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15, 1867

, 1867

ton this point. I ament return to the sho the argur

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the State Con- termes

good conduct of the incumbent that a two years term is to induce the Gov- to a single instance in which the peo-
makes the position respectable, not the ernor to cater to the public prejudices / ple have shown themselves incapable
term of office or anything of that kind. in order to secure a re-nomination. I of exercising this power. In looking
The individual who fulfills the duties think it is a sufficient answer to this over the list of those who have thus
of his office with ability and fidelity, suggestion to say that the people are far occupied the position of Governor
renders both the office and himself re- the proper judges of the individual in this State, I see a worthy array of
spectable. Carrying out the idea of the who may hold the office of Governor. men of ability and eminence, one of
gentleman, we might elect a Governor When any man has served the State whom is with us here as a member of
for life. If the object is permanency in that capacity for two years, the peo- this Convention. The gentlemen who
in the position, then the life-tenure ple have had an opportunity to judge have occupied-this position in the past,
would be better than the four years of his efficiency, and they are the only have, I think, discharged their duties
term. I take issue with the gentleman proper judges of that subject; they to the satisfaction of the people.
on this point. I am in favor of short are the tribunal from which there But, sir, if the people should make
terms, and a frequent return to the should be no' appeal. The tendency a mistake in the exercise of their
people for their verdict. .: :: Y of the argument of the gentleman choice--if the people should once in a

Mr. Chairman, I am opposed to the from Kent, as well as that of the gen- while elect a man who proves to be un-
proscriptive feature of this section, tleman from Bay. (MR. BIRNEY,) is to fitted for the office-why should there
which proposes that when the people favor a longer term than four years. not be a return of power to their hands,
have elected to office a man who serves The principles which they adopt are just that they may rectify the mistake be-....
them well, they shall not have the priv- as strong an argument for a life tenure fore its consequences prove too disas-
ilege of electing him to serve for with no accountability to the people. I trous? If, on the other hand, having
another term. I think that with a hope that the amendment will prevail. elected a Governor well fitted in all
short term of office, the endeavor of Mr. DUNCAN. If we could insure respects for the position, they wish to
the official will be to serve the people that the Governor would in all cases re-elect him, why should they not have
well, that he may obtain their approval; live to the end of his term, there might the privilege of doing so again and
and in my view the people should have I be a force in the argument for a long | again, if they desire; during the term
the right to elect again and again, if | term. But the present experience of of his natural life ? - Why should we
they desire, an officer who serves them the country in the succession of the seek to place a restriction in this

. Vice-President to the long unexpired respect upon the people ? On an examination of the State Con-| term of the President of the United | What is the reason of this demand stitutions, I find that six States—the States, should teach us a lesson with for restriction upon the power and auNew England States have adopted regard to the impropriety of authoriz- thority of the American people? Are the one year term for the office of Gov-ing a long gubernatorial term, with the we losing our confidence in self-governernor; that fourteen States have adopt-i probability that in some cases the Lieu-l ment? Are we losing our confidence ed the two years term. These are New tenant-Governor, who is not the choice in the democratic system ? Are we York, North Carolina, South Carolina, of the people for the position of Gover-| tending backward toward the aristocGeorgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennes-nor, may exercise the duties of that racy and despotism of the Old World? see, Ohio, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, office during nearly the whole term. Do we desire to make a strong governMinnesota, California and Michigan. Mr. · WILLARD. I desire, Mr. ment by having the Governor hold bis It may be mentioned here that New Chairman, to say a few words in favor office during four years, endowing him York formerly, by her Constitution of of the amendment of the gentleman at the same time with the power of 1821, had the four years term for the from Cass, although in the arguments turning out his subordinates ? It office of Governor; but in 1846, after of the gentlemen who have preceded seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that if the twenty-five years' experience, that State me the subject has been somewhat ex-Convention is ready to take that step, made a change in this respect, and haustively treated. I desire to express the people of Michigan are not willing adopted the two years term. Two my disapprobation of every effort to to assent to it. States elect their Governors for three take authority from the hands of the As has been well remarked here, the years; ten States for four. I may re-l people. I regard the proposition New England States elect their Govmark here that the ten States in which embraced in this section as one in- ernors annually; and I do not know the four years term is the rule are dication of a distrust of the peo- any part of the Union where home afnot by any means noted for their lib- ple of the State. It appears to me fairs are better administered than they eral principles. They are not regarded there is force in the -suggestion which are in New England. The attention of as the most intelligent States of this has been made, that the arguments the Convention has also been called to Union. They are the States of Dela- used in favor of a four years term, the fact that some of the older States ware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, would apply with equal cogency in of the Union, that formerly elected Lousiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkan- favor of a life tenure. The considera- their Governors for four years, have sas and Oregon. I will also mention tions which have been urged are in adopted the two years term, finding it that none of these State, or very few some particulars those which might be preferable. Wherever you see the peoof them, have made any alteration in urged in favor of the monarchical sys-ple most advanced in intelligence and their Constitutions for the last fifteen tem; they are such arguments as in the civilization, there you find them in years, except Indiana and Oregon; the Old World are used to keep Victoria favor of short terms of office. I believe, present Constitution of Indiana having upon her throne and to make Napo- Mr. Chairman, that this is the principle been adopted in 1851, and that of Ore- leon Emperor for life, with the pros- upon which we should stand. It is the gon in 1857. A large majority of the pect of fastening a Napoleonic dynasty only principle consistent with a proper States, after trying different terms upon the throne of France.

