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It appears to have been supposed that all that was necessary in order to ensure constitutional government was to set up two Chambers, framed more or less after the English model. That once done, it was apparently believed that two great political parties, like our Tories and Whigs, would at once spring up, and that the plenitude of civil and religious liberty would be attained forthwith. We need hardly remark that in no European country—we shall say something presently concerning the United States—have these fond anticipations been realized. Speaking generally, it may be said that the same cause which has led to the degeneration of party government among ourselves, has prevented it from being realized in the other European countries which have endeavoured after it. Bluntschli has somewhere observed that “the radical vice of all the prevailing constitutional systems in Europe is that they take the individual vote as the unique point of departure.’ He adds, “This radical vice dissolves the nation into electors—a most perilous proceeding— may, pulverizes it into millions of disunited atoms. How is it possible that this dust should not be raised by the first wind into tumultuous whirlwinds 2' How indeed! Anarchy, in a greater or less degree, is the necessary result of this political atomism. The groups into which continental legislatures are divided—they reckon some twenty in the French Chamber—are nothing more than factions, whose sterile strifes and rivalries of self-interest have, not undeservedly, brought the idea of Parliamentary government into disrepute with the thoughtful and cultivated. It was remarked, not long ago, by a distinguished French publicist to the present writer, ‘Nous vivons dans une crise continue, sous le régime, de la division des partis, du conflit des programmes, des traitements en tout sens, des contradictoires qui se neutralisent et se perdent en piétinement.’ The remark would hold good of the Latin races

generally. In Germany, though Parliamentary institutions exist, party government does not. When Frederick William IV. consented to give a Constitution to his subjects, he invented the formula, “A free people under a free king.” It was reserved for his successor to translate the formula into practice. King William, from first to last, showed plainly that he meant to remain at liberty to fulfil his monarchical office; to guard and strengthen the State founded by his ancestors, to extend it as they had done, and for these ends to organize his army in accordance with the exigencies of the times. Of the constitutional conflict which resulted from his carrying out this view, it is not necessary to speak here. But we will observe that, practically, the German

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German emperor is to Germany what the Prussian king is to Prussia. The representatives of Germany have two political rights: they fix each year the amount of the contingent; and no new tax may be levied without their consent. The Emperor chooses his ministers with small regard to the parties in the Reichstag, and prescribes their policy. Most English publicists who treat of the politics of Germany—their treatment is not often marked by profound knowledge of the subject— regard this condition of things as deplorable, and would gladly see Constitutionalism of the British type prevailing there. The wisest German thinkers are of a different opinion. Herr Schäffle, whom we may take as a specimen of them, and whose personal sympathies, as might be expected from so strong a Liberal, are with the system of Parliamentary government, owns, in his recently published work, that in the exclusive predominance of universal suffrage, that system would probably be fatal to his country. The following passage from this weighty writer may be worth pondering :—

“No nation has gone so far in the unlimited adoption of universal suffrage as the German people, in elections for the Reichstag. Is it due to this that precisely in Germany the despisers and accusers of universal suffrage are apparently most numerous? In all directions, throughout the German Empire, we hear it said that the effect of universal suffrage has been to render the German Reichstag poorer in capacities, in characters and leaders, with each successive election; that only those social powers (nur jene sociale Mächte) which specially and strongly influence the masses—labour leaders, parsons, peasant kings, anti-Semitic screamers and croakers—attain to ever-increasing authority and an ever extremer position; that social democracy, Ultramontanism, agrarianism, anti-Semitism become, and must become, ever stronger under universal suffrage; that the formation of fresh coalitions of Parliamentary parties, incapable of ruling, strong only in negation, ever more and more embarrasses the Government; that the most weighty interests of the nation find no representation, or, if any, only an accidental and altogether disproportionate representation.”

And now let us glance at the United States of America, which, with other English institutions, adopted party government. It is perfectly evident that there, as elsewhere, parties, if judged by Herr Bluntschli's criteria, must be pronounced to have degenerated into factions, striving after, not political, but Personal ends; seeking, not to serve the country, but to make the country serve them. There is an overwhelming mass of evidence to this effect. It may suffice here to turn to the well

* ‘Deutsche Kern- und Zestfragen, p. 134. S 2 known

known volumes of Mr. Bryce, which, certainly, are written in
no spirit of hostility to the American Commonwealth. “Neither
party,’ he writes, ‘has any principles or any distinctive tenets.
Both have traditions. Both claim to have tendencies. Both
have, certainly, war-cries, organizations, interests enlisted in
their support. But those interests are, in the main, the interests
of getting or keeping the patronage of Government. Tenets
and policies, points of political doctrine and points of
political practice, have all but vanished. . . . All has been lost
except office or the hope of it.” . . . “What,” said an ingenuous
delegate at one of the National Conventions at Chicago in
1880, “what are we here for except the offices?”’t Of those
offices there are over a hundred thousand; they constitute the
spoils, the distribution of which is the real issue, in a Presi-
dential election. And for every office there are hundreds of
applicants. Is it possible to imagine anything more de-
moralizing to the country? But, further, the wide extension of
the suffrage in the United States has placed the manipulation
of politics in the hands of professional politicians, who make a
business of collecting the infinitesimal fragments into which
power has been split, and of selling them. Elections are
almost entirely determined by “Bosses, who work the whole
machinery of the National and State Governments. To quote
again Mr. Bryce, “Parties have been organized far more
elaborately in the United States than anywhere else in the
world, and have passed more completely under the control of a
professional class. . . . Politics, considered not as the science
of government, but as the art of winning elections and of
securing offices, has reached in the United States a development
surpassing in elaborateness that of England or France as much
as the methods of those countries surpass the methods of Servia
or Roumania.’ + There is, indeed, one redeeming system in
this ignoble system. The struggle between parties is decided
once every four years at the Presidential election, instead of
E. occupying the time and emergies of the Legislature.
arliamentary or Cabinet government does not exist in the
United States, although party government does. Hence a
relative stability of policy and administration.
So much as to the actual condition of party government.
What are its prospects? M. de Laveleye, one of the most
intelligent of continental publicists, in an article published a
few years ago—in the “Revue des Deux Mondes, if our memory

