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III.

years. During this time — thanks to cordance with the suggestions of exthe restraining referendum — they can perience, but there can never again be do nothing really contrary to the public any question of doing away with it. will, at least in any essential matter. If they prove incapable, or if their action gives cause of complaint, they In Switzerland, the popular ivitiative are replaced at the next elections, and is regarded as the necessary complethere is an end of it. We are far ment of the referendum. It is, so to enough by this time from that era of speak, the positive side of a right of revolutions which marked the period which the referendum represents between 1815 and 1848.

rather the negative side. By the ref

erendum the people approves or rejects But every medal has its reverse. the work of its representatives. By The fear of the referendum tends to the initiative it invites them to take make timid legislators, who sometimes such and such a constitutional or legislack the courage to vote for what they lative measure, on whiclı, nevertheless, believe to be the best for the country, it still reserves the last word to itself. or, having voted for it, to stand up for With regard to constitutional malit before their fellow-citizens ; they ters, we have seen, in the historical prefer to let it go without a struggle. sketch already given, that the most The referendum has also given birth important victory achieved by the demto a camarilla of politicians who exploit ocratic movement which regenerated the credulity or passions of the pop- Switzerland in 1848 was the acquisition ulace in order to oppose measures of the right of initiative. In virtue of which are perfectly legitimate.

the Federal law then laid down, every Nevertheless, the new system has constitution is subject to revision on borne good fruits. The people have the demand of a majority of the active generally shown themselves wiser than citizens. There were, however, difthe meddling politicians who have tried ferent modes of applying this principle. to draw them into systematic opposi- A certain number of cantons recogtion. If now and then they have voted nized the right of the people to specify under the influence of obvious ill- which articles of the Constitution humor with their own representatives, should be amended, while in other they have, on the other hand, more cantons revision could only be dethan once given the agitator clearly to manded in general terms, and it rested understand that he had no chance with with the representative authority to them. The net result has been a great decide to what points the revision tranquillizing of public life. The de- should be directed. bates which precede and accompany a It was this last system that prevailed referendary movement are a normal in the Federal Constitution of 1848. manifestation of the popular life. And The Constitution was a compromise ; when the ballot has pronounced, every- and it was foreseen that it would not body accepts the result. Not unfre- do to let a chance majority have the quently the press, which loves to power of imperilling or destroying its parade itself as the voice of public nice equilibrium by a side attack on its opivion, has been belied by the vote. very foundations. The Federal As. Those who make the most noise cannot sembly, as the guardian of the rights of here impose on the people as they do all, must alone have the power of introin other countries ; they are taken for ducing modifications, and in this matter what they are really worth. Adapted it possessed the right of initiative. In to a people fundamentally democratic, 1865, after the conclusion of the treaty like the Swiss, the referendum is un- of commerce with France, the Assemquestionably one of the best forms of bly proposed to the people and the government ever attempted. It may cantons a revision of the Constitution be thought good to modify it in ac-' bearing upon nine points, of which only one was agreed to. The Extreme | article themselves, and to require that Left then proceeded to clain for the it shall be submitted directly to the people the right of initiating partial as people and the cantons. The Chamwell as general revisions. In the gen- bers have then the alternative of receral revision of 1872–4, however, the ommending the adoption or rejection earlier dispositions relative to the pop- of the article, or of bringing in an alterular initiative were left untouched. In native proposal — unless, indeed, they 1878 the Federal Assembly, acting prefer to take no action at all. In this under the pressure of public opinion, form the principle of the popular initiaproposed the revision of Article 65 — live was adopted by the people amidst an article abolishing the penalty of universal indifference, scarcely three death so as to allow the re-introduc- hundred thousand electors out of six tion of the penalty in certain cantons hundred and fifty thousand taking part where it was considered desirable. in the voting — 183,029 ayes to 120,599 The revision was adopted. Two years noes. But when it came to putting the later, in 1880, another attempt at the new law in operation, there were found initiation of partial revision was made to be serious difficulties. How, for inby M. Toos of Schaffhausen, who sent stance, was the question to be put in in tifty thousand signatures demanding case of the Federal Assembly proposthat the people should be consulted on ing a counter-project of their own ? the question of establishing a federal The citizens, while agreeing that the bank with the exclusive right to issue article should be revised, might be satnotes. The Federal Assembly, con- isfied with neither the one plan nor the sidering this mode of putting the ques- other. They could not express their tion unconstitutional, refused to adopt views unless they were allowed first to it, and laid before the people only the answer the question, “Is the article to customary question : “Do you desire a be revised ?" And what complicarevision of the Constitution ?" The lions might not result from such a sysanswer was in the negative. But the tem of voting, the whole inquiry being agitation was continued by the Ex- carried through at the same time, on a treme Left, who claimed an initiative given day! However, for good or evil, for the people on the plea that it could the law was passed a law which has not have fewer rights than its own been justly criticised by those who representatives. In 1885 the Catholic have examined it closely, and which Right supported the demand, and can never work well under its present finally the Federal Council proposed to form. the Chambers an article introducing The first use made of the popular the popular initiative in matters of par- initiative was not a happy one. An tial revision. The project rested on anti-Semite committee had long been the following bases : If the revision of clamoring for the prohibition of the an article of the Federal Constitution, mode of slaughter adopted in Jewish or the addition of a new article, is de- slaughter-houses. After minute inquimanded by fifty thousand citizens, the ries, which resulted in proving that people are first to be consulted on the this method of slaughter was no more preliminary question, “ Do you desire cruel than any other, and that it formed the proposed revision ?" If the reply part of the rites of the Jewish religion, is in the affirmative, it will be the duty the federal authorities refused to grant of Parliament to draft the bill, which is the probibition. But no sooner was then to be submitted to the vote of the the popular initiative secured than the people and the cantons.

