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system not only renders such sentiment inactive, but tends altogether to repress it.
In States in which opposing party organizations flourish and where each is alternately successful, what have been styled the "close" States, the temptation to fraud receives powerful accession under the general-ticket system. Almost every critic of the electoral system has commented upon this obvious danger. A fraudulent ballot cast at a presidential election in New York, said an able writer, in 1873,
"affects thirty-five electors, or nearly one-fifth of the whole number requisite to the choice of a President. In Rhode Island such a ballot affects only three electors, or less than one-sixtieth of a majority of the whole electoral college. Here is a direct bounty on the concentration of fraudulent efforts of all kinds in the large States, whereby not only a vicious influence of fearful intensity is thrown into the scale of a national election, but all the local elements of corruption, ever sufficiently formidable in our most populous States, are powerfully reinforced;"
Whereas "under the district system, on the other hand, a fraud upon the ballot box can affect but one elector, unless two electors at large should be chosen in each State, in which case but three electors at the most could be affected by a given fraud."
It is hard to conceive of a system more easily adapted than the general-ticket system to the successful perpetration of fraud or offering more seductive inducements to its commission. The closer the vote of a State, the more bitter is the struggle for party supremacy; the keener the competition for success, the more insidious is the allurement to fraud and the easier its accomplishment, because it is necessary to purchase only a few voters in a particular section carefully chosen as the most promising field of nefarious operations. Thus the system framed by the convention of 1787, as now operated under the general-ticket plan, is doubly vulnerable to the attacks of fraud and corruption. Electors may be bribed. Certainly the electoral system offers leonine temptation to bribery, and the general-ticket plan renders defeat
of the popular will by the fraudulent purchase of voters in a close State a simple and easy achievement for astute and dishonest politicians.
The densely populated States, upon the general-ticket system, constantly tend to nullify the vote of the smaller commonwealths. It has several times happened in the history of the nation that the State of New York has been the determining factor in a presidential campaign the "pivotal" State; in fact, with the exception of the campaigns of 1868 and 1876, no election since 1856 has gone in favor of a party that has not carried New York. The tendency which has been so marked for two generations, and is increasingly evident, towards the concentration of people in large municipalities, will make such States even more influential in the future, their big electoral vote more and more decisive, the temptation to fraud more seductive, and the profit from its successful perpetuation more certain. The smaller States in self-defense should co-operate to bring about the adoption of a juster system. If their influence is to be preserved, their remonstrance against the present method should be emphatic. New York to-day wields thirty-nine electoral votes, which is the equivalent of thirteen of the smallest States, and if, under the system at present in vogue, a transferred vote of five to six hundred will place it in the Democratic or the Republican column-and no greater change would have taken the State from Cleveland and given it to Blaine in 1884-the incentive to prostitution and abuse of the suffrage could not be rendered stronger; and even in an ideal community, where the purity of the ballot-box is untarnished, the vote of the big State, like that of the large stockholder, counts rather in a geometrical than an arithmetrical progression. A plurality or majority in one section may, it is true, at times be counteracted by one in another section, and thus the net result be a rude approximation to fairness, taking the country as a whole; but this theory of averages may not work constantly, and the steady suppression of minority conviction in a State is an undisputed evil.
40. PARLIAMENTARY VS. PRESIDENTIAL GOVERNMENT.
Under the Articles of Confederation the United States had no President-no distinct executive department. All the power and functions of the central government were exercised by the Congress. When the Convention met which framed the new Constitution it was soon decided to change this and create three separate departments, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. But the question as to the proper relations between these departments was not so easily settled. Should the executive department be dependent upon and subject to the control of the legislature, or should it be an entirely independent and coördinate branch of the government? The significance of these differences and the character of the executive department finally agreed upon are clearly stated by Professor J. A. Woodburn:
The original "Randolph Plan," supposed to contain the backbone and skeleton of the Constitution, proposed that a National Executive be instituted to be chosen by the National Legislature. It was thought by some, notably by Roger Sherman of Connecticut, that the Executive should be nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect; that it should be appointed by, and be accountable to, the legislature. The legislature was to be "the depository of the supreme will of the society"; to make the Executive independent of the legislature was of the very essence of tyranny. The legislature was the best judge of the business which ought to be committed to the Executive department, and, consequently, of the number necessary to do this business. Therefore Sherman would not have the number of the Executive department fixed, but he would leave the legislature free to appoint one or more as experience might dictate; he would have the Executive entirely dependent upon the legislature. By this theory the legislature is the representative head of the body politic; it thinks and wills and decides. The Executive is but the hands and arms and feet to execute the will and decision arrived at.
These views as to the relation between the executive and
the legislative branches of government serve to suggest the difference between the Parliamentary and the Presidential system of government-between the English system and the American. When governments are classified according to the relation of the legislature to the Executive, they are either Parliamentary or Presidential. A Presidential Government, like ours, is the form in which the Executive is independent of the legislature. Our President is independent of Congress both in tenure and prerogative. Congress does not elect the President (except in an emergency), nor can it shorten his term, nor take away his constitutional powers, nor in any way remove him, except by impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. He was not made entirely independent of the legislature, but as nearly so as could be-as nearly as would be safe for freedom and good government.
Parliamentary Government is the form in which the Executive is elected by and is dependent upon the legislature, in which the legislature has "complete control of the administration law." Under this form the legislature is the supreme determining will in the State, and the Executive is the agency to carry out that will. The legislature decides, the Executive acts. Under this form of government the legislature creates the Executive and terminates it at pleasure, and the Executive can undertake no course and exercise no prerogative not approved by the legislature. Of course such control of the Executive by the legislature implies either that the legislature consists of only one house, or that the houses are not co-ordinate-that one is dominant in power and control over the other. For instance, in England under Parliamentary government, the Commons is the chief power in the state, the dominant branch of the legislature, and as such it is the source of the Executive. The Ministry, or Cabinet, which is the executive branch of the Government-usually called "the Government"-is created by the party majority in the Commons; this Executive is responsible for its acts and policies to the Commons. If at any time a vote is passed
in the Commons adverse to the Government or the Cabinet, the Ministry must either resign or dissolve Parliament and appeal to the country. If, in the election which follows, the people send up a Commons still adverse to the Ministry, the Ministry must resign and the Queen must call the leader of the opposition party to form a new Cabinet. Refusal on the part of the Ministry to resign and to permit the formation of a new Cabinet in harmony with the majority in the Commons, or refusal of the Queen so to reorganize the Ministry according to the mandate of the election would be equivalent to usurpation and revolution and might cause violent upheaval and resistance. The Commons, or the dominant branch of the legislature, must control the Executive policy and acts of the Government. This is called Parliamentary government. It is also called Cabinet or Ministerial government, in contradistinction to Presidential government.
Such is the theory of Cabinet government. But the practice of the system does not always correspond to the theory. It is to be remembered that Parliamentary government is a growth. It was never designed, or created, or established at any one time. It is a product of evolution. It grew from age to age. It changed from one generation to another, and has never been quite the same in its practical operation in any two periods of its history. In earlier times it was a privy council to the king, subject chiefly to his will -a kind of royal cabal. Later, under the Hanoverian kings, it became an agency of the Whig oligarchy-the rule of a few powerful families in the realm who controlled enough boroughs to enable them to control the Commons. George III attempted to make it an instrument through which the king should again actually govern. George III did not attempt to defy the Commons or to govern without it, as Charles I had done; but by the corruption of boroughs, by means of his pensioners and placemen, he sought to control the Commons. The "King's friends" were so numerous in Parliament that no party Minister could hold his place, or