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ences which the exercise of such a prerogative would involve,
it does not seem to be consistent with the modern system
of free election by the people. If the legislature expresses
the will and judgment of the community, why should it
be dissolved; if it does not, either the executive would not
'wish to dissolve it, or it will soon terminate peaceably of
itself. To give the executive chief the right to do something
short of this, to say to the lawmakers " you have been here
long enough, you are dissolved," would be felt, at least in
a republican state, to be veritable tyranny.
4. The veto. In great Britain, where the king parted with
a certain portion of his power, and divided the legislative
function with the parliament, it was to be expected that he
should reserve his power of accepting or rejecting the bills
passed by the houses ; and it could be presumed that he rati-
fied or negatived according to the advice of his constitutional
advisers. But the veto—which was absolute—has long been
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superseded by a new procedure of the system of ministerial
government. Whenever now the house of commons is in
direct opposition to the ministry on an important question
involving want of confidence in them or in the premier, it is
the usage to dissolve parliament and try a new election. If
the election turns out to be in favor of the ministry, the ob-
noxious law or measure may now again be brought up. Other-
wise the ministry resigns ; a new cabinet is appointed which
carries the bill through, and the sovereign adds his sanction.
In other words, the king will not oppose the voice of the
nation expressed through their representatives. That is a
part of the constitution, on the observance of which the kingly
office depends. During the reign of George III. it was under-
stood that he regarded it as a violation of his coronation-
oath to remove the political disabilities of the Catholics, and
the ministers, who would have favored some measure looking
that way, forbore to press any on account of the king's scru-
ples ; but probably no sovereign hereafter will exercise this
old prerogative except in a most extreme case.
In the colonies, where the governor was the king's