anti-Semite committee collected the The advanced democrats, however, necessary signatures and demanded the refused to accept this as a solution, and introduction of a constitutional article succeeded in carrying another proposi- forbidding the slaughter of animals tion, by which the listy thousand citi. without first stunning them. It was zens have the right to draft the new an appeal to the religious passions of

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the people ; the article was adopted, I decisions should be the work of impulse after a sharp coutest, on the 20th of or surprise. The generally adopted sysAugust, 1893, by 191,527 votes to 127,- tem of two Chambers, and of two or 101, and by eleven and a half cantons three readings for every bill before it against ten and a half. Nevertheless, passes into law, is in itself a recognition as the drafters of the article had for- of this fact. But the demagogue is imgotten to impose any penalties, it has patient of all these obstacles ; he wauts remained a dead letter in those cantons a single Chamber and deliberation by which did not care to put it in force. steam. It cannot be denied that the The anti-Semite committee has since Swiss people have shown a want of repeatedly petitioned for a federal law wisdom in adoptiug a system of initiainsisting on compliance, but the federal tive which places all our institutions at authorities justly reply that it does not the mercy of any dariug attempt insticome within their powers.

gated by the demagogue and favored In two other cases the initiative has by precisely such circunstances been taken in formulating a law once should rather iucline us to take time by the Socialist party, demanding the for reflection. But it is, no doubt, a right to labor; and once by the Ex- momentary error, which will be retreme Right, demanding the partition paired at the earliest opportunity. of the customs duties between the Con- In matters of legislation it has been federation and the cantons. In both seen that the cantou of Zurich had in cases the people showed more sense 1868 anticipated the demand for the than on the slaughter of animals ques- popular initiative. It was the same in tion ; they rejected the first demand by other cautons. Although this right 308,289 votes to 75,880, and by twenty- has no explicit place in the Confedertwo cantons to none; and the second ation, yet the formulated iuitiative by 347,046 votes to 145,207, and by thir- comes practically to the same thing, teen and a half caulons to eight and a since there is nothing to prevent a half.

group of citizens from drawing up It is generally agreed in Switzerland their own proposals in detail and dethat the popular initiative, as it is now manding that the people and the canestablished by the Federal Constitu- tons shall be called upon to say Lion, might at any time place the coun- whether or not they shall become an try in very considerable danger. From integral part of the Constitution. Here the moment that the regular represent- again one sees to what strange results atives of the people are placed in such the formulated initiative may lead. a position that they have no more say In contrast to the referendum, which in the matter than an irresponsible is an instrument of conservation, the committee drawing up articles in a bar popular initiative may thus easily beparlor, it is clear that the limits of come the tool of a revolutionary movesound democracy have been passed, ment. Thus it happened that one tine and that the reign of demagogy has day the electors of Zurich thought good begun. The people have no other lo grant a monopoly of the right of safeguard than their own good sense. issuing bank-notes for the benefit of The good sense of the Swiss people is the State, in plain defiance of Article tertainly very great; but who is to 39 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantee us against moments of sud- at that time forbade the creation of den excitement or of unreflecting pas- any such monopoly. Naturally, the sion, when the bounds of reasou and decisiou was reversed by the federal justice may again be overstepped, as authority ; but there is unfortunately in the case of the Jewish slaughter- no authority to reverse a mistaken dehouse regulations ? The shaping of a cision of the whole Swiss people. wise constitution must always be a Elsewhere, too, as for instance in the matter of weighing and balancing; it fecleral city of Berne, on a question cannot be permitted that the gravest relating to a bridge, the popular initia

I.

tive has been found to lead to almost representatives of the people would be iusoluble complications. It is obvious constrained to retire ? that we are here in presence of a force I think, indeed, that I have suffifar more difficult to organize and con- ciently shown that, for the reasons I trol than the referendum ; but one may have here developed, the referendum liope that repeated experiments may and the initiative in Switzerland form lead at last to success.

part of a system of government of

which all the pieces hang together. It To sum up. Switzerland presents, appears to me very doubtful whether it thanks to the referendum and the pop- would be possible to introduce these ular initiative, the most complete ex- two institutions elsewhere without at ample there is of a direct government the same time introducing a mechanby the people existing in modern times ism of government similar to that of and under modern conditions. Can which they have become part and parthis example be initated elsewhere ? cel here.

NUMA DROZ. Not easily. In constitutional countries it would be necessary, to begin with, to adopt the Swiss doctrine that a neg.

