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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT IN A STATE.        321
sentative, the same right was claimed and exercised; in the
colonies under royal charters the particular charter might or
might not concede the privilege to the governor. Our gene-
ral constitution contains the right of veto in another form—
in that of overcoming a majority less than two-thirds of
both houses. This measure of the value of the president's
disapproval was chosen after debate in preference to that of
three-fourths, which was also before the convention. It has
also, with less reason, been introduced into the constitutions
of a number of states, while a few have put into the chief
magistrates' hands only the right of sending back a bill with
his objections, which, if the temper of the houses remains the
same, is of no force, A third form of the veto appears in the
constitution of Norway, where the immediate effect of it is to
suspend action during the session of the storthing, but if the
two next storthings agree on the same measure, it became a
law, the king's successive vetos notwithstanding. Thus we
have the absolute, the qualified, and the suspensive veto.
The liberum veto of the kingdom of Poland had no relation
to the right of the chief magistrate, but denoted the power of
one of the nobility to interfere with an election of a king.
The right in some estates, as in those of the United Provinces,
to prevent the states-general from declaring war and doing
certain other things without the unanimous consent of the
provincial estates, was simply an example of a confederation
in which the members gave the smallest amount of power to
the governing body.
The French constitutions of 1793, 1795, and 1848 gave no
power of veto, if we ^re not in error, to the principal ex-
ecutive, but under both empires and the restored monarchy
this power was again put into the hands of the king, or em-
peror ; and the tendency of democratic opinion is to make
the chief of the state little more than a president of a .council,
with the necessary executive functions. It seems to some
like a mingling of departments to give the right to an execu-
tive officer of interfering with the proper business of law-
makers. But this is a deduction from theory rather than
VOL. II.—21