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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

296                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE.
One is the direct method of reaching the result; the other,
the indirect, that of appointing proxies who are to finish what
the voters began. It seems a strange thing that any man
should be pronounced unfit to elect his representative who is
fit to elect a proxy. The elector ought to have no power to
vote at all, or to have the power of full and final choice. It
is a distrust of the people, when this half-way measure of
electors acting in their place is preferred by a constitution.
Nevertheless, there are those who would introduce this
double election, or election with two degrees, into the machin-
ery of the state. It is said that the less enlightened classes
of freemen are incapable of choosing those representatives
(or, indeed, those officers of government) who are best fitted
for defending their interests and managing public affairs.
They necessarily vote as others instruct them, and thus only
reduplicate the power of demagogues. " They are therefore
only a machine—a dangerous machine, as being very power-
ful and very blind." Let now these same persons name
others of their immediate neighborhood to act as their depu-
ties, and select the representatives with a wider knowledge
of men and of political measures. The probability is, it is
claimed, that a much better class of legislators would be
chosen.
The proposition is, however, to be condemned on two
accounts. It is, in the first place, not a practical one. Those
who have political weight enough to cast votes, will not be
content with this remote connection with the active managers
of public affairs; they will insist on making their own elec-
tions, and if they have the power already, will not yield it
up. Again, the indirect election, or that of two degrees,
would naturally produce indifference to the exercise of the
right conferred on the voter. He is separated from the
important result on account of his want of intelligence, and
thus merely decides who, in,his judgment, is best fitted to,
exercise political rights in his place. He will therefore feel
little interest in the result. Or, if he does take a warm part
in,them, he will bind his deputies to do his will, or be sure