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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEPARTMENTS  OF  GOVERNMENT IN A STATE.       273
an assembly of the ordinary kind, modestly shut up within
its legal competence." The different systems that are possi-
ble must be examined, must be accepted or rejected en bloc,
without the hope of escaping from the common law and
getting clear from the necessities laid on all known govern-
ments/' There are two systems of representative govern-
ment which offer themselves as examples to modern nations
aiming at free institutions, the English and the American.
The former or parliamentary monarchy leads to parliamentary
omnipotence, and the only vestige of the king's ancient sove-
reignty is the right to dissolve parliament and appeal to new
elections. If public opinion is on his side, he can find new
ministers to aid him, for it is respect to public opinion which
prevents the tyranny of a parliament as well as royal usurpa-
tion, and makes a free government out of a constitutional
monarchy. The equilibrium of parliamentary institutions
rests on this right of dissolution. Remove this stone, and
you have nothing but an incoherent, impracticable system
leading to revolution. Can this system suit a republic ? M.
Duvergier thinks not. The great error of the founders of the
republic of 1848 consisted, according to him, in " wishing to
make the office of president a species of republican repre-
sentation of royalty," taking his position outside of parlia-
mentary strifes ; and to effect this it was necessary that he
should be chosen directly by the people. This was attributed
at the time to personal considerations, but it could not be
otherwise, when once the president had been modelled after
a constitutional king. For, if elected, with such attributes,
by the assembly, he could not avoid becoming the chief of
a party, attached, of his own will or by. compulsion, to the
majority which chose him, and obliged to put all his influence
at the disposition of his friends. Popular election alone
.could raise the presidential power to the height desired. But,
in accordance with this power and position, it was hardly
possible not to give him the right of veto and that of disso-
lution. The first was given, the second was withheld; and
hence the constitution of 1848 incurred frhe risk of preventing
VOL. II,18