From The Argosy. ative vote on the referendum does not

LADY JOAN. entail the dissolution of the Chambers ; otherwise the result would be a state of perpetual agitation, worse than The luxurious paraphernalia of afterthat which it is sought to remedy. noon tea, and of drinks that were not Logically, according to this doctrine, tea, had vanished. From a score or so the Cabinet also ought not to be of smart guests, whose persiflage had, obliged to retire before an adverse vote for the lasi hour, enlivened the ancient of the Chambers ; and hence would library of Somersby Park, only two result again the periodicity of ministe- remained : a girl, near the tire renrial functions, which would put an end dered welcome by the damp October to that office-hunting which is the chief day, and a young man in the oriel motive of many a parliamentary man. window. It would mean a radical transformation The girl's seat was a stool ; her of political life in those countries. Al hands were clasped before her knees, present the appeal to the country takes her eyes fixed upon the dancing blaze. place only on the most serious occa- She was very still ; stillness seemed a sions; and it is the prime minister part of her. The young man, from his himself who makes the appeal when he oriel, surveyed her with some amusehas reason to suppose that the repre- ment, lowering his book. She looked sentatives of the people are no longer like a little white spirit, he remarked in touch with their constituents. If in inwardly, noting the pale yellow hair, these countries the appeal to the na- the colorless, childlike profile, and the tion on any question were to originate undeveloped form. with the nation itself, as is the case in “Should you think me rude if I Switzerland, one cannot conceal from offered you a certain penny, Lady oneseli that it would probably lead to Joan ? " the most unexpected consequences. “ Mr. Darcy! I did not know you It would, indeed, be possible to fix were here ! I am glad. I was just beforehand the subjects on which it thinking about you." should be obligatory to consult the peo- She glanced towards him over her ple, which would deprive the reference slight young shoulder, her position of any hostile character. But with the otherwise unchanged. Darcy rose. ideas current in those countries, would “ Indeed ! That is disappointing. I there not still be a tendency to regarul fancied, from your expression, that you a negative vote as an expression of were thinking about something interwant of confidence, before which the esting."

6

eyes, which

Lady Joan's eyes returned to the conventionalities. Julia

Julia - Lady Wilblaze.

mington – is shocked, and Lord Wil“So I was,” she answered with the mington only laughs. I have thought, same grave composure : "I mean only and thought, but I can do nothing that you were mixed up in it. I was without help.” making plans to join your work in " What exactly is it that you wish to south London."

do ?Darcy stared, and suppressed a “I have told you ; to live near you, smile.

in the New Cut. I am dreadfully in*. To join it, Lady Joan ?"

experienced. I have been kept away, -- Yes. I was listening while you all my life, from the poor. Lady Wiltalked to Mr. Holcroft. I liked all mington's model village doesn't count ; your schemes. You said you wanted the church holds eighty, and the popumore money. I have a great deal of lation is not enough to fill it. I must money. I have been longing, for work under direction, and yet I dread years, to spend it in work like that." fetters and red tape. I would rather

The young man came nearer, and sat be alone, with a kind maid. You told down.

Mr. Holcroft, last night, that a rich “Longing ?” he repeated.

lady, who would really devote herself, ** I think 'longing' is the right word. might do wonders. It's not the wonI night say burning;' but people «lers I care about, but I want to give laugh at those strong expressions. my life to the poor.” Still, it has really often seemed to me a Darcy's grey

had burning fire. I could not speak like changed from scrutiny to sympathy, this to any one but you."

kindled. “I feel highly honored by your con

" And

you

think if I fidence,” said Darcy lightly.

“If

you engaged a small house for * Don't talk in that company way. Ime — or rooms — and wrote, when all hate it so! I want you to help me. was settled, to say so, I could have my Will you listen ?"

things packed, and tell the WilmingShe rested her cheek upon her hand, tons that I was going next day. My and looked full at him, as he bent, still present maid would do to start with, amused, but eager, towards her. very well. Perhaps you could collect a

* Imagine that I am poor few girls to meet me at your hall. I woman in the New Cut, and then you would sing to them, and tell them my will be able to stop chaffing.”

plans; that opening would lead on. " I was not chaffing ; I was in ear- Very soon I should have plunged into nest. But I won't obtrude myself all I wish. And then, there I should again. I am really anxious to listen. be, if you wanted money.” In fact I am very curious. How can I She looked back into the fire. Darcy help you?

bad listened attentively. He paused, " By making it easy for me to get subduing some impulse, before he anfree,” she said ; "I have no nearer swered. relations than the Wilmingtons, and You are very young, Lady Joan.” they are only third cousins ; but I have " So much the better ! Twenty lived with them for five years since years seem a moment." my father died; and it is hard to go “ You have seen little, as yet, of against them. I am not really respon- the world. Excuse me for doubting sible to any one ; Lord Wilmington whether you altogether know your own was my guardian – but I came of age

mind." last month. My money is entirely in “Excuse me, also, Mr. Darcy, for my own control ; my father left it so. contradicting you. I have gone through I have a fixed plan for my life. But I three seasons." did not know how difficult it would be “ Yes, with your head in the clouds. to break through all the customs and I watched you many a time last sum

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