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we already have checks upon the legislative body in the shape of the executive veto and the judicial power to declare measures unconstitutional. Direct legislation would tend to destroy the value of these checks and thus change the whole character of the government. The responsibility of the legislative body would disappear. The legislature might become little more than a committee to draft legislation for the people, the executive would be powerless to veto, and the Supreme Court, after legislation had been passed by the people, would hesitate to declare it unconstitutional. The introduction of direct legislation in the national government of the United States under the present conditions is of doubtful expediency.
Possible Advantages of Direct Legislation under Good Conditions. If the initiative and referendum could be considered and used, not as a means of legislation but as a check upon legislation, as a possible cure for bribery and corruption, as a club to be held in reserve over inefficient or stubborn legislatives, these provisions might be of great value. If, furthermore, the electorate could be elevated to a high degree of intelligence and honesty, so that votes might be given with judgment and we may be sure that the provisions would not be corruptly used for party purposes, direct legislation might be a blessing. Until such ideal conditions be established, however, the disadvantages of introducing the initiative and referendum in states with broad territory and large electorate of mixed character seem to outweigh the possible advantages.
STATISTICS AND ILLUSTRATIVE CITATIONS
STATISTICS SHOWING THE INJUSTICE OF ELECTION BY
1 United States. Fifty-second Congress-Election, 1888
2,351 266 1 Rep. at large 13,987 | 32,207 11 Rep, at large
2 Dem, at large
* Public ownership party vote.
Votes for Congressmen in 1912, United States (Continued)
i Rep: } at large
17,900 5,883 2,644
2 Dem. at large
2 Pro. at large 1 Rep, at large
213,976 Barker (Lab.)
216,199 Trenwith (Fusionist) 211,058 Blakey (Lab.) 215,117 M'Cay (Fusionist)
195,477 Goldstein (Independent). 53,583 Ronald (Independent) 18,380
Art. 89. Federal laws, decrees, and resolutions shall be passed only by the agreement of the two councils.
Federal laws shall be submitted for acceptance or rejection by the people, if the demand is made by 30,000 voters or by eight cantons. The same principle applies to federal resolutions which have a general application, and which are not of an urgent nature.
Chapter III. Amendment of the Federal Constitution 1
ART. 118. The federal constitution may at any time be amended, in whole or in part.
Art. 119. Total revision shall take place in the manner provided for passing federal laws.
ART. 120. When either council of the Federal Assembly resolves in favor of a total revision of the constitution and the other council does not consent thereto, or when fifty thousand Swiss voters demand a total revision, the question whether the federal constitution ought to be revised shall be in either case submitted to a vote of the Swiss people, voting yes or no.
Chapter jii was revised on July 5, 1891, Arts. 118-123 being substituted for the original Arts. 118-221; the important change is in Art. 121, which extends popular initiative to partial revision of the constitution,