The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, JULY 31, 1890. PARTY GOVERNMENT.
No stronger argument against the continuance of Government by party can be urged than the present proceedings m the New Zealand House of Representatives. Neither the Opposition nor the Government can claim to direct the policy of the country. A new party, known to the House and country by the opprobrious title of Skinflints, rule the roost, and by a process of. consistent " ratting" from party to party, make use of both to accomplish their own ends. The Government and Opposition are alike powerless, and can do nothing else than bid for the support of the middle party, who are prepared to sell their votes to the highest bidder. The Skinflints have m turn used Government and Opposition to accomplish their ends. Originally attached to the Government, the Skinflints became dissatisfied, and under threats of going over to the enemy squeezed concessions from the Government. These concessions being once granted, the minority grew bolder and demanded more. The Government refused, and the niggardly crew went over to the Opposition ranks The Government finding themselves m a palpable minority, and unable to carry their Estimates, instead of boldly appealing to the country m accordance with Parliamentary usage, went down on their knees and abjectly apologised to the deserters. Could anything be more humiliating than this 1 The Skinflints have accepted the apology, and the majority of the party hare now returned to the Ministerial ranks. A few remain with the Opposition, because they have found that that party is more sincere m the matter of judicious retrenchment than the Ministerialists, but neither Government nor Opposition can trust the Skinflints long, and any moment may see the party m existence again, and carrying on its disgraceful " ratting" proclivities. This lesson should not be lost upon the country. What the Skinflints have done, any other small faction m the House may accomplish under Party Government. This has been and is still the curse of Party Government, that any small section, by combination may, m spite of the wish of a distinct majority of the representative Chamber, carry their measures through, and block other useful legislation. Party Government under such conditions is a huge farce, and the sooner it is dispensed with the better. We, therefore, look hopefully forward to some practical outcome from Major Steward's Referendum scheme, by means of which it will be put beyond tbo power of political " rats" and logrollers to bid defiance alike to 'Ministry, Opposition, and country. We should then, at least, have the country governed by a majority of representatives sent forward to do .so, and be spared the infliction of witnessing insignificant minorities walking roughshod over tW'xr fellow-members.