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Victoria University College Capping Carnival. Wed. & Thurs., May 12th & 13th, 1920


page 3


In its beginnings the history of Parliament is, the story of a struggle for existence, of thwarted rights and of hard-won privileges. There was only one cause the people's and to maintain it came forth spontaneously the best-educated and the highest in the land.

This struggle ceased only with the accession of William III. Almost immediately the two great traditional parties sprang into existence. Members were no longer selected for ability or worth, but for their willingness to follow whatever lead was given them. Thus was developed the professional politician, a man scarcely known in New Zealand, but whom the exigencies of the system have allowed us to replace only with retired merchants and frowsy farmers — men of independent means though by no means independent ability. We have anachronistically treated this in Act II.

On the dual party system, with its complicated check and counter-check, the whole of our parliamentary system is founded. The result is satirised in Act III. The present era has, however, seen the growth of a new party with all the marks of permanence, a party fighting not only with the traditional weapons of politics but with the constraints of economic warfare. It seems impracticable for the present constitution to contain the altered forces. The present era has likewise seen the vast extension of the franchise and the political freedom of Woman.

Musing on the new factors and on other modern tendencies, musing it now seems in a moment of delirium, we conceived our final Act. Thank God, we don't believe it.

The thanks of the Students' Association are due to Messrs. Kirkcaldie & Stains for receiving us at luncheon after the Procession; to the following who provided lorries: Messrs. Curtis & Co., Colonial Carrying Co., N.Z. Express Co., J. Campbell & Co., Munt, Cottrell & Co., Nielson & Co.; and to the many others who have rendered kind assistance during the Capping celebrations.