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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEPARTMENTS OF  GOVERNMENT IN A STATE.       287'
of the two plans against one another. Our system of bring-
ino- the president into communication with the national legis-
lature by messages, and of not representing him there by the
presence and voices of the heads of departments, has serious
evils attending it, among which, the fact is not the least, that
it is possible for a feeble man to hold his place in the cabinet,
while confined to his official duties, when he would sink
into disrepute if not able to stand the brunt of opposition
in defending his measures before congress. But the plan of
having two kinds of ministers—some, members of the official
body and champions for their colleagues, others, men of rank,
chosen by the legislature and holding office for a time with-
out close connection with the reigning party, seems to be still
worse. How could there be unity in a cabinet under such
a system ? Would it not take away from the chief executive
officer a part of his necessary influence ? An author who ad-
vocates this gives as instances of the permanent part of the
ministry the chiefs in the departments of war, public instruc-
tion and public works. The first of these seems to be emi-
nently a cabinet or party officer, and he is one who, if not
with the administration, might do serious harm if he disap-
proved of a war which they favored.*
In the ancient city-states the assembled people in the law-
Legislative de- frl ranting kept the law-making power in their
paranent.             own hancis> ancj yet sometimes wisely put limi-
tations upon their capacity of proceeding to the act of legis-
lation without preparatory advice. Thus at Athens a pro-
bouleuma of the senate of five hundred was necessary before
an act relating to something special—a psephisma—could be
passed ; and if a law (a nomos] were to be altered, or a new
one introduced, it was necessary, and indeed was one of the
«
*See Laveleye's essay before cited, chap, xxxvi. It is quite possi-
ble to take away much of the 'patronage of the government, which
Laveleye justly regards as dangerous, without doing what might bring
anarchy into it. For instance, if public instruction must be superin-
tended by government functionaries, might not every municipality or
school district elect its own committee for local purposes ?