confidence in the people and in a reof office, have decided upon the two It seems to me the people of Michi- publican Government, the theory of years term, showing that a majority of gan have never shown themselves un- which is that all officers shall be the people are in favor of that term. fitted for the exercise of the power of responsible to the people. :. The gentleman from Kent (MR. electing a Governor for two years. I It was with these views, Mr. Chair- * FERRIS,) thinks that the tendency of do not think any gentleman can point man, that I offered my substitute. I .

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desired by the phraseology of that sub- public officers. We are assembled tory of the State shows that the office stitute to avoid giving countenance to here in our independent capacity, as of Governor is only a stepping-stone to the idea which has floated down to us citizens of the State of Michigan; and some higher position. For a very long from a past age, that the executive au- the presumption is that, although, period every successive Governor, ex

thority is 6.vested ” in any one. I do most of us are somewhat advanced in cept the gentleman elected in 1858, has · not believe that we “ vest” authority years, we have ability to examine these looked beyond that position, and has

in the officers of the government. Gov- great questions for ourselves, and to in fact gone beyond it on leaving the ernment authority resides in the peo- act upon them properly without re-executive chair of the State. A numple, not in any officer whatever. All gard to the views of other States. ber of them have been elected to Con

the duties of officers under a Constitu- Mr. DIVINE. Mr. Chairman, I de- gress. Thus it will be seen, Mr. Chair* tional republican government are sire to say a few words in support of man, that with a man elected for two marked and prescribed by law. I be- the amendment proposed by the gen years there are just as strong inducelieve that we need to hold close to this tleman from Cass. If this Convention ments for him to cater to the peculiar idea-that we should throw ourselves proposed to provide for the election of views of the people or of leading polibroadly upon the bosom of the people. Tall State officers and all county officers, ticians as there are with a man elected The more confidencë we repose in the for the term of four years, so that the for four years. In fact, I think that, if people, the more they will show them- necessity for an election once in' two the objection amounts to anything at selves' worthy of that confidence. years would not exist, then the argu- all, it applies much more strongly to Hence, I shall oppose any measure ment of the gentleman last up, (Mr. the term of two years than it does to looking to the extension of the guber- BRADLEY,) would appear very reason the term of four years, natorial term of office.

