Parliament. What did the report of the commission show? The statement is a startling one, and here it is:


Registered Voters. Impure Voters Totness.........


158 Reigate ....


346 Great Yarmouth...........


528 Lancaster


916 In Totness and Reigate the corrupt voters were thirty-eight per cent. of the whole; in Yarmouth thirty-two per cent., and in Lancaster sixtyfour!

The reason why Yarmouth shows the lowest in this scale of infamy, is that by act of Parliament some years since the freemen were disfranchised, and suffrage was confined to householders; so that the percentage of corrupt voters is only thirty-two per cent., whereas in Lancaster, a borough of somewhat similar character, the percentage amounts to sixty-four per cent. This is shown by a detail of the voters in Lancaster. There, of freemen, there were 980 registered, of whom 708 were proved to be impure; whereas of the householders, 439 registered, the number of corrupt was only 208. Here three-fourths of the freemen were bribers or bribed, whereas less than one-half of the householders were corrupt.

These are the facts as proved, and they of course do not include the corruption in those boroughs which was not detected by the commission, of which there may have been a considerable amount. You see here to what length electoral corruption may be carried under the district system—because in England their boroughs are districts—where the ma

jority or the plurality rule obtains, and where there is a motive for a corrupt man to struggle for the balance of power in order to turn the scale. One great objection I have always had to colored suffrage, and which I have stated upon this floor, has been this: that thereby you cast into the hands of corrupt and ambitious and evil men in this country, a vast opportunity for mischief, for using this mass of votes for their own improper purposes. Looking from the practical point of view upon this question, I supposed that it connected itself with the subject of corruption; but if you had a system of cumulative voting in the South, each political party there would have the power to secure to itself due representation in Congress in spite of another; the causes of corruption would be cut off or limited, and you could have a system comparatively pure. Sir, I show you these English examples as a warning, as pointing out to you the great danger to which our representative system is liable, particularly in that section with which your measures of reconstruction are concerned.

Mr. President, I had prepared some time since a complete analysis of the recent elections in the States represented in Congress, from the best means of information within my power, for the purpose

of showing the operation of our existing system under the majority rule; but, sir, it is not necessary for me to go over that. All I shall say upon that point is that you cannot examine the facts as to any State, taking your figures from any authentic publication, without perceiving that your representative system requires reform; that you must advance

from the position you have heretofore maintained as to the manner in which the right of suffrage shall be exercised by our people; and the farther this investigation shall be carried the more thorough will this conviction be.

Mr. President, I have done what I supposed to be a duty in calling attention to this question, presenting it to the consideration of the Senate, knowing perfectly well that it will be again before us, and feeling assured that the proposition will eventually triumph here on this floor and throughout the country, that you will make your plan of taking

, the sense of the people in the election of members of Congress just, equitable, reasonable, fair; that you will make and shape it according to the information which you now possess, instead of continuing your present imperfect arrangement; that as you extend the basis of suffrage, as you make changes in the foundations of political power, you will improve the plans upon which your system shall be worked and made to accomplish its proper objects.

MILL AND GREY ON REFORMED VOTING. I have in conclusion only to cite authority, which will be brief upon this question. In the first place I will read from an author of the first rank-from John Stuart Mill's work on parliamentary reform, page 28. He is speaking of districts which shall elect each three members of the Parliament, and is proposing the application of improved modes of voting to them:

"Assuming, then, that each constituency elects three representatives, two modes have been proposed, in either of which a minority, amounting to a third of the constituency, may, by acting in concert, and determining to aim at no more, return one of the members. One plan is, that each elector should only be allowed to vote for two, or even for one, although three are to be elected. The other leaves to the elector his three votes, but allows him to give all of them to one candidate. The first of these plans was adopted in the reform bill of Lord Aberdeen's government; but I do not hesitate most decidedly to prefer the second, which has been advocated in an able and conclusive pamphlet by Mr. James Garth Marshall.

“The former plan must be always and inevitably unpopular, because it cuts down the privileges of the voter, while the latter on the contrary, extends them. And I am prepared to maintain that the permission of cumulative votes, that is, of giving either one, two, or three votes to a single candidate, is in itself, even independently of its effect in giving a representation to minorities, the mode of voting which gives the most faithful expression of the wishes of the elector. On the existing plan, an elector who votes for three can give his vote for the three candidates whom he prefers to their competitors; but among those three he may desire the success of one immeasurably more than that of the other two, and may be willing to relinquish them entirely for an increased chance of attaining the greater object.

“This portion of his wishes he has now no means of expressing by his vote. He may sacrifice two of his votes altogether, but in no case can he give more than a single vote to the object of his preference. Why should the mere fact of preference be alone considered, and no account whatever be taken of the degree of it? The power to give several votes to a single candidate would be eminently favorable to those whose claims to be chosen are derived from personal qualities, and not from their being the mere symbols of an opinion. · For if the voter gives his suffrage to a candidate in consideration of pledges or because the candidate is of the same party with himself, he will not desire the success of that individual more than that of any other who will take the same pledges or belongs to the same party.

“When he is especially concerned for the election of some one candidate, it is on account of something which personally

distinguishes that candidate from others on the same side. Where there is no overruling local influence in favor of an individual, those who would be benefited as candidates by the cumulative vote would generally be the persons of greatest real or reputed virtue or talents."

In his subsequent work on representative government he has gone elaborately into an investigation of the existing evils of the representative system as shown in Great Britain, and has laid elaborately the foundations of an argument upon grounds distinct from those which I have stated, although in some cases approaching them, for the adoption of this or some other adequate plan of reform; and in that subsequent work he repeats his recommendation of cumulative voting as one of sensible and material reform. He proceeds, however, to state that his own opinion inclines to a still further reform, the introduction of a system of personal representation, which I shall not discuss here because the occasion does not invite it, because I do not suppose it is a system which can be within a twelvemonth or within several years debated and understood and adopted by the American people. It is one much more complicated, requiring perhaps a higher state of political experience, or a more advanced stage of discussion for its comprehension and adoption by our people.

I have quoted the authority of Mr. Mill in favor of cumulative voting as a convenient, practicable, just, and useful measure of reform, confident that his authority will be accepted both by the Senate and by the people of this country as the highest perhaps which can be produced upon a question of

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