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1 correction by doug.butler - Show corrections


So far as they have been at present ascer tained, the general results of the elections amply confirm the anticipations expressed by us as soon as the dissolution was an*

nounced. They show how indiscriminately what was intended as a retribution against those whom the Ministry regarded as the real authors of the dissolution has fallen alike upon friend and foe* and they show also how absurd it was to expect a distinct expression of opinion from the country upon the present state of public affairs. Any one who has watched the course of the elections must know how small a part the action taken by members in the late crisis has played in influencing the votes of the electors. There has been a very general protest against the dissolution, but, as we pointed out, the electors had to choose their men upon othsr con siderations than that. Perhaps the most distinct protest against the necessity of going to the country has been uttered by the electors of Gumeracha. That the Hon. Arthur Blyth, who has served that district for seventeen years, who has never had a difference with his constituents, and who was returned at the head of the poll less than two years ago while he was absent from the colony, should be 125 votes behind Mr. Ward, and should be apparently in- debted to his colleague for the fact that he is returned at all, is surely a most significant commentary upon the course which his Government pursued, and which his sole veto could have prevented. The Ministry may, of course, point triumphantly to the fact that they have all secured their return, but they must not shut their eyes to the fact that some of their most strenuous opponents have been equally successful. With Messrs. Boucaut, Glyde, Cavenagh, Krichauff, and Ramsay all re-elected, and with the fact before them that if Mr. Duncan succeeds in overtopping Messrs. Hughes and Quin's large majorities at Port Ade- laide, it will be mainly because he pledged himself to vote against them, they cannot affirm that the country has spoken out with any distinctness against the alleged iniquity of the last no-confidence motion. If we look on the other hand to the members who have been dropped out we shall find no more evidence of any clear expression of public opinion upon the crisis, although we shall find abundant proofs of the mis- chief the dissolution has done. Messrs. Bean, Lindsay, Playford, and White were all opponents of the Ministry, and they have all been unsuccessful, but it is impossible to connect their failure with their action during the crisis. The districts that put Messrs. Boucaut and Barrow at the head of the poll could not have approved very highly of the dissolution. Again, we find some of the Ministerial sup- porters have been equally unsuccessful.

The defeat of the four members just named is more, than counterbalanced by that of Messrs. N. Blyth, Duffield, Hay, and Coglin. In short, it is impossible in nine cases out of ten to point to the result of an election as clearly proving anything in connection with this question. And if so, of what use has the dissolution been ? It has deprived us of the services of many trained legislators whom wo could ill spare; it has already given us fifteen new members, ten of whom, however useful they may ulti mately become, are entirely new to Parliamentary work; it has interrupted public business, and cost the State and the country some thousands of pounds ; while so far as we can see at present, it has neither strengthened the hands of the Government, nor aided in any material degree in the solution of the important questions that were under discussion when the Parliament was so sud- denly cut short in its career. .