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grant of the suffrage to women should first be mentioned. Woman's rights in general, election reform and prohibition by the constitution of the manufacture or sale of intoxicants also deserve especial mention.
Interesting proposals by one or two writers would establish the Torrens System of land title registration and a system of rural credits, and would require capital punishment in specified cases. Undoubtedly there is widespread demand for the removal of all doubt of the constitutionality of certain proposed laws for the protection of industrial laborers, especially workmen's compensation, but little manifestation of it has been evi. dent in the present investigation.
Finally, the need for an easier method of amending the constitution is widely recognized and the popular initiative for constitutional amendments is frequently advocated. Indeed, one or two correspondents go to the extent of saying that they would be well content with the proposed convention if it should secure this reform alone.
Regarding the constitutional problem as a whole, one correspondent remarks,
I consider that the great fault with our governmental system is that not enough attention has been given to the great general principles that underlie government, and too much attention has been given to small matters, which might be otherwise regulated.
In a speech recently delivered at Nashville, Judge J. H. Malone, sometimes called the father of the present movement for constitutional revision, stressed the following needed alterations:
A change in the criminal jury system, to obtain more intelligence in the jury box instead of putting a premium 'on ignorance as requisite for jury service, as is the prevailing custom ; abolishment of the fee system ; taking the power to enact local or private legislation out of the hands of the state legislature; fewer elections; a procedure to lessen the amount of criminal costs; to exempt securities and state bonds from taxation; more power to the governor to suppress riots and call out the militia ; a constitutional board of pardons."
*Capital punishment was almost completely abolished by statute in 1915. °Nashville Banner, Jan. 25, 1916.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM.
322. Purpose of the Chapter.
The varied and numerous constitutional changes which were shown in Part II of this book to be part and parcel of modern political thought concerning the government of the states, indicate for the most part problems that the people of Tennessee must sooner or later recognize and solve. The last preceding chapter indicates that already some Tennesseans have under consideration most of them. It is the purpose of these concluding paragraphs to inquire where reform should begin and what changes should properly be undertaken first in order that all desirable changes may be accomplished most quickly, harmoniously and efficiently. In other words, this chapter seeks to ascertain which are most fundamental among those changes needed to realize in Tennessee the new state government that seems everywhere endeavoring to assert itself among the states of the Union.
The doctrine of popular sovereignty stands at the very basis of American political philosophy: the universal acceptance of democracy is an accomplished fact and, while the acceptance by the people of the responsibility which democracy entails has not in all cases been earnest and whole-hearted, no one now denies that it is the business of the people to guide their own course, to rule their own destiny. In doing this they must set up such governing bodies as the popular intelligence may deem wise and set apart certain functions or services for these gov. ernmental agencies to perform. Society—the people viewed collectively-must necessarily have various organs or instruments for the accomplishment of its varied ends, the attainment of its varied desires, and those citizens who hold public office simply constitute the active hand of society which it must use to do those things which individuals can do imperfectly or not at all.
If this theory of government is accepted the question of the form of democratic government becomes merely one of ways and means. Obviously there should be that kind of govern. ment which most easily and economically and thoroughly performs those activities which are public in their nature, and which, as a rule, gradually increase as society becomes more thoroughly organized.
Simplicity, directness, responsibility to the whole of society —these are the fundamental elements. A people that has not attained simplicity, directness and responsibility in its government must surely seek them first, and thereafter look to the particular things that its government shall be required to do. For without these fundamental elements no government can even measurably well meet any of the requirements that the people may impose upon it.,
American governments, for historical and accidental causes, have developed neither simplicity, directness nor any high degree of responsibility to their principals, the people they were created to serve. Rather has the development been in opposite directions. Consequently the foremost political problem of American states, Tennessee included, is to abolish their govern. mental balances of power and checks to efficient, direct move. ments and set up governments in which the several parts all cooperate, working toward common ends. That is to say, the machinery of government should be so patterned as to develop the highest efficiency.
