[Editor: This election statement, made by Alexander Bayne, was published in The Age (Melbourne), 17 October 1864.]
To the Electors of the North-Western Province.
Gentlemen, — In compliance with the generally expressed wish of the Press throughout the Province, that some candidate should come forward to contest its representation, together with the solicitations of a considerable and influential number of your body, I have the honor to offer myself as a Candidate for your suffrages at the approaching election.
My views on the leading questions of the day are as follows, viz.:—
I shall support the Land Policy of the Ministry as set forth by Mr Grant, believing it to be the best means of settling the lands of the colony which has yet been devised.
I am opposed to sale by auction, as I am thoroughly satisfied that occupation should precede alienation.
The time has arrived in my opinion when a thorough reform of the Upper House should be brought about, with this object in view I shall advocate a reduction of the qualification of both members and electors to one-half what they now are. I shall also support a reduction of the period of membership from ten to five years.
I am favorable to an equitable revision of the Tariff.
The foregoing are, in my opinion, the principal points of the Ministerial policy as now before the country, a policy which shall meet with my hearty support.
Amongst other measures of pressing importance which should receive the immediate attention of the Legislature is one for the establishment of Local Insolvency Courts in the large centres of population; and if elected by you I shall use my best endeavors to secure such a measure being passed into law.
As an old resident of the province, and intimately connected with its progress, I will, if elected, devote my energies to the securing for it that consideration at the hands of the Legislature which its importance merits. I shall make it my duty to visit as many of the divisions of the province as I possibly can prior to the election, when I hope to have opportunities of laying my opinions more fully before you.
Meantime, I have the honor to remain,
Your obedient servant,
Sandhurst, 10th October, 1864.
The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 17 October 1864, p. 7
Sandhurst = the former name of Bendigo (Vic.)
suffrage = (archaic) a vote for a candidate or a vote for a proposal (in modern usage “suffrage” refers to the right to vote, or the exercising of that right)