No corrections yet
'THEI PATRIOT AND PORTLANID IT will have been observed by most per., in the district who have taken an intere?t a the present electioncering movements, tt, a dimculty had occurred in bringng itin operation the New Constitution, so far the division of the elcctoral 'districts is?c: ccrned, connected with Port Phillip; al the question whether it would be lafoulta divide the Province into a iumber ofco°I nient electoral districts, or to make it o! one, has been some time mooted, and so far as we are informed, remainsml cided. We confess when the question came O before us, we felt a considerable degree disappoisntment at the prospect of the afi, of our district being confounded and ""5t5 up with those of others, from whelich wOe hope; in the common. rcpresentatlioI ba little justice. Thc, proslpect of obtalninef
actual resident of the district, as our reprc sentative, having since then" been overcast, we have felt less of that reluctance which we before experienced with other prospects; but' though even now circumstanced as we are, we would prefer, a thousand times, a roan of our own choice, to the being mixed up in an electioneering muddle with Gee long ortheIMelbourne District, and it would, most unquestionably, be vastly to the ad vantage of the district that we should have a separate and distinct representation from other parts of the province. Our feelings may be judged of, by those which any one iwho is anxious for the prosperity of the District, will entertain, in reading in the Port Plhillip Patriot, of the 19th ult., an article written on the subject of " Electoral Districts," in whichl was attempted to be shown, the inexpediency and injustice of di riding the districts, " with reference to counties," for the purpose of representation; and in order to make, if possible, the elec toral divisions of the whole province subserve to the interests of the Melbourne Corpora tion, the "Alderman Editor" finds it con venient to his purpose to undervalue Port land, and to repiesent the district as not being of sufficient importance for the return of "even one representative." The follow ing are his own words: " In the county of Normanby there has been but one sale of lown and cultivation allotments; there will scarcely, therefore, be a sufficiently numc rons constituency there, for the return of even one representative." There having been only one sale of town and country al lotments in the county, if that were true, would be the misfortune, not the fault of the residents, and ought, therefore, not to have been pleaded so directly against them. But it should have been remembered also, that that one sale so particularly and significantly alluded to, has perhaps been more produc tive to the laud fund, and immigration pur poses, than four or six sales in almost any other counties, and a larger amount of capital has been expended on these "allot ments" than on those of counties where sales have been more frequent. The only inference that can be drawn from the Patriot's observations in regard to the plan of the elec toral division of the Province, which they so subtlely recommend, is to increase the representation of Melbourne and Bourke, at the expense of Geelong and Portland, and by putting the two latter together to give them only two representatives, and by adding New Town to the County of 1Bourke, to give tie three remaining representatives to that county. Beyond this, the observa tions of the Patriot are not worth serious contradiction or careful notice. They can not injure this district in the estimation of either Iris Honor the Superintendent, or in that of his Excellency the Governor, for whose favorable consideration they were chiefly intended, or lead to the adoption of the plan which the article is put forth to re commend, and which goes so flatly to op pose the recommendation of Lord Stanley "to adhere as far as possible to the existing boundaries, rather than adopt new divisions of the Cdl6ny." But while thereis nothing rorthy of lengthened remark in the article I in question to injure the district in itsrep resentation, the close connection between the Port Phillip Patriot and the Portland I Mercury is not altogether undeserving of c further notice. The subject above alluded to being intended to injure the inhabitants 1 of Portland it their franchise, should, we conceive, have been left for some of the other Melbourne journalsto be urged against the district; and however just the remarks may be considered, yet their being disparag ingto to the district, and intended to injure it, in some of its most valuable privileges, the Patriot should have been the last, not the first, to have given them publicity. The intimacy, or rather oneness of the proprie tory of the Patriot and the Mercury, must have a baneful influence upon the latter journal.. The one cannot condemn, and the other at the same time consistently praise. It is hardly to be expected that the Patriot inI elbosrnecshould be attempting to un dermine the dearest privileges of the dis trict, and the iMercury in Portland should heartily engage in defending them. Who would ever expect to see the AMercury oppose the Patriot, let the latter advance whatever it might, to the injury of the district. A aort of sham fight may indeed be carried on for a while between the two, but the com pact existing between them is too close, that the.contest should be real, and it forbids thatit should be conducted with sincerity on the side of the former. The Mercury is too dependant upon the Patriot to he free from Melbourne influence. This is easy to see: its supplementary issues are totally and decidedly Patriot-Melbourne. There has been almost throughout all its numbers amarked attachment to all that is belbourn. The district of Portland iras been advocated, it is true, but never once in opposition to Melbourne. Througlhout tIhe whole length of thie discussion of the prin ciples of the New Constitution, the state of the Patriot on the subject was to be felt in tihe pulsations of the ilercury: vwhen the Patriot was silent and indifferent to the question, the l'ercurhylad nothing to advance on the point; as soon as the Patriot mounted Iis fiery steed, tie Mercury wvas immedi ately olf at a gallop; and because the muni cqral privileges of an alderman were en angeredr- his gown likely to be torn from
his corporate shoulders, by the formation of District Councils, nothing is too bad to be said about thems by its conductor. It were easy to produce instances in abundance :o show the agreement and similarity of senti mont'and expression between the twin jour nals. Let the following, as a brief sample, suffice: ALD. KERR's PAPER IN AID. KERR'S PAPER IN 11CLBO U RN1. PORTLAND. "In the County of Nor- "Weneed scarcely say manby there has been one so far as this Province sale of town and cultiva- (Portland) is concerned, Lion allotments; therewill representation will be en scarcely, therefore, be a joyed hut in name." sullicientlyunnuerous con 1?EncnrT,OCT. 20,1812. stituency there for the re turn of even ONE repre sentative."-PATRIoT, of Jan. 19, 1842. We only have to add, the iMercurt' is so essentially Patriot, that the first editor of the former journal was, at a period when he could be ill spared from his "onerous duties," called away from their performance to be come the editor of the latter.