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312                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE,
means hasty legislation is prevented. Each house, knowing
that the propositions which originate in it will be carefully
scrutinized by the other, will be rendered more careful, more
deliberate, more awake to objections; even its own reputa-
tion is at stake before the public ; one house cannot be ex-
pected to have a very tender regard for the good name of
the other, but will be only too ready to find fault with its
conclusions. Mr. Mill attaches little weight to this argument
—for, says he, " it must be a very ill-constituted representa-
tive assembly, in which the established forms of business do
not require many more than two deliberations/' It is true,
that if drafting acts and passing them with the forms pre.-
scribed by parliamentary law were all that a second house
were needed for, it would not seem to be of much use ; al-
though with all these forms, with the three readings and the
debates, with the reports of committees on the different
branches of business, legislation often goes on in the most
careless, the clumsiest manner ; many members of legislative
assemblies, it is believed, have not examined the projects of
bills on which they are called to vote, many are unfaithful in
giving their attention to business aside from their political
duties. There are also excitements in one house which do
not reach the other ; every public body is influenced by the
temper and bias of particular members, and a house large
enough to excite the debaters into passion will be more
liable to these flaws than one the composition of which does
not disturb the calm that should belong to a deliberative
assembly. I believe that the confidence given to the " bica-
meral " system in the United States rests very much on this
feeling, that two bodies somewhat differently composed will
originate more careful, better digested legislation than could
be expected from one.
Another advantage of two chambers is that the evil effect
is thereby prevented which the consciousness of having only
themselves to consult, produces on the minds of any holders
of power. This consideration is urged by Mr. Mill, and I
give it.nearly in his language. " It is important/' says he,