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to act together for the salvation of their party rules: and so it has been and is imperilled country : he finds it hopeless, under all elective governments. Everyand is forced to form a government first where you find two parties more or less of one party, then of the other. The defined, the struggle between which for malignity of faction bursts forth with the offices of state makes up the pothe utmost fury, and with perfect reck- litical history of the country. Everylessness of the national interest and where you have a party morality and a honor. A leading Whig is indicted for party allegiance conflicting with the murder, without a shadow of foundation claims of humanity and the nation. In for the charge, by the animosity of the England the set of established rules for opposite party. The Privy Council, the
The Privy Council, the the party game has superseded the conold council of the realm, and still the stitutional law as expounded by Blackonly one known to the law, is superseded stone. Party government is implied by the Cabinet Council, an unconsti- in the very shape and arrangement of tutional organ of party.
In the the House of Commons, where the following reign the Tory leader Boling- party in power sits on the Speaker's broke, & sceptic, and a writer against right hand, the party in opposition Christianity, overthrows a great Whig on his left. In a constitution framed Government by appealing to the perse- for the Dominion of Canada, the cuting fanaticism of the Tory clergy, and system received a formal recognition, sacrifices not only the interest and glory provision being made that the members but the good faith and honor of the of the new senate, for the first term, nation to party objects, in the disgrace. should be chosen fairly from both parties. ful Treaty of Utrecht. On the next re- But whether formally recognized or not, volution of fortune, at the death of Anne, party government is the all-important the Whigs in their turn proscribe the fact. What is the government of EngTories. The Tories conspire against the land at present ? Not King, Lords, and country and twice involve it in civil war. Commons, nor any of them, but the Walpole, out of office, harasses the Liberal party. What is the government government, whose principles he profes- of the United States ? Not the President, ses: in office, he is himself harassed, Sepate, and House of Representatives, but thwarted in his best measures, and at the Republican party. What is the real last driven into a criminal war with legislature of the United States ? The Spain, by an opposition heterogeneous in Republican caucus. What is the poits principles, and which, notwithstand- litical history of the United States ? A ing the torrent of its patriotic eloquence, long struggle between two parties, culhas no object in view but to oust the minating in a civil war. minister and clamber into his place. It Burke, in his Thoughts on the Cause of is a fact of melancholy significance that the Present Discontents, has a defence, or Chatham, so pure and patriotic by rather an encomium, of party. nature, is found deeply implicated in the “Party is a body of men united for worst of these transactions. Meantime, promoting by their joint endeavors the the councils of the nation resound with national interest, upon some particular mutual slander, and a party press, the principle in which they are all agreed. organ of the two factions, fills all hearts For my part, I find it impossible to conwith malignity and falsehood.
ceive that any one believes in his own It is singular that writers on the politics, or thinks them to be of any British Constitution-pot only formal weight, who refuses to adopt the means
writers like Blackstone, but those who of having them reduced into practice. ! try to pierce to the real facts-should It is the business of the speculative
have failed to appreciate the cardinal philosopher to mark the proper ends of fact that government in England is a government. It is the business of the government of party. The constitution politician, who is the philosopher in is the organ through which the dominant action, to find out proper means towards
those ends, and to employ them with time, and thus party struggles there, effect. Therefore every honorable con- and the characters of party men, bave nection will avow it is their first purpose : preserved some measure of morality and to pursue every just method to put the dignity. But when the fundamental men who hold their opinions into such principles of government are settled, a condition as may enable them to carry how can party fail to degenerate into a their common plans into execution with selfish and immoral struggle for power ? all the power and authority of the state. Party managers will, of course, strain As this power is attached to certain their ingenuity to devise party issues, to situations, it is their duty to contend for invest them with factitious importance, these situations. Without a proscription and to inflame the mind of the nation of others, they are bound to give to their about them ; but power and pelf will be own party the preference in all things; the real objects of the conflict. and by no means, for private considera- Even if party were what Burke suptions, to accept any offers of power in poses it to be, it would often exclude which the whole body is not included; the best administrators from the public nor to suffer themselves to be led, or to cervice; for the best administrators are be controlled, or to be over-balanced, often men with little turn for speculative in office or in council, by those who politics, and are as likely to be found on contradict the very fundamental prin- one side as on the other.