Experience has proven that revolutionary changes are seldom successful even where possible. In political evolution piecemeal alteration must usually be resorted to. It would seem the part of wisdom, therefore, that a people should not try to realize its ideals of perfect government at a single stroke, but that it should formulate its ideal as definitely as may be and then gradually make the changes necessary for attaining that ideal. Necessarily in the process of development and change there will be many suggestions for improving upon the original plan. Models worth striving for easily suggest themselves from 328.
An Efficient many of the proposals described in previous pages. The gov- Government. ernment must both pass laws and administer them. Its organization should, therefore, provide machinery for determining the state policies, the desires of the people to be expressed in laws, and machinery for insuring that laws once made shall become effective. These two functions of government are coördinate,
not separate. Knowledge of administration is required in the law-maker; knowledge of the reasons underlying a policy is required in the administration. The same individual, therefore, may well be head of the administration and leader of the legislature.
The governor elected by and responsible to the voters of the entire state should be the recognized leader of the legislators and should supervise and control the administration. As legislative leader the governor should gather around him the more influential and capable legislators as advisers and the members of this cabinet should, if possible, be the heads of the administrative departments. If the governor feels, however, that he can secure more efficient department heads elsewhere, he should be allowed to do so and his appointees should be given seats in the legislature but not the right to vote. Their presence is needed for advice in law-making and in order that legislators may question them concerning the conduct of their departments. Of course, however, only the direct representatives of the people should vote upon laws.
The legislature should be organized for discussion of policies, not for the prevention of legislation. With this end in view it should sit as a single house and its members, not exceeding fifty in number, should be elected in groups of three or four from each district, under rules for proportional representation, in order that the various political opinions of the voters may be adequately reflected in the discussion and enactment of laws. No limit should be set upon legislative terms and each legislator should be paid a salary sufficient to enable him to give at least half of his time to his public duties of investigation and lawenactment. The other half of his time may well be spent as a private citizen doing private work; in this way he will be prevented from losing the point of view of the people at large.
So great a centralization of power calls for means for making official responsibility to the people equally great. Hence, the recall should be established, applicable to governor, legislators and heads of departments, and the initiative and referendum to prevent abuse in law-making. As a matter of correct administrative practice the chief of the administration must have power to remove his subordinates; this power may, however, appropriately be accompanied by the requirement that he give dismissed officials written statements of his reasons for removing them. All minor officials and employes should, of course, be appointed after adequate competitive examination, but removal ought not to be made over-difficult.
The governor should be required to present annually to the legislature a budget, containing a report and recommendations in the form of bills. He should be allowed to veto at least those items in appropriation bills which have been increased over his estimates. When the government is organized so as to encourage thoughtful action and made so responsible that arbitrary action can be quickly revoked and punished, constitutional restrictions upon law-making may be largely eliminated. The legislature may safely be left free to adopt its own rules of procedure and to enact whatever laws the public may require. Constitutions need no longer contain lengthy articles on subjects that are not of vital and fundamental interest to the state. Probably a legislature such as that here advocated could even be trusted to enact legislation granting home rule to cities and counties and to possess sufficient self-control to refuse to enact private and special laws. But for its protection these matters ought to be attended to by constitutional provision, and the right of the legislature to delegate adequate powers should be secured. The legislature should be left thoroughly free to deal with the constantly changing need for various forms of social legislation.
In order that the people may not burden themselves with elections and that they may give their best attention to those they have, they should keep the number of elective officials at a minimum. The most acute question of election or appointment arises in regard to the selection of the judges of the higher courts. The function of the courts is to assist in the administration of law, but the judges are distinctly different from other administrative officers. They do not help to transact the business of the state, and no administrative need can possibly be urged in favor of their appointment by the governor. They stand between the state and the individuals who compose it, to prevent either injuring the other, and their most important function is to settle private disputes. The lega! knowledge re