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growth of American politics

Henry Jones Ford

THE ORGANS OF GOVERNMI

It is a nec

machinery was devised under the stimulus necessity and has been submitted to because the was no help for it. A paradoxical phrase, of used in regard to this very matter, puts the exactly as the people regard it.

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The development of party organization ha elaborate and extensive in keeping with t expansion of the nation and the multifariou

cal activities of our complicated system of
ment. The struggles of the people to con
government to democratic uses have int
complications which have greatly enlar
functions of party organization and in
their energy

The movement towards
tiplication of elective offices originated

The cons framework of the national governmen

unyielding that effort was expended u
vain; but plastic material was found in
constitutions. TH

pcratic movem
raised Jacksont

dency, althou in all its design

ing the cons the

a de ntim

wa nstit the ter

ive into elective offices. The powers of the governor were reduced by converting local agencies of government into elective offices. Heads of state departments, that had been appointed by the governor or by the legislature, were also cut loose to be filled under the form of popular election. Even the judiciary did not escape, and in most of the states the office of judge was abandoned to party politics by making it elective. The practical effect of the change was to convert a system of responsible appointment into a system of irresponsible appointment. It is obviously impossible for the people to select officers for innumerable places except by some means of agreement and coöperation, which means is ordinarily supplied by the activity of the political class. It may be laid down as a political maxim, that whatever assigns to the people a power which they are naturally incapable of wielding takes it away from them. It may be argued that this principle carried to its logical conclusion implies that the people are unable to select their own rulers in any case. fectly true. The actual selection will be always made by the few, no matter how many may seem to participate. The only value of popular elections is to establish accountability to the people, but this rightly used is quite enough to constitute a free government.

The multiplication of elective offices and the distribution of the responsibilities of government

This is per

[graphic]
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