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the election agent from the candidate, or any expenses incurred, or to be incurred, on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election, together with a list of the names of each and every person from whom such contributions have been received. No payments can be made for transporting voters to the polls, except in a few cases where they must be transported by sea, from their places of residence to the polling place.

Treating of all kinds is prohibited, and the presentation of cockades, ribbons, or other election devices, is forbidden. The only legal expenses authorized by the law are the sums paid to the election officers for their charges, not exceeding an amount authorized by law; the personal expenses of the candidate, which can in no event exceed one hundred pounds; the expense of printing, advertising, publishing, issuing and distributing addresses and notices; of stationery, postage, telegrams, and holding public meetings; and the expenses of not exceeding one committee-room for every election precinct, and of an extra committee-room for every complete five hundred electors, over and above the first five hundred. In a county there may be allowed in addition the expenses of central committee quarters. No payments can be made for the conveyance of electors to or from the polls, whether by hiring horses, or carriages, or for railway fares, or otherwise; nor to any electors on account of the use of any house, land, building, or premises for the exhibition of any address, bill, or notice; nor for any committee-rooms in excess of the number allowed by law. No person may let, lend, or employ, any public carriage, horse, or animal, kept or used for drawing public carriages for the purpose of conveying electors to or from the polls. No person may hire, borrow, or use any carriage, horse, or animal, which it is prohibited to obtain under the law.

Electors themselves may hire carriages to convey themselves to the polls, but neither directly or indirectly can they be reimbursed. Every bill, placard, or poster having reference to the election must bear upon the face thereof, the name and address of the printer and publisher thereof.

No premises can be used for a committee-room upon any part of which intoxicating liquors are sold, whether by a licensed seller, or by members of any club, society, or association; nor where refreshments of any kind, whether food or drink, are ordinarily sold for consumption on the premises. Candidates are obliged to furnish a written and detailed statement of the amount of personal expenses incurred by them, and in practice, in England, those expenses include only car fares, hotel expenses, postage, stationery, and telegrams.

Any candidate, election agent, or other person, who violates any of the provisions of the Act, or fails to perform any duties imposed under the Act, is guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice, within the meaning of the Act, and may be punished by fine or imprisonment, and disfranchised for a term of years. Any person who is elected to office, and at whose election there have been corrupt or illegal practices, in violation of the provisions of the Act, may be unseated upon proper petition.

Mr. Lincoln informed the writer that the provisions of this Act are so stringent, and it has been so thoroughly enforced, that the public men of Great Britain all agree that bribery in connection with elections has become practically unknown.

Upon this whole subject there are two questions for the American people to consider. Are they ready for such radical changes in their election laws? Will they demand a thorough enforcement of the provisions of such an Act? The latter is by far the more important question.



"ON all great subjects," says John Stuart Mill, “much remains to be said." The recent great change in parliamentary practice, which has been enforced in our national House of Representatives-which is variously called "counting a quorum" or Speaker Reed's "change of rules"-is a subject which seems to us not yet to have been duly appreciated as to its gravity and effects. This may be believed to be due quite largely to the fact that the matter has been entangled with current party politics and the immediate partisan interests of our two great political parties. Possibly in the calm which at present is succeeding our recent political "storm and stress," an additional word on this theme may be offered, as well as received, in a more judicial spirit than has marked the discussion hitherto. It cannot be doubted that an important change in the methods of legislation, of arriving at conclusions in one of our highest legislative bodies, is a very grave subject -one which ought to be considered in an unpartisan spirit and with sole reference to its bearings on the general public welfare. This subject is also one which no "prentice hand,” no impetuous or doctrinaire mind, is fitted to handle. Parliamentary law and practice, as much as any feature or form of our civil methods, is the slow growth of many generations and centuries. It has not been made to order; it cannot be safely unmade or essentially changed, to order. Like the common law, or like any slowly developed age-compacted system, or method of public procedure and administration, it must be studied and grasped, it must be developed and carried forward, in the historical spirit, and, above all, with a patriotic and not a partisan purpose. Whoever well considers it, will find change and reform here are not synonyms; that the old ways are presumptively the best ways; and that any violent or sudden change is likely to bring in worse evils than those sought to be removed. Burke may easily be thought to have been at times

too much influenced by antiquity and custom, but in our day and in dealing with these subjects we cannot too often be taught by his spirit and philosophy.

Another preliminary general consideration should be kept in mind here, that our national government is not carried on by parties in the same sense or to the same extent as the government of England or of France. Our majority party—the party which at a given time may have elected our President and a majority of both Houses of Congress has no such powers or responsibilities as the majority party in England. Our president, senators, and representatives in Congress, have a fixed tenure of office. A political revolution may sweep over our country, like the late election, but the days of the present president and Congress are not shortened, nor their powers diminished. It cannot be said, in any strict sense, that ours is a government by parties. Parties here elect our public officers and the members of our legislative bodies, but when the party which has thus triumphed in an election is repudiated by the next popular vote, as is the case at this moment, the defeated party continues in the same relations to the government as before, till the end of the terms of those elected. This is our chosen American system, and in this it differs radically from the systems of England and France. The result is that parties not being responsible here for the conduct of the government, as in England and France, for example, there is not the same reason here for clothing our parties with plenary or greatly extended powers, as exists in those countries and under those systems where the defeat of one party places the opposing party in immediate control of the government.

This is particularly true in matters of parliamentary practice. It might be wise and needful to give the majority of the English House of Commons, or of the French Chamber of Deputies, powers over the course of parliamentary procedure and legislation, which would not be 'wise or needful here, for the reason that parties there are more immediately responsible for the conduct of the government and more immediately answerable to the country. In other words, our system of government would naturally and reasonably suggest that less rather than more power should be at the command of our

Speaker and the party majority of our house of representatives than at the command of the Speaker and party majority of the English House of Commons, or the President and party majority of the French Chamber of Deputies; and English and French parliamentary precedents and practice should be viewed and valued here accordingly. We think it will appear hereafter in the discussion of our topic, that English precedent and example is against the rules which have been put in force by Speaker Reed.

The question immediately before the country now is the constitutionality, wisdom, and justice of what is rightly called Speaker Reed's "change of rules," or more narrowly, his method and practice of "counting a quorum.' "The question and practice arose thus: the Constitution, in Section five of Article one, provides that "a majority of each (house) shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties, as each house may provide." This language—the only provision of the Constitution on the subject of a quorum -has been, and is, universally understood to require a majority of a full house-of all the members elected or possible to be elected-to make a quorum for business. Thus, in the present house, consisting of 330 possible members, a constitutional quorum is 166.

The constitutional provision above quoted also provides means for getting a quorum, viz: by compelling the attendance of absent members. There the Constitution stops; and there the dilemma which Speaker Reed's rules are intended to meet, begins. If a majority of a full house is present but a part of the members do not respond to the roll-call, so that the number who do respond is not a majority of a full house, what shall be done? The invariable rule for 101 years, or since the American Congress has existed, until the present Congress, has been that, if those members answering to a call of the house did not make a numerical majority of a full house, no quorum to do business was present. In other words, the result of a call of the house determined the question of a quorum. The change

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