(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Candid Candidate

Alfred Ebenezer Jackson was a very earnest man,
Who aspired to be a statesman, and he consequently ran
At a general election as the Candid Candidate,
Sworn to tell the truth ungarbled, leaving all the rest to Fate.


Jackson had a firm conviction that the average M.P.
Was not prefectly straightforward as a member ought to be.
'They disguise their actual motives,' Jackson said, 'and so they fail.
I shall leave no false suspicion that I'm sitting on a rail.'


'Fellow men,' quoth Ebenezer, in his first campaign address.
'My desire to gain election is most eager, I confess:
True, some patriotic ardor fills me with its holy fire;
But to get a safe and steady billet is my main desire.


'Now, to put the matter plainly, I've no wish to twist or hedge,
And I'm quite prepared to stand to all the things that I allege.
I aspire to serve Australia in the Big Affairs of State:
To that aim all local interests gladly I'll subordinate.


'I shall give no hasty promise for the sake of votes from you.
Roads and bridges you shall have them when they are your right and due;
But wre this whole country's interest clashes with your local lot,
Then my vote is for Australia and the rest can go to pot!


'I'll not stoop to curry favor for the sake of your back yard,
While the Big Things of the nation call for labor long and hard;
For I'm not of those hard grafters whose chief work is turning coats,
With their thoughts on next election, and their eyes upon your votes.


'Party ties shall never hold me when I hear Australia call,
Through my service to the nation do I seek to stand or fall.
And to talk election piffle in the House, if I be sent
There to work, I'll deem an insult to the folk I represent.


'I shall scheme to drag no railway through the back yard of this State;
Nor on any handy dust-heap in this dashed electorate
Shall I vote to plant a city, while the fact is evident
That abtter site is waiting elsewhere on the continent.


'I am solid for Protection: but my creed I won't abuse
By mean tricks to shift the duty from commodities you use:
Nor shall I denounce with loathing Socialists' experiments
While I howl for State assistance for my own constituents.


'Now, my worthy friends, you know me, and just what I mean to do.
As plain people of Australia I am ev'ry time for you,
With my eyes upon the future and this great land's destiny,
I shall not to 'local interests' sacrifice prosterity.'


Alfred Ebenezer Jackson raised a wild, derisive shout
From 'intelligent electors.' 'Mad!' they said, 'without a doubt.'
And because they knew he meant it - ev'ry work he spoke or wrote
Alfred Ebenezer Jackson did not get a single vote!

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