful to him. If he break with his party, and join the opposing camp, the same lot will be his fate. To be minus party is, under the present baneful system, to be minus political influence. Party allegiance results m a want of force and heartiness m political life. A man compelled against his will, to vote, and to think m the same way as his leader, is a man robbed of the power to use his faculties. What is the result of this blighting influence but a political dead-lock ? Let us revert, as Sir Bartle Frere once said, to earlier, simpler, and purer methods. We have had enough of government by party. Th c system has become corrupted afc its very root—for concessions to rebellion and rank intolerance are ten thousand times worse, and more to be deplored, than were all the abuses the Reform Bill of 1832 swept away. Our present system of government is eating into .the very, marrow of our national life; it is making all men think with the cynic, that the very words, patriotism, honor, truth, earnestness, and the like should be relegated to aglossary of obsolete phrases. Life-lcng allegiance and subordination to a party, or to a chief, mean, to the thinking man life-long intellectual enslavement, for the thoughts of men are diverse It is impossible to conceive of a man, not being a drone or a half-witted nonentity, who can find himself m accord with the views of any party or chief whatsoever, upon all points. There must be some different planks m his platform. Political principle under the party system comes to mean political dishonesty. Smothered insubordination and halfhearted political action are the inevitable products of this accursed Jegacyof party gwemment., seeing tliat no man can giv« heart-whole help to measures he secretly despises. We are all Liberals or Conservatives, even our little children, as Mr Gilbert has so humorously said. Nor do grown men know any better than little children why they are Liberals or Conservatives ; as a matte): of fact there is no -real nor satisfactory meaning m the-, terma. Do away with party government and make grand measures a worthier "line of cleavage," and we should strangle out of existence a whole army of political crocheters. The stings and bites of such can make life very unpleasant, while it too often happens that their very number and persistency threaten to obstruct j our. further progress altogether. Let these politicals of the village go to their local boards and fight out their differences, and let us have an imperial Parliament—swept of the advocates of follies which may fitly be compared to old women's nightmare, or the conceits of the 'nurseryi' ..' ! ■-■ 'r\' ' C' ) \'-\ It is an undoubted fact that our political procedure, not qur; political life,lis, much m the same way as are oux^ |religiouH . systernß-~-a very different thing j let me add, from our, religious life-r-tottering to its grave jit is more than festered and rotten, it is m its death throes.
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The Curse of Government by Party., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890
The Curse of Government by Party. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890
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