Letters grouped by: Elections

THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. MR. WATSON’S SOCIALISM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 23 1907; Nov. 7 1907. Australian political sensations are short-lived. Even Sydney’s protest against the Tariff cannot now summon our indignant citizens to a Town Hall meeting. That combat is transferred to the Federal Parliament, where progress is being patiently and astutely blocked from day to day. Like a waterlogged ship it lies at the mercy of the currents. The astonishing thing there is how party movements counteract each other. In the House of Representatives we have four sections. A…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. ANTI-FEDERALISM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 16 1907; Nov. 5 1907. Our State elections are over, but our publicists do not seem anxious to assess their meaning. The heaviest polling we have witnessed for many years leaves our local parties much as they were. If anything the Premier’s direct following is slightly weaker, Labour a little stronger, and the Independents less numerous but more Ministerial in their leanings. Looking only at these groups, it almost seems today as if nothing had happened—as if no dissolution had occurred. But there is…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. THE NEW TARIFF. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 9 1907; Oct. 30 1907. Australian politics are not clarifying, and yet that is what is most needed just now. Our Federal Parliament discovers four parties in the House and three in the Senate, none of them sure of their bearings. The consequence is turbidity, effervescence, and uncertainty, old feuds active, new feuds germinating, and a general expectancy that puzzles onlookers. The one fusion so far achieved was amazing and unexpected. When members’ “allowances” were to be increased sudden fissures…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. FEDERAL PARTY RISKS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 22 1907; Aug. 27 1907. Our Federal situation in its party aspects overshadows everything political. Another week has passed quietly in both Chambers. The ordinary business of legislation is proceeding smoothly, scarcely a ripple in the stream indicating that the rapids are close at hand. The Prime Minister’s absence, though most unfortunate, is not without compensations, since if he had been in charge of the House he would by this time have been in open conflict with the Labour ultras. On the other hand,…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LABOUR AND THE MINISTRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 8 1907; Aug. 17 1907. Parliament has opened; to be more accurate several Parliaments have opened, and in a few days more there will be seven of them in full play. Setting aside the six State Legislatures whose performances provide plenty of entertainment for onlookers and of material for thought to the more seriously inclined the English observer is likely to find in the National Senate and House of Representatives quite enough to occupy any leisure of his for political inquiry. There is a Governor-…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE FEDERATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 8 1907; Jul. 23 1907. The agenda paper for the forthcoming Premiers’ Conference in Brisbane has just been published. Outside the question of the financial relations of the Commonwealth and States—which will be taken up where it was left by the last Conference of Treasurers in Melbourne—there is no matter of the first importance to be discussed. According to the usual practice, each of the State Governments has furnished a list of the topics which it desires to submit to the Conference.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 3 1907; May 28 1907. Time was not very long ago when the State Premiers were complaining that the policy of the Commonwealth prevented the free flow of immigration into Australia. More than a few of them and of their Press supporters helped to swell the chorus of unintelligent misrepresentation of the rather foolish action of the first Federal Government. Today the positions are exactly reversed. It is the Commonwealth that is chasing the State Premiers, who are more or less apologetically explaining away their own…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE NORTHERN TERRITORY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 26 1907; May 25 1907. Some time has passed since the great territorial transfer to the Federal Government was summarised in the Morning Post, and it seems desirable with a view to its better understand­ing to return to it again. What may fairly be described as a truly Imperial “deal” was made when, after a long series of communications in which the Prime Minister appeared resolute to drive the hardest of bargains with South Australia, for the acquisition of the Northern Territory by the Commonwealth, he…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NEW SOUTH WALES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 12 1907; Apr. 30 1907. Although our Legislative Assembly is fast approaching the term of its natural life the elections are still some months ahead, and speculation upon their outcome is languid. That Mr. Carruthers will head a Coalition and be returned with a majority seems assured, though our Labour Party is active and confident. What appears to be overlooked altogether is that the coming conflict, especially in the country districts, will be conducted under new conditions. These may affect…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE STATE ELECTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 5 1907; Apr. 16 1907 [sic]. With the sudden closing of the Commonwealth Parliament Federal politics have with equal promptitude drifted into a calm. The vacant field of political interest is well filled by State elections with us as with our neighbours both to north and south. In Victoria the contest will be over in about a fortnight, if indeed it can be termed a contest. Mr. Bent has enjoyed good luck and good management. Sir Alexander Peacock, a former Premier and an extremely popular Australian, together…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CONSOLIDATION OF PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 11 1907; Apr. 2 1907. A far-off correspondent may speculate in safety upon the developments around him, for if his forecast fails no one on the other side of the world is likely to remember it. Besides, Australia being palpably at the beginning of everything and particularly of Federal politics, current events are bound to be prognostic and to tempt interpretation. In our transitional period we naturally look for helpful precedents in the other federations achieved by our race. Our trials proceeding in…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MINISTERIAL PROSPECTS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 7 1907; Feb. 28 1907. A feu de joie of figures salutes the close of the year 1906. The amazing growth of production and trade to which Australia is accustomed is being once more demonstrated by returns from every class of business in every corner of the continent. Splendid as all the records are, they are simply normal. The season is so extremely late that, contrary to almost all previous experiences, the wool and wheat receipts will be very largely credited to 1907. In consequence the very sensible…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. HOPELESSNESS OF THE FREE TRADE CAUSE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 17 1906; Jan. 30 1907. Last Wednesday the national electoral cam­paign after two months’ fighting reached its final crisis. Three angry parties were locked in fierce combat against each other. Despite the fury of their onset and the miscellaneous character of the conflict each of the three survives. Neither pos­sesses a majority in either Chamber. Neither has improved its position. The Ministry which was the weakest and met with most misfortune is for all that better off than its antagonists.