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THE PARLIAMENTARY HOLIDAY. ON Thursday Parliament assembled for a short time, and was again prorogued. It zn will meet again in November, but it is un- likely that any serious attempt will be made to start with the business to be dealt with before the beginning of next year. Members of Parliament, therefore, who have had a very exhausting experience during the last month will now be allowed a little breathing time in which to recruit their energies, and to prepare themselves for the heavy work to be put before them when the House really starts business. The holiday will come as a welcome relief not only to the members immediately concerned, but to the country at large. Over the whole surface of the country the tendency seems to be towards increasing bitterness in political life. As we have pointed out on more than one occasion, the political ele- ment, which is proper and necessary when kept within its proper confines, has during recent years been pushed forward to absurd extremes, and the mischief resulting from such a policy must be apparent to all who witness it. Instead of awakening the people to political activity, it will soon become necessary to exercise some checking influ- ence, so as to reduce the study and practice of politics to its legitimate sphere, and to arrest the mischievous processes which in many cases are in course of operation. In- stances are plentiful throughout the country of otherwise estimable men resorting, under the exciting influences of political struggle, to practices from which they would in their usual frame of mind shrink away, and which they probably live to regret after- wards. Private friendships are largely in-1 terfered with, commercial concerns are not' infrequently seriously affected, public move- ment fall in many cases to the ground, the! peace of religious communities is seriously disturbed, and many other unfortunate re- sults are witnessed—and all because of this undue political zeal, or rather political bitterness. In this town and county political feeling probably never ran so high as it has done during the last few years. In days gone by the scenes at the election times were undoubtedly more violent, but the feeling subsided with the declaration of the poll, and business and friendship resumed the even tenour of their way. Now we re- gret to say it is very difficult. The political contests are not only bitter, but, worst still, they are continuous, and from the begin- ning to the end of each year partisanship is active and militant. The effect upon public movements is very marked, and equally deplorable. In matters of common citizenship, in which the in- terests of all should be identical, party issues make their appearance felt with the result that if the movement is not wrecked, at least the pleasure of promoters is very much diminished, aud the results, owing to division, much less substantial than they might be. If these results are to be found Z!1 in small areas, the influence upon the country as a whole must be disastrous. That political strife injures the internal commerce of the country is the almost universal testimony of commercial experts based upon their observations of the in- fluence upon national trade of a General Election, for instance. In face of considerations like these, it is gratifying to think that for a short time at least there will be a lull in the political world, and the country will have time to recover somewhat of the equilibrium which it has lost during the election. There are those who argue in favour of Parliament I sitting more continuously than it does at present; but, in the way of realising this end, there are many serious difficulties. While the House is sitting, a Member's life —that is, if he attempts to discharge his duties properly—embraces a good deal of really hard work, and he needs periods of relaxation. A continuous sitting of Parlia- Z, ment would have the effect of excluding many valuable Members from retaining their seats —such as business and professional men who can spare a portion, but cannot give the whole, of their time to Parliamentary work. It would also mean an additional strain upon the national life. Party politics, in our view, already occupy a sufficient amount of public attention, and these occasional re- lapses in Parliamentary work enable the thought country to be turned-with profit, too-to other less exciting subjects of national interest, and allow the heat which political contests always engender to cool down somewhat. We should imagine that the most ardent politician in the land would not begrudge our representatives a brief I rest before the new Ministry takes up the reins of office. The struggle in front of us is likely to be a very severe one, and though we have little doubt as to what the ultimate result will be, we shall have to witness a good deal of agitation aud serious warfare before it is accomplished.






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