The greatest ciples on which their party is formed, are likely to be excluded from and even
those upon which every politics altogether; because great men fair connection must stand. Such will not submit to be the organs of nara generous contention for power, on such row judgments and the instruments of manly and honorable maxims, will easily mercenary aims. " The madness of the be distinguished from the mean and in- many for the gain of the few" is a defiterested struggle for place and emolu- nition of party not only pointed but ment. The very style of such persons true: and even when the ambition of will serve to discriminate them from the few is generous, for the many those numberless imposters who have party conflicts are little better than maddeluded the ignorant with professions Party consecrates prejudice, apincompatible with human practice, and plauds rancor, stigmatizes largeness of have afterwards incensed them by view, candor, truthfulness, as derelicpractices below the level of vulgar tions of the party faith. It divides the rectitude."
members of a community whose interest Such are the praises of party, sung is the same, and who, if they were free by a great political philosopher, who, at to form their opinions, would probthe most important juncture of his own bably tend to agreement, into two hostile political life, signally broke with party, camps carrying on a struggle, which if and died idolized by the opposite party, it has none of the bloodshed, has a good detested by his own, and vainly strug- many of the moral evils, of civil war. It gling to vindicate his loyalty as a partisan sets a premium on the eloquence of maby appealing from party as it was to lignity, and in the political history of Engparty as it had been.
land bas raised men who had scaroely Burke's theory obviously supposes the any other qualification to places in which continued existence of some difference they have done great injury not only to of principle sufficient to create a funda- the interests but to the honor of their mental division among honest men, and country. to reconcile with morality allegiance to In England the organization of party a party and submission of the individual has hitherto been somewhat less complete conscience to the party councils. As it than in some other countries under happens, such a difference of opinion has popular government. Till lately, the generally existed between the Tories and elective principle itself has prevailed Liberals in England down to the present there, as has been already stated, only
in a very restricted form, and other pretty well worked off the grosser forms connections kave a good deal traversed of Parliamentary corruption. In this the lines of party, and interfered they have been aided by that which has with its ascendancy. Parliamentary been an evil in other respects, the plutoelections come at long intervals, and, cratic character of the House of Comfrom the frequent exercise of the pre- mons, most of the members of which are rogative of diesolution, are uncertain too rich to care for a bribe. They have in their recurrence; and municipal elec- also been aided by that which is in all retions in England being comparatively de- spects an unspeakable blessing, the void of interest, there is scarcely enough almost entire removal of the civil service to keep a regular party organization on and the judiciary from the category of foot. The English system of election party spoils, rotation in office being totalalso, which is unrestricted with regard ly discarded, and even the patronage of to the candidate's place of residence, ren- the first appointments greatly reduced ders it more difficult for local managers through the introduction of competitive to keep nominations in their hands. examination. At the time of the But when party organization is com- Railroad Mania, there were strong susplete, the elector, compelled to vote at picions of direct bribery of members the dictation of the managers, may, like of the House of Commons; certainly the constitutional king, fancy that be ex- there was a good deal of dishonest and ercises political power, and go through even corrupt voting, and the experience the forms and gestures of sovereignty; of that period strongly suggested that the but, like the constitutional king, he is in sort of legislation in which the lobbies reality a puppet. With electoral liberty, have an interest ought not to be vested in general freedom of opinion and indepen- & political assembly, but committed to dence of political and social character professional authorities whose integrity are in danger of being lost. It is not in may be fortified by professional interest any open preaching of imperialist and honor, who may themselves be redoctrines, so much as in the encroach- sponsible, in case of misconduct, to the suments of party despotism on the liberty preme government. The principal bribes of voting, that we should look for the now are peerages and other honors which signs of the decay of liberty in a free have a special value for rich men aspirstate.