able. But it will be found that the re- Mr. LOVELL. Mr. Chairman, I deMr. BRADLEY. Mr. Chairman, I port of the committee on State officers sire to say a few words in reference to am somewhat alarmed at the newly proposes that we shall elect those offi-| the amendment under consideration, awakened zeal of the gentleman from cers as we have heretofore elected desiring, however, as much as anything Calhoun, (Mr. WILLARD;) otherwise I them, once in two years. Hence, al- else, to aim my argument at the docshould not presume to occupy any time though the term of Governor may be trine advanced by some gentlemen, that this morning. We all love the people changed, we shall have as many elec-we must protect the people from themdearly and are willing to trust the tions as ever

selves. I cannot endorse the seeming interests of the State to them; we are. One of the strongest arguments which sneer of the gentleman from Kalama

willing to submit to their hands the has been urged in favor of electing a zoo, (Mr. BRADLEY,) in regard to the :, whole Constitution, upon which they | Governor for four years, is that which "dear people. I apprehend it is per

must finally vote when we have con- was presented by the gentleman from fectly. proper for the gentleman from cluded our work. Now, it occurs to Kent, (Mr. FERRIS,) that a Governor Calhoun, (Mr. WILLARD,) or any other me that in our proceedings here, we elected for such a term is not obliged gentleman who represents a constituhad better act upon the thought of the to shape his course to meet the views ency on this floor, to remember that he people as it has been brought to our of his political friends, or to satisfy the is here as a representative of the peoattention by the facts of the past. whims of the people and thus secure a ple, to speak in their behalf; that he is Now, the idea has long been suggested reëlection. It was urged that to such to represent not specially his own views, that it is necessary for a Governor, as influences as these a Governor elected but is to act as a representative of the he approaches the end of his first for two years would be subject. . Ac- people who sent him here. term, to secure à renomination; that cording to the argument of the gentle- In regard to the length of the gubhe must if possible be elected to a man an officer elected for two years is ernatorial term, I am free to say that second term, in order to vindicate his constantly casting about to secure a re- I desire it to be just as short as it can administration of the office. If this election, whereas an officer elected for be consistently with the best interests be the thought of the “dear people ” four years can act independent of po- of the people. I cannot subscribe to the of this State, then it seems to me we litical influences, and in such a manner notion advanced by the gentlemån from had better obviate the necessity of as he may deem to be demanded by Kent, (Mr. FERRIS,) that in this country, having an election at the end of every the best interests of the people. Now, when we elect a Governor or any other two years, with all the attendant ex- sir, I do not see the force of this argu- officer, we choose a “leader.” The penses and excitement, and just pro- ment. I contend that when a man is people in this country call no man masvide that the term of the Governor elected to office for but two years, there ter. It has been said by one whose shall be four years, instead of two.. is during that time a check upon him. memory, I trust we all at this day re: I accept the views expressed by the It is reasonably to be inferred that in vere, that in this country we have a gentleman from Calhoun, as to the in- such a case he will seek to carry out as government of the people, for the telligence, patriotism, and the worth nearly as he is able the wishes of the people, by the people." Let us not deof the “dear people” of the State of people upon whom he is dependent for part from that cardinal principle. Michigan. And, in order to carry out reëlection. Thus there is secured a It is said that a Governor should be this sentiment of patriotism which we fair administration of the office. Be- chosen for four years, in order that he find in the heart of the people, I pro- sides, sir, if the argument of the gen- may stand independent. Now, sir, to pose that we shall establish four years tleman is good, does it not apply with my mind, there appears no propriety instead of two, as the gubernatorial equal force to the officer elected tor whatever in the Governor standing interm.

four years? If it be true, as stated by dependent of public opinion--unless, Sir, another thought suggests itself. the gentleman from Kent, (Mr. FERRIS,) indeed, the people are to be distrusted. It appears to me that we of the Penin that the officer elected for two years is I fully believe that no officer or organisula State, need not go to Ohio, or influenced by political considerations, zation of government can be so truly Tennessee, or Alabama, or Mississippi, to act as the leading politicians of the conservative in the proper meaning of for examples in this regard, or feel State may wish, then I would ask the that term, as the people themselves. that we are to be controlled by the gentleman if the argument does not If the government in this country is course which other States have pur- apply with equal force to a Governor to be managed in the interests of the sued in regard to the term of service of elected for four years ? For the his- people, no one knows so well as they

