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Party Politics vs. Responsible Government

on Monday, 01 August 1955. Posted in Politics

"Too many of us have left the control of our public affairs to political machines made up of men whom we would not employ in our own enterprises, for whose judgment, ability, and experience we have little respect, and in whose character we have no confidence. There are those who say, 'I want nothing to do with politics for politics is dirty.' I submit that, in the broad sense, politics is the science and practice of government and that every citizen should share in that study and that practice, Politics will be as dirty as you and I permit it to be, and as clean as we demand. The price of decent government is still eternal vigilance."

— Excerpt from remarks of Hon. Harry F. Byrd, U.S. Senator from Virginia.

Parliamentary Government has been steadily declining from the all-time excellence it reached in the second half of last century in England.

"I have to agree with Spengler's statement: "With the beginning of the 20th century, Parliamentarianism is tending rapidly towards taking upon itself the role it once assigned to Royalty.

"It is becoming the impressive spectacle for the multitude, for the orthodox, while big policy, already transferred de jure from the Crown to the people's representatives is passing de facto from the latter to unofficial groups and the will of unofficial personages."

The dangers challenging the parliamentary institution are the tyranny of the Cabinet, the bureaucracy and the growing rigidity of the party system, Mr. Green warns. He goes on:

"When the outside political body succeeds in dictating in detail to its parliamentary body — the Government — parliamentary Government will have ceased to exist..."

Frank Green, Clerk of the House of Representatives from 1937 to 1955,

reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, June 25, 1955.

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