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146. Summary of the 1920 Platform of the Democratic Party. ( Tariff: Tariff for revenue only; revisions to be based upon the
research of a non-partisan commission. Business : Development of inland waterways; encouragement
of the American Merchant Marine; increased use of motor vehicles in mail transportation; prohibition of the unfair use of patents in restriction of trade, to be enforced by
the Federal Trade Commission. Labor: Denial of the right to strike against the Government. Agriculture : Development of rural credit system; reclamation
of arid lands; supervision of interstate live stock
markets. Finance: Executive budget, to be increased only by two-thirds
vote of Congress — but only majority vote necessary for supplemental appropriations; consideration of appropri
ation bills by single committees of the House and Senate. Political : Woman suffrage. Social: Adequate support for children's and women's bureaus;
federal assistance for practical education ; utmost consideration for disabled soldiers; land and settlement home
aid to war veterans. Dependencies: Fullest measure of self-government and ultimate
statehood for Alaska; traditional territorial government . and ultimate statehood for Porto Rico; independence for
the Philippines without unnecessary delay. Foreign Relations : Membership in the League of Nations with
out reservations which would impair essentials of the Covenant; recognition of the new government of Mexico when it fulfills its national obligations; exclusion of Asiatic
immigrants. 147. Platforms of Minor Parties. From time to time new groups of people meet in conventions, issue platforms, and endeavor to become national parties. For instance, in 1920 the farmer-labor group issued its first platform. The Prohibition party and the Socialist party continued to issue platforms.
148. Summary of the 1920 Platform of the Socialist Party. Tariff: Free trade. Business: Public ownership of all vitally essential businesses,
including railroads, steamship lines, telegraphs, mines,
power plants, packing houses, and banking. Labor: Publicly owned industries administered jointly by the
Government and representatives of the workers; national child labor prevention and the establishment of minimum wage scales, shorter hours; abolition of strike-breaking
agencies. Finance : Payment of national debt by progressive property
tax; support of Government by progressive income and
inheritance taxes and unearned increment taxes. Political : Equal and unrestricted suffrage for men and women;
popular election and recall of president and judges; cabinet elected by and responsible to Congress; amendment of Constitution by majority of voters upon the initiative of the voters or Congress; repeal of espionage law and pardon of persons convicted for political views; deportation of aliens for political views or by administrative order opposed; writ of injunction, in labor disputes opposed; enforcement of 14th and 15th Amendments
regarding negroes. Social: Non-contributory government accident, sickness, old
age, and unemployment insurance. Foreign Relations: International parliament of democratically
elected representatives recognizing free trade, disarmaf
ment, etc.; recognition of Soviet Russia and independence of Ireland ; cancellation of loans to allied countries if they cancel their debts; non-protection of American investments in foreign countries by our Government to lessen
the possibilities of armed conflict. 149. The National Convention. - In the early summer of every fourth year each party holds a convention for the purpose of formulating its principles and policies into a party platform and for nominating candidates for President and f
Vice-President. In December or January preceding a presi
dential election the national committee of each of the national f parties meets in Washington and decides upon the time and
place to hold the convention. When this is determined the f committee sends a call for the National Convention to each
State committee, naming the time, place, and number of dele
gates to which each State and Territory is entitled. The c
Democratic Party assigns to each State twice as many delegates as it has senators and representatives in Congress, but the Republican Party allots them more nearly in proportion to party strength. Each State is assigned as many alternates as it has delegates, and these serve in the absence of the delegates.
When the call from the national committee is received, the State committee calls a State convention to elect four (Democrats) or more delegates-at-large and to suggest planks for the national platform; and notifies each congressional district
committee to call a convention for choosing its two (Democrats) for less delegates and alternates. But a score of States choose
their delegates by direct primary.3 The conventions that choose these delegates frequently “instruct” them to support a certain candidate for the presidential nomination and to urge that certain policies be included in the party platform.
1 The convention must be held in a city with railroad facilities, hotel accommodations, and auditorium space. In 1920 San Francisco obtained the Democratic Convention by presenting the national committee with a $125,000 certified check.
2 The Republican National Committee has provided for four delegates-atlarge, plus two in case the State gave its electoral vote to the Republican presidential nominee at the last election, plus one from each congressional district that cast as many as 2500 votes for any Republican elector in the last presidential election, or for the Republican nominee for Congress at the last election, plus one from each congressional district casting as many as 10,000 votes for any Republican elector in the last presidential election, or for the Republican nominee for Congress in the last election, or having elected a Republican to Congress at the last election.
Each party assigns delegates to Hawaii, Alaska, District of Columbia, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, but the number assigned by the parties differs. In 1920 the total number of delegates in the Democratic Convention was 1092; in the Republican, 984; in the Socialist, 156.
3 In some States the State law requires the selection of delegates by a direct primary. In New York and several other States Democratic State conventions choose the entire delegation. At the New York State convention congressional district caucuses are held and nominate to the National Convention the delegates from their district. These nominations are usually ratified by the State convention.
In the large auditorium decorated with flags, bunting, and pictures of candidates and dead statesmen, the convention is called to order by the chairman of the national committee. After the secretary reads the official call for the convention
Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, N.Y. THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION IN CHICAGO.
and prayer is offered, the national chairman names the temporary chairman and other officers whom the national committee has previously selected. Unless there is a factional fight, as there was in 1912 in both parties, these nominees are elected by the convention. The temporary chairman is escorted to the chair and makes a lengthy speech in which he assails the record of the opposite party, eulogizes his own party, and pleads for harmony.
Following this speech four committees are formed : (1) Committee on Permanent Organization; (2) Committee on Creden. tials; (3) Committee on Rules and Order of Business; and (4) Committee on Platform and Resolutions. Each State is entitled to one member on each committee. As the roll of the States is called the chairman of each State delegation announces the members whom the delegation has chosen to represent that State on the respective committees. After these committees are named the first session usually ends.
The second session of the convention is usually devoted to receiving the reports of the committees. The committee on rules and order of business usually recommends the adoption of the rules of the preceding National Convention and of the House of Representatives so far as they are applicable, and recommends a program, or order of business, for the existing convention.
The committee on credentials recommends what delegates shall be seated where there is a split in the party and two sets of delegates claim to be the proper delegates.
The committee on permanent organization nominates a permanent chairman and other permanent officers. When elected, the permanent chairman is escorted to the chair and delivers a long speech outlining the issues of the campaign.
Next, the committee on platform and resolutions presents a platform of which a preliminary draft has been prepared by a party leader previous to the meeting of the convention. The platform is sometimes debated before the convention adopts it.
Tha next duty of the convention is to nominate the President. The secretary calls the roll of States alphabetically, beginning with Alabama ; and as a State is called, its delegates have a right to propose candidates for romination by long eulogistic speeches. Any number of delegates may second a nomination by similar speeches. After all candidates are placed in nomination the balloting begins. The secretary again calls the roll