« ПретходнаНастави »
When football began to be played in American colleges there was not much “ team play." Each player had his position on the team and tried to do his best, but he didn't know who was to have the ball and so he could only by accident be of any help. It was eleven players, each for himself. This method did not advance the ball very rapidly unless, by good luck, some player should find an opening and make a long run.
Under the present method, when a play begins by one team, every member of that team knows who will take the ball and what he himself must do in order to help advance it toward the opponent's goal. The political party is an organized team. Sometimes it may stand for wise measures and sometimes for weak or unwise measures. But at any rate it does unite people and make them work together to carry measures through. If the people do not like the measures they can punish the party.
MEASURES PROPOSED FOR GREATER
ITHIN recent years there has been much dis
satisfaction with various hindrances to self
government. In some cases, this dissatisfaction has been because the representatives in legislatures have not passed laws which the people have desired. In other cases, mayors of cities or other administrative officers have failed to carry out laws which have been passed. In still a third type of cases, judges nave declared laws unconstitutional which have been adopted by legislaturęs, or have decided cases in a way which was opposed to the general view, although it may have been in accordance with the law as the judge understood it.
To meet these difficulties, methods called the “Initiative, the Referendum, and the Recall ” have been proposed, and, in some states, adopted. The initiative applies to legislation. There may be a very general desire for a certain law and yet the state legislature may fail to enact it. In such a case, in a state which has the initiative a certain percentage of the voters may petition to have the measure submitted to a general vote of the people. If it is approved it becomes a law. This method has been used in Oregon for sev
The referendum is a check upon legislation. The provision is that when a legislature or a city council
has passed a measure, this measure must be referred to a vote of the people before it can become a law, The provided that a certain percentage of the voters peti- referention that this be done.
dum The recall is applied to officers who incur the disapproval of the people. It is provided that on the petition of a certain percentage of the voters a new election must be held at which the officer shall be a candidate for approval, or for rejection in favor of another. This has been tried chiefly upon the Pacific coast.
These new methods for expressing the will of the Referenpeople are regarded by some as very valuable, and dum by others as not merely unwise but as revolutionary. It is well to notice that we have always used the referendum and the recall, to a certain extent, in the United States. Practically every state constitution has been referred to the people for a vote; but the most striking case is the adoption of the National Constitution. The framers of this were apparently afraid that the state legislatures might not accept it and still more afraid that Congress would not approve it. "They referred the measure to conventions which were to be chosen in the states for the express purpose of voting upon the Constitution. They even provided that when this new Constitution should be adopted by nine states in this way it should go into effect. This was practically overthrowing the older government in the other four states in case they should not choose to adopt the new, for in this case they would be left out in the cold.
The recall is not very different in principle from the Impeachplan of having frequent elections; but it undoubtedly ment and is more drastic. Yet all states have had provisions for recall some method of getting rid of officers who do not do their duty. The President of the United States and
Legislator and executive represent policies
federal judges may be impeached by Congress. President Johnson was very nearly removed in this way. Several federal judges have been so removed. In the case of impeachment, charges against the official are presented and he has a chance to make a defense. It is a kind of trial, and in federal cases the charges must be proved to the satisfaction of two-thirds of the Senate. But in Massachusetts a judge may be removed without any trial if by a two-thirds vote each branch of the legislature passes a resolution calling for his removal.
No one objects to provisions for impeachment. There is also less difference of opinion on the question of removing an executive officer like a mayor than on the question of removing a judge. The reason for this is that there is an important difference between the duties of a legislator, or an administrative officer, such as a mayor, and the duties of a judge. A legislator is supposed to make laws for the good of the people. But he is also supposed to represent the people. He is in a sense instructed by the people. If he does not carry out the policy which his constituents desire, it is proper that he should have a chance to explain why. If the people have so much confidence in him that they are willing to take his judgment as being wiser than their own, then they may continue him in office. But if they believe firmly that a measure is right which he is unwilling to favor, then it seems entirely proper that they should choose some one else to represent them who will favor it, in case the matter is one of great importance.
It might at first seem that a governor or mayor has only to execute laws, and that therefore he is either doing his duty or is not. If he is, he ought not to
be recalled. If he is not, then he should be impeached, that is, tried before some body that will carefully consider the charges. But as a matter of fact, officers like governor and mayor really represent some policy quite as truly as do the representatives and senators or members of the city council; hence if the recall of legislators is wise, the recall of an administrative officer may well be wise also.
The judge is not supposed to decide matters of The policy. He is supposed to apply the law to a par- judge
does not ticular case. For example, two of the great questions about which there has been much difference of opinion are the questions of trusts and of strikes. Now the people are supposed to pass laws to decide whether trusts shall be permitted or forbidden. It is then the business of the judge to decide, either alone or with a jury, whether such an organization as the American Tobacco Company or the Standard Oil Company comes under the law. In the case of a strike it is not the business of a judge to decide whether it is right to strike, but only to decide whether John Doe has done anything contrary to the law, either by injuring his employer's business or by injuring some workman. The law itself is supposed to be already made, either by some statute passed by a legislature or by the decisions of previous judges. These decisions, when made, were supposed to express the general sense or custom of the community as to what was right. Hence it would seem to be clear that a judge either does his duty in administering the law or else violates his duty. In the first case, he ought not to be afraid of being removed from office. Rich men or powerful men, on the one hand, and poor men, on the other, ought to feel that the judge is impartial, that he cannot be influenced