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is not at fault—quoted, with apparent assent, a dictum of Prince von Bismarck, that the golden age of the Parliamentary régime is passed; that its downfall throughout Europe is foredoomed. We are not disposed to attach much importance to the vaticinations of political prophets. They often—usually perhaps—mistake the indicative for the optative mood. We are sure, however, that in order to avoid the consummation which the Prussian statesman, “rapt into future times, not unwillingly discerned, a vast change must be made in existing political arrangements. We are sure, too, that the fons et origo of the degeneration of party government is the spurious individualism of Rousseau, which has, apparently, been adopted as a first principle of modern political thought, or thoughtlessness, throughout Europe. Equal and universal suffrage is the direct consequence of the doctrine of the Contrat Social, which regards a nation as a mass of equivalent and unrelated human units, altogether ignoring the organic nature of human society. The theory of Rousseau is, however, merely the perversion and corruption of a truth; and it is precisely the truth underlying it that has given it its vast vogue, and has made it an instrument of such incalculable mischief. That truth, which was very generally forgotten throughout Europe in the age of monarchical absolutism when Rousseau began to preach and to teach, is that man is a person and not a thing; and that as a person his rational co-operation is necessary to his own development, as to the development of his sellows. Every man ought to be considered in the legislation of a community. This is no modern doctrine. It was taught by the masters of the medieval school. It was taught, long before them, by “the master of those who know.' And in a highly developed civilization, such as that in which we live, ‘considered ' means ‘consulted.” The most obvious way of consulting a man in political questions is by taking his vote; but it is by no means the only way. A vote is merely one out of many channels whereby a man's natural right to some share of political power may be exercised. We use the phrase “natural right’ advisedly : for it is a right

attaching to human mature; to man as a person. But it does not follow, because a man has a right to some share of political power, direct or indirect, that all men have a right to the same share; that they should be equivalent in the political organism. “Every man to count for one, no man for more than one, is a formula much in vogue just now. The first part of it is true enough. Every man should count for one, in yirtue of the fundamental democracy implied in every form of human association. The second part is opposed to the great fact, fact, the great law, of inequality extending through human nature and human society. Some men should count in the public order for many more than one. “It is impossible to form a State the members of which are all alike. The parts which are to constitute a single organic whole must be different in kind.” So wrote Aristotle two thousand years ago. His words are as true now as they were then. They will be true to the end of time. Hence, as Mill has tersely expressed it, ‘Equal voting is in principle wrong.’” It is opposed to the truth of things; it is unjust. Justice lies in a mean ; it lies in the combination of equal and unequal rights. The law of the social organism is not an unnatural and enforced equality, making numbers supreme—an equality which necessarily leads to Socialism f – but complexity, differentiation, unlikeness. Universal suffrage by all means ! It is in accordance with the natural dignity of men. Properly organized—not, as at present, organized by wire-pullers and ‘bosses”—it is the best school of political education for the masses. But to make universal susfrage just, that is, accordant with ‘the moral laws of nature and of nations, it must be supplemented by a recognition of real inequalities, inequalities arising out of the nature of things, and corresponding with that reason which is at the heart of things; it must allow due room to powers and interests other than those of numbers, which play so necessary and so important a part in the co-ordination and subordination of civil life. These are truths practically ignored in a democracy, as it now exists. To obtain for them due recognition is perhaps the supreme political problem of our time. Mill thought its solution might be to some extent found in a system of plurality of votes; Taine in a system of double election. Two of the most thoughtful of living publicists, M. Desjardins and Herr Schäffle, in works, published within the present year, the titles of which we have prefixed to this article, point to the due representation of interests as necessary for the rational organization of modern democracy. M. Desjardins, indeed, who is addressing primarily French readers, speaks, as it were, with bated breath. He compares democracy, as it is at present, to a conqueror intoxicated with victory, and resting on the field of battle; watching with jealous eyes its conquests, and apt to be alarmed by a word, a gesture that may seem to threaten them. Still, he thinks that the abuses of unlimited numerical


* “Representative Government, p. 80. f A certain “Citizen' Wolders truly observed, at the recent Working Men's Congress at Namur, “La loiessentielle du Socialisme est d’assurer le libre exercice dela force du nombre.’ (Quoted by Desjardins, ‘De la Liberté politique,’ &c., p.238)


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