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very ably done by Mr. Toulmin Smith in an exceedingly valuable
Local Self-government,” which maintained that a life of order and freedom could only be properly secured when every individual was welded into the state without having his indi. viduality destroyed; when free institutions extended from parish to Parliament; when political life and energy were encouraged by the full and public discussion of all questions among the people ; and when all our representative institutions were formed upon the understanding that all law must spring from the people, and the administration of it must be under the control of the people.
In 1854 Lord John Russell so far redeemed his political pledges as to propose a Reform Bill, but the Crimean war caused its abandonment: and for a while there was a lull in the country on reform. Thoughtful men nevertheless saw that, however exacting war may be, the proper popularization of parliamentary representation was indispensable to true social progress, and the subject continued to receive the consideration of the impracticable theorists, and a number of possible forms of improving the representation of the people were suggested and discussed, so that the minds of men might be prepared to deal with the subject when the hour arrived for the practical realization of a reform in the representation.
Among these perhaps the most influential were “Political Progress not necessarily Democratical,” by Professor Lorimer; a treatise on “The Election of Representatives, Parliamentary and Municipal," by Thomas Hare, Barrister-at-Law,—a work which has excited much attention among politicians of all schools, and which has given to the country the cry of The Representation of Minorities; and “Considerations on Representative Government,” by John Stuart Mill. The former writer proposes a method of representative election based mainly on wealth and social position as indexes of intelligence and worth; and the two latter suggest intelligence as indicated by instruction as the fittest condi. tion for parliamentary suffrages, the object of all being to get some means of approximating to the unit of social value which would best give grounds for the right of exercising the franchise. In addition to these works specially devoted to representation as the question of the hour, the interest in this topic was continued and increased by the issue of two colonial works,“ The Government of England; its Structure and Development,” by W. E. Hearn, LL.D., Professor of History at Melbourne ; and “Parliamentary Government in England; its Origin, Development, and Practical Operation,” by Alpheus Todd, Librarian to the Legislative Assembly of Canada. Subsequently to this an extension of the franchise became a Government measure by consent of all parties, and very able debates on representation occurred in both Houses of Parliament. The years 1858-59 were greatly occupied by this question ; and the agitation was resumed in 1865, and continued till 1869. The debates of the Parliament during these periods gave occasion to the production of many important speeches, and in several cases
these have been published. In “The Speeches on Questions of Public Policy,” by John Bright, M.P., we have many on parliamentary reform. We have also “Speeches on Parliamentary Reform, delivered in the House of Commons by the Right Hon. B. Disraeli
, 1849—1866." The “Speeches and Letters" of the Right Hon. Robert Lowe have been given to the press, as well as the speeches of W. E. Gladstone, Earl Russell, Lord Cairns, &c., &c. To the literature of the subject belong also J. S. Mill's “ Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform; and two collections of contributions to the elucidation and solution of the questions arising from a consideration of representation,—“Essays on Reform," and " · Questions for a Reformed Parliament.” To those who wish for farther information than our brief and imperfect paper can supply, the references here given may be enough to point them to the sources whence their desires may be gratified ; but we may add here, as bearing close relation to the matter in hand, Lord Lindsay's “ Progress by Antagonism,”-a work evincing great power of thought applied to an extensive series of historic facts ; David Ruwland's "Manual of the British Constitution;" H. S. Tremenheere's Constitution of the United States compared with our own;" Lord Wrottesley's “Thoughts on Government and Legis. lation ; ” George Cornewall Lewis's " Methods of Observation and Reasoning in Politics ; Richard Congreve's “Politics of Aristotle," with notes; and Lord Brougham's “The British Constitution.”
In the preceding paragraph we have quoted impartially able and interesting works by advocates of all the opinions prevalent on this topic, entirely irrespective of party,--as the object aimed at in mentioning them is the information of those who desire to study with the aim of gaining the truth. We are all the more free to do this as our prelection concerns the philosophy, not the partisanship, of politics ; and all the more bound to do so are we, because we seek a basis for our theory of representative institutions, which differs in some measure from the ground-thought of either party. Our present object is to discover, if we can, the reason and grounds of representation, its conditions and its implications ; in a subsequent paper we expect to overtake the remainder of the question,the methods, forms, and requirements of representation in civic, social, ecclesiastical, and national life. Sufficient, if not more than sufficient, is our present task, to expound the theoretical grounds of representation, natural, moral, and official; to gain and give as clear a view as possible of the nature, influence, and expediency of it, and to point out the ends it subserves in the body politic, as well as in individual life; to explain in short the relations between representation and the intelligence and will of the people, as the means of bringing together a congress of opinions, and an assembly of delegated willing hood; a deliberating and determining essence, epitome, and abstract of the people's aims. Presentation implies the actual and real presence of the person whose interests are in question, or whose participation is required. Presentation requires the personal appearance and activity of all the parties concerned in an action proposed to be done, or in an arrangement proposed to be entered into. In the city-states of Greece the sovereign power was held by the whole adult male citizenry; and presentation, or the actual engagement of the citizens in the practical business of government and legislation, was possible. In these city-states, though passion ran high and opinion was varied and changeable under the masterful influence of the sympathy of numbers, the citizens exercised the entire powers of government; their senate only forming in reality a committee for the formal arrangement and management of public business, Each citizen not only could present himself in the assemblies called for the despatch of business, but had the right of presenting his opinion on the subject under consideration, and could present his vote or his protest, as the case might be, in regard to the decision of the question adopted. In these, the citizen by personal influence and act upheld his personal right as a member of the common. wealth ; in the election of magistrates, the audiences of ambassadors, the management of civil, military, or judicial matters, deliberations in connection with property or party, and in the enactment of laws, the Greek citizen was self-presentative.
