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The Auckland Star WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Echo.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1905. THE WAITEMATA ELECTION.

For the Mow that lacks a**Ut<me«, For the tcrong that need* retUtmmm, ■ for the future in the dittanom, A»* the tfuod that w« om 4».

The progress that Mr. Clinkard is making in the public confidence at Devonpqrt is sufficiently evidenced by the success of his meeting last Thursday night. And the emphatic expressions of approval with which the meeting closed were thoroughly justified by Mr. Clinkard's vigorous and telling speech. Mr. Clinkard had no difficulty in ehowing that the Opposition party in general—and Mr. Massey in particular—has no claim to originality or fertility in legislation. The Leader of the Opposition has certainly given no proof of his constructive powers as a legislator, and, as Mr. Clinkard pointed out, Mr. Massey and hie friends have persistently opposed all the most progressive forms of Liberal legislation until their success, in spite of sinister Opposition prophecies, was absolutely secured. Now, indeed, they are prepared to promise that, if placed in power, they will make no radical change in our legislative system. And surely after fifteen years of Liberal lawmaking this is, as Mr. Clinkard said, the highest compliment ever paid to a Government by an Opposition. But whatever its electioneering professions may be, the bulk of the Opposition is still Conservative at heart, and is therefore not likely to make much impression upon a country now irrevocably committed to Liberalism. As for Mr. Seddon's interpretation of Liberal principles, Mr. Clinkard ably reviewed the long series of measures which the party now in office has passed in the face of strenuous Conservative protests, but which have all speedily justified the Liberal claim to work "for the greatest good of the greatest number." And the Premier's recent forecasts of future legislation give every hope that in the future, no lessj;han in the past. Liberal principles will illustrated in our laws. Mr. Glinkard was careful to draw attention to the ludicrous inconsistency of those-Opposi-tion members who in one breath boast of the large votes they have secured for their districts and in the next denounce Mr. Seddon for reserving public grants to his "servile" followers. When Mr. Massey flaunts his £10,000 grants before the Franklin electors, or Mr. Alison boasts of all that he has done for Waitemata, are these gentlemen claiming to enrol themselves among the "subservient satellites" of the Premier? Another effec tive point was made by Mr. Clinkard when he reminded his hearers that, so far as Auckland's needs, in the way of public expenditure are concerned, we are now chiefly attgagod in i Taking up the arrears

Whidl W6N our chief legacy from the old dijr* at CoaeerriitiT* Gevenuneat—the "good old tiiaea" which Ms, Hum; U to anxious to recalL

PA2&? SESVBLITY.

So faf as Mr Alison it eone«m#a Mr Clinkard "scored" effectually when he reminded hie audience of the "independence" which Mr Alison took as bis watchword during the last election campaign. Our only objection to the "ladependent" is that he is an impossibility in political life, add we have no quarrel against Mr Alison for speedily discovering that he must range himself under one party or the other. But when an "Independent" like Mr Harding or Mr Alison joins the Opposition, Mr Massey's friends accept the step as a natural and inevitable incident. When ail "Independent" Liberal decides that on the whole he must support the Liberal Ministry and the Liberal programme, the Opposition press denounces him as a renegade or a political adventurer. Of course there is nothing phenomenal in this, for the last resort of a party that cannot attain power is alwaye to assume a monopoly of public Virtue, add to assure the world at large that though they ate a minority they really are very much better men than their opponents. This is the explanation of the highly superior—not to say priggish—tone assumed by the Opposition in criticising Mr Seddon. But the general public has come to understand dearly enough that their assumption of moral immacUlateness is merely an electioneering dodge, and that even Mr Massey and Mr Jas. Allen and Mr Duthie do not seriously believe that they are themselves exempt from all human weaknesses and failings. And so long as we remember how hard pressed the Opposition is for an effective weapon of attack, we need not fear that their frightfully self-conscious air of intense moral rectitude will impose upon anyone very long. If We look into the facts of political life, we find that the Opposition, as men and members Of Parliament, consists of much the same sort of people as the followers of the Government. For example, the Opposition press never tires of inveighing against the "dumb dogs," as they elegantly describe the Liberal members who support Mr Seddon, and they constantly assert that the Premier's followers fear to disobey or vote against him, while Mr Massey's friends display an admirable independence, and vote quite irrespective of their chief's will. Nothing could be farther from the truth than this. The "Lyttelton Times" has recently compiled a list of divisions taken during the sessions of 1903-4, and our readers may or may not be surprised to learn that the "servility" and "subservience" have all been on the side of the Opposition. Por instance, during 1903-4, Mr Ell voted against his party leaders no less than 174 times, Mr Witty 145 times, Mr Tanner 135 times, Mr Laurenson 115 times, Mr McNab 81 times, while Mr Fowlds and Mr Baume, two Auckland members who have constantly been accused of "servility" by the Opposition, actually voted against Mr Seddon between 170 and 180 times each. Nothing in the Opposition record comes near these returns. In the same sessions, and in the same number of divisions, Mr Hardy, who has always been conspicuous for hie independence, has indeed voted against Mr Massey as many as 7S times. But in this respect, he stands entirely in a class by himself. Mr Rhodes has voted against his party leaders 51 times, Mr Lewis 49 times, Mr Jas. Allen 38 times, Mr Herdman 34 times, and these, we need.not say, are some of the most representative members of. Mr Massey's party. After comparing these figures., can any intelligent man or woman, no matter what their political con vicious may be, attach any importance to the Opposition cry of ''servility" raised against Mr Seddon's followers? As to Waitemata, Mr Clinkard does not profess, as Mr Alison did, to be "independent." But his frank and vigorous speech shows that he is no* more likely to be "servile" than Mr Alison, and we hope for the sake of Devonport that he will be found representing that prosperous and progressive borough in next I year's Parliament.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19051127.2.26

Bibliographic details

The Auckland Star WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Echo. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1905. THE WAITEMATA ELECTION., Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 283, 27 November 1905

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The Auckland Star WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Echo. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1905. THE WAITEMATA ELECTION. Auckland Star, Volume XXXVI, Issue 283, 27 November 1905

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