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"Coming events (says the proverb) cast their shadows before," and although it is equally proverbial that m matters political it is the unexpected which usually happens, yet on the present occasion the signs of the times are sb unmistakable that he who runs may read what is about to happen m the near future. Writing on this subject the " New Zealand Times " of yesterday says :■—" What will happen after the elections ?" That is the cry m political circles, and as the elections draw near—the time fixed is early, November—the cry deepens m interest. One thing we regret to think is to happen: Sir Harry Atkinson will retire damaged m health, we trust for a while only, but intact m reputation for always. The Ministerial programme after that event will be, we understand, m the hands of Mr Bryce, who will be sent for, after which he will be associated with Captain Russell, the rest of the Cabinet being filled m from the debris of the present Miristry. This is the intention m high places, we understand, from which we infer that there is an impression that the elections may not greatly disturb the existing balance of parties. If Sir Robert Stout re-enters the arena there will, as a matter of course, be a no-confidence motion, and half the new; session will be consumed m fighting. It is the monotonous version of 'as you were' which generally comes uppermost after an election, no matter how high the hopes of newblood may have been before the polling day. The prospect is more than usually appalling. Party Government, through its drawbacks, is rapidly becoming intolerable m New Zealand." The forecast contained m the foregoing is, we venture to say, very near the mark, and we notice that both the evening papers of the Empire City I concur m the opinion that /the remedy for the present unsatisfactory condition of things, which ! it is admitted is only too likely to continue, lies m the direction of some such improvement upon the present system o£ party Government as, has, been urged by the member for Waimate. The "[• Post" of last night says :—" Njever were politics m a more debased condition m- this colony than they are now, and they will continue m this condition until there is seated on the Ministerial benches a Government with a clear arid distinct policy, based !on principle and approved by the country. Such a Ministry must be prepared to go out if denied the hearty support of a majority of the House, and determined not to intrigue or stoop to private arrangements and the practice of ' nobbling ' to Secure support. We trust the coming elections will clear the present Ministerial combination away, but whether they will furnish the materials for* the formation of a strong Ministry, supported by a strong party is, we fear, a subject of I doubt. Party lines ha,ve' been too much blurred by the present occupants of office to admit; of their speedy clear redefinition." It admits that there are no parties, rightly so-called, m either branch of the Legislature. The " iris " and " outs " constitute divisions, but not parties m the same sense;" and also " that the condition into which the present Parliament has drifted m regard to party divisions undoubtedly furnishes some justification of Major Steward's scheme for the abolition of Party Government." That, we think, is also the opinion of the electors generally, and we have not the smallest doubt that ere long there will be a widespread demand for a reform m that direction.

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Bibliographic details

THE POLITICAL SITUATION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2501, 26 August 1890

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THE POLITICAL SITUATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2501, 26 August 1890