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That is the outstanding The OtagO result of the political polls Polls. yesterday, and it demonstrates clearly and beyond challenge that whon Labor, as an organised party, compose their internal differences and jealousies, and decide to stand or fall in a spirit of solid unanimity, they can overcome great opposition and formidable forces. It is too early as yet to credit Moderate Labor in Dunedin with a complete victory, but even if Mr Munro fail to maintain his remarkably narrow majority—a failure which is rather remote—the result of the polling is a distinct, clearcut, decisive triumph for a party whose representation in a democratic Parliament has always been, and still promises to be, pathetically inadequate, unless Proportional Representation yields an opportunity. Another remedy has been found in Dunedin—a moderate policy, sensible candidates, an honest campaign, and solidarity among workers. While we feel regret on .purely personal grounds for tho decisive defeat of Mr G. M. Thomson and the probable defeat of Mr C. E. Statham, we offer genuine congratulation to Mr A. Walker, to Mr J. W. Munro, and to the solid forces that carried them to actual and probably complete success. Apart from their political equipment and policy, which wo cannot accept as the only policy and capacities worthy of decisive support, both candidates fought honorably, and with splendid moderation. Unless the position of parties demands an early dissolution, both (assuming that Mr Munr" will maintain his present majority) will secure a wide opportunity to advance the cause thay represent, but they will do well to avoid co-operation with the parliamentary representatives of extreme Labor. One Payne and one Webb in Parliament are as many as, and possibly moro than, Democracy can endure. Neither Mr G. M. Thomson nor Mr Statham need feel downcast by the decision of the electors, if that decision be against both; their work in Parliament has been creditable ; their principles remain untarnished ; they have gone down (to use Mr Statham's happy phrase last night) with their colors, flying. And each is capable of floating again. Mr Statham has had to fight unscrupulous opponents outside of Labor, but he is not the sort of man' to bear ill-will even against unprincipled opponents. His principles stand, and are respected must genuinely by Labor, whoso tactics have- been honorable. Their attitude was simple; Mr Statham stood for what they accept ns " a reactionary " Government, and Labor had to prevail, if possible. Should the final tally of votes go in favor of Mr Munro, Mr Statham will retire from politics as he served in Parliament—'with unswerving allegiance to principle, and with personal honor. Tho remits in other electorates in this province have not bsen surprising. Mr Sidey has increased his friendly grip of South Dunedin, where he has obtained the record majority in Otago, and has proved that Reform is, as far as that industrial centre is concerned, " a long, long way from Tipperary." In Bruce, Central Otago, Clutha, Oamaru, and Wakatipu tho rural spirit has prevailed, as was obvious throughout tho campaign. In Oamaru and Central Otago the alleged Omarama run scandal failed to alienate Reform from successful support to either Mr Lee or Mr Scott. Mr W. D. Stewart and Mr J. T. Johnion are to be congratulated on their respective positions—the former for bis success, the latter for the splendid support

he won as a comparative stranger. Had Mr Johnson held to his original intention to contest Chalmers he would, we think, have entered Parliament. He has been sacrificed on the altar of Liberal mismanagement, and a seat thus practically gifted to Reform. Mr Dickson will, however, make a dependable, useful member of Parliament. He deserves his somewhat lucky success. He is a quiet plodder.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141211.2.26

Bibliographic details

Evening Star, Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

Word Count
620

Evening Star Issue 15673, 11 December 1914

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