Page:Moyarra- An Australian Legend in Two Cantos, 1891.djvu/98

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92

MOYARRA

10(p. 88). "Oh! in the councils of my father-land
Instil the wisdom which may keep it free."

This was indeed a "vain invocation!" I have lived long enough to see the principles of the English Constitution violated by men solemnly pledged to defend them; to see the House of Commons comport itself like Caliban in the garden of Prospero; to see the very principle on which representation was founded by our forefathers trampled in the dust; to observe the gathered voices from all parts of the realm dominated by the will of numerous delegates from towns so few in number that they may almost be counted on the fingers—the result being that decisions, which under the ancient constitution represented a composition of many forces gathered from various places, have been degraded until they represent little more than one force, that one being dependent upon clamour in the streets prompted and controlled by self-seeking wire-pullers behind the scenes.

The once time-honoured principle of representation of the tax-payers has been so grotesquely inverted that they who contribute the bulk of the taxation have but a nominal voice in its expenditure.

It is even demanded that the formula—one man, one vote—shall supersede all claims for representation of intelligence and industry.

The conduct of foreign affairs, and of all momentous problems in government, must be thrown into crucibles controlled by ignorance and passion. In the very heart of the Empire intelligence is to be stifled. If none but those who lodge within the electoral district of the City of London can vote for a Member for the City, the caretakers of property will wield the power heretofore possessed by proprietors