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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69



I. To illustrate the foregoing proposals, a comparison should he instituted with the Executive as it is at present selected, principally to meet the exigencies of party, where inexperienced and unfit persons have frequently been included, where Ministers are necessarily under the dominance of a Premier, where the Executive is frequently governed by expediency and party considerations, where the very existence of the Cabinet is dependent upon its retaining a sufficient number of partisans in the House, with the conse- page 7 quent temptation to abuse resources of State, to preserve Ministerial existence, and to all these considerations we must add the interested misrepresentations and vilifications of the other side. Then we shall be prepared to appreciate an Executive specially selected to exercise definite functions and responsibilities—individually and collectively free—untrammelled by party considerations, secure in its position, and elevated above the whirl of political debauchery.

II. Next take the House of Representatives, where discord reigns; where party struggles obscure and obstruct the discharge of parliamentary duties; where Government is supposed to lead, but really is itself driven by any combination strong enough to overthrow the balance of power; where members may be coerced by a threat of dissolution or corrupted by patronage—almost powerless for good—practically denied the right to initiate—where, with great waste, so much is commenced and so little finished—where so many abuses flourish under the vagaries of a system which leaves the representative a shadow of power, but a real discredit. Compare this also with a Parliament supreme, with a political atmosphere purified, with free scope to each member to exercise his privileges and vote honestly upon the merits of every question submitted to him. The people, too, would have issues simplified. The accretions of the past have left our political machinery clogged, encumbered, and disconnected. The voters' aspirations should lead to true and direct action; nothing less will satisfy their common-sense. When an election takes place now, the people learn but little of the Legislature, and less still of the administration of public affairs; all is filtered through the bias of partisanship, and so obscured by personal considerations as to reduce public affairs to the second place.

Eugene O'Conor,