OPPOSITION, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from
running amuck by hamstringing it.
The King of Ghargaroo, who had been abroad to study the science of
government, appointed one hundred of his fattest subjects as members
of a parliament to make laws for the collection of revenue. Forty of
these he named the Party of Opposition and had his Prime Minister
carefully instruct them in their duty of opposing every royal measure.
Nevertheless, the first one that was submitted passed unanimously.
Greatly displeased, the King vetoed it, informing the Opposition that
if they did that again they would pay for their obstinacy with their
heads. The entire forty promptly disemboweled themselves.
"What shall we do now?" the King asked. "Liberal institutions
cannot be maintained without a party of Opposition."
"Splendor of the universe," replied the Prime Minister, "it is
true these dogs of darkness have no longer their credentials, but all
is not lost. Leave the matter to this worm of the dust."
So the Minister had the bodies of his Majesty's Opposition
embalmed and stuffed with straw, put back into the seats of power and
nailed there. Forty votes were recorded against every bill and the
nation prospered. But one day a bill imposing a tax on warts was
defeated -- the members of the Government party had not been nailed to
their seats! This so enraged the King that the Prime Minister was put
to death, the parliament was dissolved with a battery of artillery,
and government of the people, by the people, for the people perished