ing to social position. In England howCorruption, like faction, beset elective ever, generally speaking, it is not among government in England from the first. the members but in the constituencies Before we are half through the reign of that corruption prevails. Parliament legWilliam the Deliverer, on the morrow of islates rigorously against it, but legislate the Glorious Revolution, we find govern- as we may, while politics are a struggle ment systematically bribing members for office, corruption in some form will of the House of Commons. The name continue to exist. of Walpole is infamous, perhaps more The growth of Demagogism, again, has infamous than it deserves, in the annals been somewhat suspended in England of corruption. Not only the secret ser- by the limitation of the suffrage and by vice-money and the vast amount of sine- the ascendancy of & political class. cure patronage, political and ecclesiasti. Party leaders have made unscrupulous cal, with peerages and other honors appeals to the passions of the people as then in the hands of government, well as to the passions of assemblies, but tho public service and even the which, like larger masses of men, are capublic loans were prostituted to the pable of becoming mere mobs. But there purposes of bribery, and administrative bave been comparatively few instances abuses were thus engendered under a free of men leaving the paths of industry to government little less flagrant than those make politics a trade, and comparatively which had disgraced the tyranny of little of the public sycophaney by which Oharles II. In England they have now demagogues may close the ears of a nation against truth as effectually as court. and, for want of regulation, it has in not iers by their flattery close the ears of a few instances wrought its own de. the most besotted despot. The weak struction. Even in the countries where point of the elective system seems to lie the success of the elective system has not so much in the choice of members as been greatest, if you subtract the other in the choice of candidates; in the elements of well-being, such as religion, nomination, in a word, rather than in intelligence, and industry, and against the election. Once place the right the good done by political agencies set man before the electors, and if they the evil done by faction, demagogism, are of average intelligence and hon- and corruption, how large will be the esty they will probably elect him. balance of good which will remain ? The The difficulty is to get the right man answer to this question is the test of a placed before them. He will not, as a political system, not mere declamations general rule, come forward of himself, about freedom. for generally speaking men of much Faction, demagogism, and corruption, depth of character and largeness of mind not only interfere with good governare rather too averse from these com- ment; they deprave the moral life of petitions and contentions: they are rather men which it is the object of all governtoo much disposed, as an ancient phi- ment to protect; and if they are not losopher says, to stand aside under the cured or mitigated, the time will come shelter of the wall and let the dust whirl when Humanity, feeling that its higher by. When there is not a political class interests are being sacrificed to its lower, designated by its birth for public life, the will arouse itself to throw off an intolsolution has been found practically in erable evil, at whatever expense to cherdemagogism and caucuses, machinery ished ideas and institutions. by which it is morally impossible that England moves slowly; but the day the best men should be selected to rule cannot be far distant when her statesmen the state. This is a canker at the very will be compelled to take up organic root of the system, and one for which a questions. The House of Commons as remedy has not yet been suggested or at present constituted is not fit to be the perhaps even sought. A really free and government. Consisting of 650 memspontaneous exercise of their power of bers, it is too large for deliberation. The choice by the whole body of electors evil organization of party is almost inseems to require not only a general in- dispensable to make it work at all. But telligence but a general activity and in- in other and more fundamental reterest in politics which we can hardly spects it bears the traces of its original expect to find in the mass of men.