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PRIVY COUNCIL AND THE HIGH COURT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 10 1906; Jan. 22 1907. Upon the fortunes of the Federal political campaign it is needless to dwell, since in two days more the verdict of the electors will dispose of prophecy. At present, on the eve of our choice of representatives, the whole firmament, so far as our newspapers are concerned, is covered with a dense cloud of controversial polemics. In Sydney itself these seem all of one colour. Every paper published is briefed for the Opposition, except the redoubtable Bulletin, which occupies…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE ELECTIONS AND LABOUR ACTIVITY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 26 1906; Dec. 31 1906. The Federal elections continue to monopolise all the political attention available to crowd the columns of the newspapers and to throw all other public affairs into the shade. Still it must always be remembered that the proportion of our attention given to politics is much more limited than is supposed. After all the beating of drums and waving of banners probably half our adult popula­tion will not take the trouble to vote. Our franchise is as wide as it is possible to make…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR AND THE MINISTRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 27 1906]; Oct. 25 1906. Australian politics exhibit rising temperatures; one general election is certain and another pro­bable this year, three more are due in the early part of next year. Out of our seven Legislatures only those of Western Australia and Tasmania, lately elected, appear to conform to the normal standard. All the rest are perturbed by the imminence of changes which affect the conduct of current affairs by anticipation. Commonwealth politics are at an extremely critical stage, party complications…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 9 1906; Aug. 17 1906. Half the Commonwealth Senate and the whole of the House of Representatives are due for elec­tion this year, probably about the end of Novem­ber, and already the campaign is in progress. Parliament sits in Melbourne, but Mr. Reid is touring in Queensland as if it were still in recess. He has already carried out platform expeditions here and in Victoria and is preparing for further onsets upon different portions of the continent. If he is not successful at the polls it will not be for…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. GENERAL ELECTION TACTICS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 7 1906; Jun. 30 1906. Parliament meets on June 5, that is to say, the Commonwealth Parliament which at present is in the full focus of public attention assembles in Melbourne on that date. The State Legisla­tures will be summoned later, for none of them apprehend a dissolution this year, and all of them rejoice to have the critical eye of the country directed upon their big brother instead of them­selves. Two of those Ministerial transformations to which we have become accustomed in local politics have been…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. NEED FOR A HIGH COMMISSIONER. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 26 1906; Apr. 12 1906. State politics seem dull because there are no prospects of change visible at any point on the horizon. There is an absence of sensations and even of the promise of sensations that bodes well for Mr. Carruthers. Federal politics are dull, too, though there the possibilities both of changes and sensations are patent on every hand. The general situation is not clarifying. Ministers preserve a silence either of indifference or of caution. Mr. Deakin’s replies to Mr. Reid’s frequent…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARTY OUTLOOK. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 19 1906; Apr. 11 1906. While to the cursory observer it may seem that nothing particular is happening throughout Australia, in reality a great deal is going on preparatory in character and gradually defining the political situation for 1906. Tasmania opens the ball with a General Election of little promise un­less much clearer issues are submitted by the Ministry than it has yet fathered. The Legislature of Western Australia meets in May to under­take the businesslike policy upon which Mr. Rason obtained his…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY’S INFLUENCE. ADVANTAGE OF SOLIDARITY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 30 1905]; Dec. 23 1905. The Australian political puzzle has put on a new face. Formerly it meant, What shall we do with the Labour Party? Now it means, What shall the Labour Party do with itself? That problem arose when it first came into office under Mr. Watson in the Commonwealth and under Mr. Daglish in Western Australia. The answer proved so hard to find that both leaders despair­ingly abandoned the attempt to run a Caucus and a Cabinet in double harness. Even the responsi­bilities…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER’S PROGRAMME. IMMIGRATION QUESTION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 16 1905]; Dec. 5 1905. Immigration is still the touchstone, though it is being curiously applied. The fact that it pro­vides a popular cry is interfering with the immediate and visible success of the movement. All astute political leaders desire to annex it for themselves and to prevent others annexing it, or by strategic moves to oust them from their posi­tions of vantage in regard to it. To the cynical onlooker this may seem very amusing, but to the thoughtful the subject is too serious to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE FALLEN MINISTRY. DEFEAT INEVITABLE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 3 1905; Aug. 11 1905. What will happen next in our politics is never easy to predict, but the present crisis has no peculiarly Australian character. When the materials for an explosion are lying close together, as they have been in the Federal Parliament for many months, any spark from anywhere will produce a catastrophe. Readers of the Morning Post at all events cannot have been surprised when the cable told them that Mr. Reid’s Ministry had fallen. It was always plain that this might occur…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE ANTI-SOCIALIST CRUSADE. QUESTIONS AT ISSUE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 6 1905]; Jul. 20 1905. The political mists are commencing to disperse in New South Wales. In another week we shall witness the opening of our State Legislature and the organisation of Anti-Socialistic leagues throughout its whole domain. These, though Federal in their immediate purpose, will be local bodies as well in habitation and in aim. The Labour Party, Federal and State, is one, and has one chief “objective” which stands at the head of its programme and explains its nature. Stripped…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. EMPIRE DAY CELEBRATIONS. SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ELECTION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 30 1905]; Jul. 18 1905. Empire Day has been celebrated for the first time, and with marked success, all over Australia. This is entirely satisfactory for many reasons. The Press as a whole lent its invaluable aid, and though from somewhat different standpoints, was practically unanimous in welcoming the new festival and in applauding the spirit it expressed. The Sydney Bulletin was the one recalcitrant juryman declaiming against the obstinate loyalty of the other eleven, though even…