[Title Missing], The Globe (14 October 1854)

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Date: 1854-10-14
By: The Globe
Citation: The Globe (14 October 1854).
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[illegible] House. [illegible] of Government [illegible] by Mr. Morin [illegible] purpose. The [illegible] of Mr. Brown, gave [illegible]ing features of the [illegible]tures made upon the Bill [illegible] us, might be premature and [illegible] representation of it; we shall [illegible] much about it until such time [illegible] opportunity of perusing it. We [illegible] measure having for its object an [illegible] in our institutions, should be matured [illegible] care, and with an eye to its practical [illegible]. In this case it is peculiarly necessary, as [illegible] nothing analogous to what is proposed [illegible] done—the creation of an elective Legislative Council to work in harmony with our system of responsible Government—in any Government under the sun. The experiment is an entirely new one, and should be cautiously dealt with. Were we not desirous of introducing the elective principle as widely as possible in all the branches of Government, and in the choice of public officers, we should hesitate to advocate such change in the constitution of the Upper House, under the impression that it is scarcely compatible with the existing form of Government.

From the explanation of the leading principles of the Bill given by the honourable gentleman, we are of opinion that it will come far short of meeting either the expectations of the country or the exigencies of the case. It appears that one of the main features of the Bill is, that it provides for a life tenure to the existing members, and that 20 new members are to be added annually for three years by election. We do not think the country will, or ought to be satisfied with this arrangement. If there be any good reason why the members of the Upper House should be elected, rather than be appointed by the Crown, that reason should operate in leading to the effecting of the change as speedily as possible. The only valid reason that could be adduced against the immediate application of the elective principle to all the members of the Council, if such principle is to be applied, is this; that it might so alter the complexion of the House so as not to leave sufficient members of parliamentary knowledge and experience to conduct the usual business. This evil is scarcely to be dreaded in a country so poorly supplied with men fitted to occupy such a position; and thus leaving a thousand probabilities that a sufficient number of the most talented and energetic of the present members would be elected to carry forward the business of the House until the new members would be fully initiated into legislative forms.

We have, at present, 37 members of the Upper House, and if we add annually, for three years, twenty members, we shall have the goodly number of 97 Legislative Councillors; many more than are required for the amount of service they will be called upon to perform. True, some of the existing members may be “gathered to their fathers” before that time, but it is not likely that much diminution will be made in so short a time from this cause. But the idea is preposterous that any number of members of the Council should be stationary, perfectly irresponsible to public opinion not having to submit to an election by the people, while their coadjutors are directly responsible to their constituents. The things strikes us as so absurd that we are unwilling to pursue it further until we have an opportunity of reading the Bill.

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