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opinion back of them. It is therefore a good democratic policy to have the people vote upon ordinary laws. The number of States is constantly increasing in which this direct legislation by the people is in practice. The political device by which the people vote upon the laws is known as the Initiative and Referendum. The nature of the power which may thus be exerted may best be learned from a clause in the constitution of one of the States in which a system of direct legislation is in full force: “The legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a legislature consisting of a senate and a house of representatives, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and amendments to the constitution and to adopt or reject the same at the polls independent of the legislature, and also reserve power at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any act of the legislature. ... The first power reserved to the people is the Initiative and 8 per cent. of the legal voters shall have the right to propose any measure, and 15 per cent. of the legal voters shall have the right to propose amendments to the constitution, by petition, and every such petition shall include the full text of the measure proposed. The second power is the Referendum, and it may be ordered (except as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety) either by petition signed by 5 per cent. of the legal voters, or by the legislature as other bills are enacted. ... The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures voted upon by the people. ...
.. Any measure referred to the people by the initiative (or the referendum] shall take effect and be in force when it shall have been approved by a majority of votes cast in such election. ... The referendum may be demanded by the people against one or more items, sections, or parts of any act of the legislature, in the same manner in which such power may be exercised against a complete act."
The constitutional clause just quoted shows that the device of the initiative and referendum gives life and power to the old right of petition. If a considerable number of voters (usually from 5 to 8 per cent.) in any State desire a certain law, the initiative enables them by petition to bring the measure before the electorate to be voted upon.
If a considerable number of voters are opposed to a law passed by the legislature, the referendum enables them to have the law referred to decision of the electorate. Thus the initiative is a positive or constructive force: it enables the voters to secure what they want. The referendum is a negative or preventive force: it enables voters to veto laws which they do not want.
The general use of the Initiative and Referendum throughout the country would introduce a new force into American politics and would profoundly change the character of American government. What the results of a general system of direct legislation would be is of course largely a matter of conjecture. In Switzerland, where the people have had centuries of training in public affairs, direct legislation has be
In the United States it is probable that the initiative and referendum will succeed only in those States where the people by instinct and tradition are intensely democratic, where the popular interest in public affairs is keen, universal and sustained, and where the average of popular intelligence is very high.
While the use of the initiative and referendum in the making of State laws is important its use in connection with municipal legislation is even more important. Everywhere throughout the country it is becoming the custom to give the voters of cities the right to manage municipal affairs quite directly through the means of the initiative and referendum. This is especially true of those cities that have adopted the commission form of government.
Closely associated with the initiative and referendum is the device known as the “recall.” The aim of this device is to give the people complete control over the officers whom they have elected. Where the recall is in use the voters, upon the complaint or petition of a certain number of citizens vote upon the question whether a certain officer shall be deprived of (recalled from his office before his term expires, and if the vote is in favor of the officer's removal he must give up his office before the end of his term. When an Oncer is removed by the operation of the recall, the vacancy is filled by holding a special election, at which the officer removed may be a candidate if he so desires. The recall is in operation in many of the cit governed by the commission system, and in some cities not thus governed. In several instances mayors of large cities have been removed through the procedure of the recall. In Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Kansas, Arizona and California, every State official is subject to recall. The recall is a mild form of impeachment. In case of impeachment the accused officer is tried by the legislature; under the procedure of the recall the accused is tried by the whole body of voters.
THE STATE EXECUTIVE
EVERY State has a governor, (almost every State has a lieutenant governor), a secretary of state and a treasurer; almost every State has a comptroller, or auditor, an attorney-general and a superintendent of education. The length of the terms of service of these officers, the manner of their election or appointment, and their qualifications and salaries are regulated by the constitution or by statute. Their duties which do not vary widely from State to State, are as follows:
The Governor. (1) The first duty of the governor is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. The governor is commander-in-chief of the military forces of the State, and he can call upon the soldiers to assist him in enforcing the judgment of a court or in suppressing riots and disorderly proceedings.
(2) Another duty of the governor is to transmit to the legisature a message, informing it of the condition of affairs within the State and suggesting such legislation as he may deem wise. The legislature, however, is not bound to follow the suggestions made in the message or even to consider them. If the legislature is not in session nd the governor thinks certain legislation urgent, he may summon it to meet in