In large communities and in extensive states presentative political right is not only inexpedient, but impossible. The entire community cannot meet together; and even though it could, the deliberate consideration, discussion, formation, and determination of opinions would, at any such congress, be impossible by any method within the compass of “art or man's device.” However regular, fixed, frequent, and accessible the assemblies of such communities could be made, an actual personal opportunity of discussing questions, or even hearing them discussed, could not be afforded to or provided for all; and no form of impressing unanimity upon them could be contrived except that of the advocates of formed opinions addressing them in sections, and taking the vote upon the questions 80 submitted to their judgment. This being the case, expediency at once suggests that the justice of the matter might be as clearly and honestly seen to in local institutions and assemblies where, on a small scale, the presentative system should be as possible as in the city-states of Greece; and where the higher principle of representative opinion might be introduced by the election of one or more deputies to convey to a more general assembly the opinion formed by those who deputed them, and so bring together in a small manageable body the representatives of the interests, intelligence, and will of the whole body of the people.
In states of such an extent and so complicated in the machinery of government, national and international, as those of modern Europe and the West generally, it has been found that in order to secure assemblies of the people which shall deliberate and act with public spirit and freedom, and yet in harmony with order and virtue, the number of citizens called to attend them must neither be too numerous nor too mixed, and must have a local fellow-feeling and common interest, so that while the sentiment of personal independence in each may be fully respected, advantage may be taken of the sympathy of man with man to induce concessions, and con. duce to practical unanimity. In this way, while freedom of expression and of debate may be freely exercised, hasty, rash, and tumultuous proceedings may be avoided by the spontaneous activity of those feelings which tend to peace and good neighbourhood. The calmness and reasonableness of the discussions and decisions of such assemblies are thus enhanced, while the training of the whole public in the formation and utterance of sound opinions on matters pertaining to law, order, civic interests, and social life, is quickened and improved. The right of the individual to presentative participancy in the making of the laws is thus preserved in the representative system; and the power of the representatives to accept or reject the proposals made on bebalf of the State, by maintaining ministerial responsibility, preserves the personal right of each to partnership in the national life.
The natural play and progress of this political activity is to bring into prominence and trusted popularity those who most sedulously and intelligently concern themselves with the consideration of political questions. These acquire a known character in their own localities, and gradually become, though only by a sort of insensible and unconocio118 passive or active selection, the de facto representatives of the holders of opinions similar to their own in the district, and are so far the volunteer forces of public opinion in each locality, having a certain following and a tacitly allowed superiority over those who think with them, or take their political creed from similar
These, again, form a kind of semi-organized set of inquirers on political movements, always on the outlook for measures which they think are important, and taking note of the men who approve or condemn them. Thus, by a spontaneous sympathy of sentiment, the several parties in each state are bound together by feelings which lead to fraternization when any great movement seems to be required. This may be called the latent moral representative system, out of which our legal representative system is developed; and it may be regarded as forming the moral bond which unites and combines the several grades of society into a sympathetic oneness which renders the actual political consideration of questions much more easy, more satisfactory, and more trustworthy. These men are exposed to public notice and criticism, and generally act under a sense of responsibility.
Holding their supremacy as the real tribunes of the locality in which they are known by the tacit consent of those who believe with them chiefly on the tenure of personal popularity or political consistency, they form a powerful class of semi-acknowledged representatives; often able to gain for themselves actual nomination and
official recognition when need arises for carrying out any important political purpose. They are the leading spirits of the district, and as such naturally exercise a considerable educative and regulative influence on public opinion. These men frequently become the agents through whom the tendency of a district is made known to those who desire the office and honour of being Members of Parlia. ment; not only do they form a judgment regarding what the opinion of the locality is, but also regarding what sort of representative would be most likely to be acceptable to those with whom they usually act, and with whom they sympathize. These men, influential themselves by their intelligence and known consistency, often constitute wise and trustworthy advisers, and the persons who through them solicit the suffrages of the people must give them some reasons, direct or indirect, for believing that they are worthy, of confidence and honour. In this way representatives may be said to be selected by the select from among those more notably select, and so are, in general, superior in some respects to those for whom they act, and whose interests and welfare they become bound to endeavour to secure. The special devotion which representatives are generally able to give to the consideration of questions affecting the common weal, enables them more watchfully and more intelligently to maintain the interests of order and freedom, the consistency of the State and the independence of the individual, than any one chosen at haphazard from among those who are called to consult for and determine concerning the legislation best suited for the country. At the same time the people have their minds set free from the absorbing and passionate interests of political life, and are thus enabled to live in greater comfort, ease, and enjoyment, than they would otherwise have been able to do. To find a man of hon. esty, intelligence, influence, and power of speech and thought, is a much more easy task for the people than to acquire for themselves such knowledge as would impart competency to them to judge of and determine regarding questions of polity, policy, economy, and lan, adapted to the several circumstances of cases as they arise. Representation, then, while it releases the ordinary and average man from the taskwork of political study, yet supplies a mild and efficacious inducement to him to gain a general acquaintance with politics and its problems, and at the same time provides a higher and better class of advisers for the State, and a more skilful class of expositors of policy:
The nation is not to be regarded as consisting of a passive aggre. gation of individuals who are to be superintended, and to have such measures taken on their behalf as shall secure the greatest possible happiness to tbe greatest possible numbers, by the members of a strong cabinet and a wise administration. The State exists in, of, and through, as well as for the people. Administration is not the highest function of Government; it is the exciting, sustaining, and promoting of selfhood-activity, thoughtfulness, self-reliance, truthfulness, and helpfulness, might and will, not only to do duty, but