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The Convention

The following article is from:
The British Columbian August 26, 1868, p. 2


On the 14th proximo, Delegates from, we trust, every District of this wide spread Colony will meet at Yale for the purpose of adopting measures for obtaining the early admission of this Colony into the Dominion of Canada, and, considering the best means for ameliorating the political condition of the Colony. This extraordinary proceeding has been rendered necessary by the hostile attitude assumed by the hybrid legislature, during last Session.

Our readers are already aware that the Government officials, comprising as they do, two-thirds of that body, took it into their heads that they might lose their lucrative billets under Confederation; and they, therefore, recorded their votes against the change, although compelled to admit that it would be a great boon to the Colony. The first law of our nature is said to be to "look out for number one," and they came to the unanimous determination to obey that law. Well; they must not think hard of the people if they elect also to obey that law, and take such steps as they may deem most expedient for protecting and promoting their own interests. To suppose that the colonists are going to succumb to a two-thirds official majority and quietly bend their backs to the burden is absurd; and to suppose that the officials will strengthen their position, or improve their chances of continuing in office by thus setting themselves in direct opposition to the wishes of the people, and the interests of the country is equally absurd.

From the Governor downwards, they must be taught that the public affairs are to be administered in the interest of the people; not, as they appear to think, in the special interest of the officials. The Convention, if judiciously managed, will materially lead to such a result. If the people of every district do their duty, the Convention will be a representative body in a much fuller sense than the Legislative Council can possibly be, under the existing constitution; and, consequently, whatever measures or recommendations may emanate from that body will be entitled to far greater weight than can fairly attach to the emanations of our so-called legislature. The emanations of the one will be emphatically the voice of the people. The other is the mere mouth-piece of the Governing classes. But, in order to render the Convention effective, in order to invest it with that power which no Government dare treat with contempt, the colonists must respond to the call with heartiness and alacrity. There must be no dull indifference shown. No half-heartedness will do in this movement. Nor need it be apprehended. The people understand their own interests too well for that.