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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

300                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
ourselves or be imposed on by words. The vote by depart-
ments and with secret ballots lays on us the necessity of the
suffrage with two degrees. There is no choice save as to
form. We prefer that which is regulated by law, which
leaves the elector free and permits him to know what he is
doing when he votes, to that which gives the elector up help-
less to intrigues, charaltanism and the lies of politicians/'
The suffrage with two degrees [or, as we call it sometimes,
double or indirect] "was well-known in France for ages when
the deputies to states-general were appointed. It was en-
grafted into the constitution of 1791, and by it the constitu-
ent assembly and the convention were elected, which also
sanctioned it by their legislation. The plan under the consti-
tution above named was the following: the citizens elected
by the cantons meeting in a primary assembly chose electors
one for every hundred registered, two for one hundred and
fifty, and so on." The electors chosen by the primary assem-
blies met on the Sunday following their election to nominate
the deputies of the department (Comp. Courcelle Seneuil,
u. s., p. 191.) The constitution of Norway, framed in 1814,
contains a similar provision.
The jemarks of Courcelle Seneuil are deserving of serious
consideration. We may, I think, lay it down (i) that the
districts for voting ought to be of small size in order that
all the electors may be able to inform themselves in regard
to the character of the candidates. (2) If universal suffrage
prevails, with the attendant machinery of party contests there
will be practically an indirect or double election. The voters
will be instructed, and in a manner compelled by party ties
and their own want of* knowledge in regard to the person
to be voted for, and the more ignorant they are the more
easily will they be led. (3) In this case the indirect election
is preferable to that which prevails among1 us, for, however
much ,the second electors may come under the control of
party managers, they will be more intelligent and discern-
ing that the first. (4) If the evils incident to our system of
suffrage owing to its being universal, cannot be, in part at