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had votes in their hands would bargain for places for them-
selves or their friends ; a system of intrigue on a vast scale
would be initiated which would have disastrous consequences
—of intrigue not only between members of a legislature and
agents of candidates, but of intrigue of politicians desirous of
getting a place in the body which was to choose the chief
magistrate. And as for the proposed power of the president
to dissolve the legislature, few persons, we imagine, would
hesitate to regard the exercise of such a power as dangerous
in the extreme. That might be done without agitation
where the head of the state held office for life; but for a
magistrate having four or six years of political existence to
use such a power, when the legislative body would go out of
office within perhaps a year, would be regarded as a stretch
of authority altogether out of proportion to the end aimed
at. Would Mr. Mill have recommended in our case that the
president should be empowered to dissolve the senate also.
If not, there would generally be one chamber opposed to
the administration, and no good would come out of the dis-
solution. If so, the country would be thrown into the hands
of the executive without a check.
On the whole, then, whatever might be best in some other
country with other political habits and traditions, we do not
see how our system in this respect can be altered for the
better. The election takes place after the composition of the
next house of representatives, if not ascertained, can be judged
of with high probability. It takes place long enough before
the elected magistrate occupies his seat, for the minds of the
community to cool. It is acceptable to a party diffused
through the union. No person's private interests except
those of office-holders depend on the result.
In the ancient city-states the people held appointments in
Appointment  of their own hands.    Either there was no chief
subordinate officials, executive officer, qr, if there were, he had lit-
tle or no appointing power.    The people by election—as in