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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Disgust With Politics

Disgust With Politics.

The abstention of a considerable section of the community, and this by no means the least educated or reputable section, from taking an active part in politics or popular elections, is a matter of notoriety and regret to well disposed and thinking citizens. This abstention applies not only to qualified voters, but to men suitable as candidates for Parliament. Many most excellent colonists of various shades of thought have presented themselves for election in the past, and are doing so at the present juncture, but it must be confessed the number is a decreasing one. A spirit of hopelessness seems to have taken possession of many of our people, who are in various respects, specially suited for page 2 rendering good service to our country in the Parliament or in the Ministry. Such when appealed to decline to come forward, deterred in part by the fact, which cannot be gainsaid, that men of their stamp, honest and capable, are frequently rejected by the electors while candidates, in many instances, not qualified by any marked ability, wisdom, or political honesty—men emphatically not needed in the council of the nation—are returned with "record" majorities to play such pranks when there as bring shame upon their constituencies Truly in the race the victory is frequently to the invertebrate politician, men without political principles, rather than to the rigid-backed statesmen, who having applied themselves to the study of the science of government, and developed a public line for their guidance, are unable to truckle to the passing whim, rage or stupidity of ill-educated, semi-corrupt voters, profoundly indifferent to the real nobility to the men they flout. It is too frequently assumed and stated that, this deplorable condition of things is the result of the extension of the franchise to all and sundry of the people, and that it is useless to hope for any better state of affairs while Universal suffrage prevails, No view could he more utterly mistaken than this, and to give way to such a "council of despair" exhibits not only gross cowardice, but an absolute failure to understand what the real evil is, and to recognise that its remedy can be found by an intelligent and determined people.