character as a representation of the All political philosophy is summed counties and boroughs summoned occaup in the words of Pym:“ The best form sionally and for a short time, not to of government is that which doth actu- govern, or even to legislate, but to grant ate and dispose every part and member tlie king money and at the same of a state to the common good.” Uni- time advise him as to the needs of the versal suffrage expressing the free people. It is summoned and dismissed and rational allegiance of the whole peo- at the will of the ministers of the Crown, ple is the only just and stable basis on the only security for its annual convocawhich institutions can hereafter rest; tion being an indirect one, the necessity and no community which is governed of obtaining from it supplies to defray either for or by a class can be considered the expenses of government and pay the a community indeed. Elective govern- annual interest on the debt. It is in ment has coincided with the higher civil- abeyance during a great part of the year, ization ; it demands far greater moral ef- and in the interval between a dissolution fort and brings forth proportionately no- and a fresh election ceases altogether to bler fruits than any other system. But the exist. The system of general elections is elective principle will not regulate itself, objectionable both as changing all the
members of the legislature at once and lus-personal ambition. But if we are as giving an undue and pernicious in- to have an elective head, there are some fluence to the question or cry of the reasons for preferring one elected for hour: it opens the floodgates of popu- life to one elected for a term of years: lar passion, instead of equably registering because the regular recurrence of the the progress of public opinion. Milton competition for this prize at stated interwas quite in the right when he coun- vals keeps on foot party organizations, selled the Long Parliament, which had inflames faction, and tends to bring then made itself the government, to do dangerous questions, which might otheraway with dissolutions and general elec- wise work themselves out slowly and tions, to declare itself permanent, and quietly, to a sudden and violent issue. fill up vacancies in its body as they arose. That, however, which most claims atEven the hours of session, which are not tention in the system embodied in the the business hours of the day, but those Instrument of Guvernment is that it is of the night, when business is worst done, not a party system, the members of the denote the assembly's imperfect recog- Council of State being elected under connition of its present functions.
ditions which seem to render it imposI have said that England bas no writ- sible that the Council should become a ten constitution. At one period of her cabinet or cabal. It would not be surhistory, and for a short time, she had a prising if the minds of English stateswritten constitution, a remarkable docu- men should one day revert to Cromment, and the work of no ordinary well's constitution, which, though prehands : I mean the Instrument of Gov- mature in its day and altered almost as ernment framed by Cromwell and his soon as it was made, may not be so unsuitassociates after the execution of Charles able to the present age. It is curious to I., and the abolition of the monarchy see how, with the rising ascendancy of and the House of Lords. The constitu- the political principles of which Cromwell tion embodied in the Instrument of Gov- was the impersonation in his day, the ernment consisted of an elective Pro- figure of the Protector has come forth tector, a Parliament, and a Council of from the cloud of infamy behind which State. The Protector is elected for life; it was long hidden and received again the members of the Council of State also the homage of the national heart. hold their offices for life; and when & The attempt to found the institutions vacancy occurs the Parliament is to send of the future will be made in England up six names, out of which the Council under some critical conditions, partly select two, and of these two the Pro- common to her with other nations, partly tector chooses one; so that the Council peculiar to herself. Peculiar to her, in would be kept pretty well in harmony degree at least, are the contrast between with the Parliament and the Protector. the extremes of wealth and poverty, and Tho powers of legislation and taxation the presence of masses of want,ignorance, were vested entirely in the Parliament, and criminal propensity close to the streets the Protector having a suspensive veto on of luxurious palaces. The proletariat is legislation for twenty days only. The beginning to appear in the great American Council of State was completely associ- cities and to raise the formidable problems ated with the Protector in the conduct connected with its existence; and this is of the executive. As to the elective one of the most important elements in Protector, there may be a doubt whether the change which bas passed over Ameriit is necessary to have any single head can society since it was observed by De of the state; whether the supposed Tocqueville. But in England the dannecessity is not a superstition derived ger is at its height, and though the exfrom long familiarity with monarchy; plosive forces of a Faubourg St. Antoine and whether we should not be better slumber long, in a day of revolutionary without any great prize of this kind to excitement they may awake. There is stimulate that which requires no stimu- a peculiarity also in the political aspect