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276 'POLITICAL SCIENCE.
nies and provinces gave the precedent, or because also there
were practical difficulties in it which appeared on the surface.
A committee of three or five men, in the president's place or
in • that of a governor, would command no respect, would
often quarrel hopelessly, would feel their responsibility for
executive measures less than one man would feel his, could
hardly be deposed in mass for bad executive measures, and
might intrigue against one another for a new election. And
how feeble they would be in a crisis.'""
Mr. Mill, in his " Considerations on Representative Govern-
_ Mr. Mm on elect- ment " (chap. xiv., pp. 269, 2/O, Amer ed.),
ing chief magistrates ,,,.,.., • i. *. • • i r
by the people. having laid it down as an important principle of
good government that no executive functionaries should be
appointed by popular election, by the votes of the people or
of their representatives, asks whether the chief of the execu-
tive in a republican government ought not to be an exception.
There is, he thinks, " some advantage in a country like
America, where no apprehension needs to be entertained of
a coup d'etat^ in making the chief minister constitutionally
independent of the legislative body and rendering the two
* Mr. J. S. Courcelle-Seneuil, well-known as a political economist,
makes the following remarks on the mode of electing the president
of a republic in his work entitled "L'heritage de la revolution"
(Paris, 1872), pp. 203, 204: u In the eyes of most Frenchmen no
political question is more important than that of the form of the
executive power. In reality, however, this question is very second-
ary ; the important point is that the attributes of this power be well
determined and strictly limited. The executive power is charged
with the application of the laws and with busying itself in adminis-
trative details growing out of their application. It is then natural
and regular that this be committed to a person or persons designated
by^the legislative power, in the form which to this power seems best.
It is even prudent not to determine this form by a fixed constitution,
but to leave this care to the different legislatures for the time of the
continuance of each one of them. It is enough to know that the
executive power is constituted by delegation from the legislature and
is subordinated to it, in order to render dangerous conflicts almost
impossible " [and in order, we may add, from the American point of
view, to weaken confidence in the stability and vigor of the goverf-