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what they desire. An officer who may kept in the executive chair any man ficiency or inefficiency. Whenever the occupy the executive chair should con- whom she did not wish there; and re- people are called upon to express their sider himself as the servant, not the peatedly a Governor, after one year's opinibns, they will do it more cheermaster or leader, of the people. Hence, services, has been sent forth to take fully, more heartily, and, in my judgit is desirable, indeed, a necessary part his place again as an unofficial citizen. ment more understandingly, if they are of his duty, that he should look con- I say, then, in framing our Constitu- to vote for a Governor, than if they are tinually to the will of the people.. tion let us not be influenced by the to vote for some mere subordinate

I confess, sir, that I would restrict false idea that, offices are created for under him. Any other officer will be the power of the Governor in many the benefit of individual men. Let us a subordinate of the Governor, one respects; perhaps I would impose more rather hold to the principle that offices over whom he is to exercise control restrictions than a majority here may are established for the benefit of the and superintendence, so to speak. deem advisable. There is an old max- people, and that we do not need to be Hence, it is that I think the Governor im that says “two heads are better any more conservative than the people should be changed as often as any than one;" and I have yet to learn that themselves. It is not wise, it is not other State officer is changed. If we one head is better than twenty. For just, that we should distrust the people were to have annual elections of any my part, I would restrict the veto- Such distrust has no justification in State officers, I would have the Govpower. I refer to this subject now, truth. Those who distrust the wisdom ernor of the State elected annually, as merely because other gentlemen have of the people, those who would limit they do in the New England States. alluded to the question of the respon- the right of the people to control in all Since it is generally conceded that we sibility of the Governor to the people. respects their own concerns, do not are to have biennial elections, I would I would have the Governor merely the give the people credit for that intelli- elect the Governor of the State every executive. I would not have him leg- gence, that sobriety of judgment, that two years. islate; I would not have him domineer; interest in their own affairs which they Ordinarily the Governor of this I would not have him tyrannize; I undoubtedly possess.

State will be selected from men who would not have him exercise the These, sir, are my views; I do hope have not been tried in statesmanship... authority of a king. Let him serve, that we shall adopt the short term, and We have no school for statesmen; we not command. Let him learn the will that we shall also say that the people have no particular school in which, on : of the people, and then obey.

may keep a faithful public servant just the one hand, men are disciplined, or, But, sir, it is said that the Governor as long as they may want him. on the other hand, they have an oppormust not be eligible to office for a sec- Mr. PRINGLE. It is perhaps prop-| tunity to show beforehand whether end term. Now, I agree fully with the er, in connection with this matter, to they possess the ability to make good argument which goes to show that consider somewhat the duties of the executive officers. A lumbering busiwhen the people get a good servant Governor. It is not his business merely ness in our northern woods, a successthey should be allowed to keep him in to pardon criminals and appoint nota- ful practice in our courts, a prosperous their employ as long as they like him. ries public. He is to be the chief exe-career as a merchant, or something of This idea that a man shall be reëlected cutive of the State; he is, as was said that kind, is generally the best evidence for the mere purpose of endorsing his by the gentleman from Bay, (Mr. BIR- our people have of the fitness of a man past official career, is all wrong. If a NEY,) to see that the laws are faith- for the executive chair. He is not, as man having once held office is re- fully executed. He is to see that all in monarchical governments, proved electéd, it should be because the peo- our State institutions are kept in prop- by experiment in provincial affairs; or, ple further desire his services; and er running order; he is to overlook in this country, by governing terriwherever this is the case, the principle them, and see that a proper system of tories, or by a leading career in Conof rotation should not apply. The of management is introduced into every gress. For the most part, they do not fice of Governor of the State of Michi- State institution. He is to speak for prove in that way their efficiency or gan is not created for the benefit of the the State in all our relations with the capacity, or possession of any peculiar leading men of the State; it is not cre- / general government, and with other qualities necessary to make a good ated for the purpose of enabling any States and countries. He has also a Executive. . . , politician to advance his ambitious large appointing power, which has To perform the duties of this office, prospects. It is created for the bene-grown up gradually. Practically, the restricted though it be, for some apfit of the State; and the people should advice and consent of the Senate to pointments which formerly were made be enabled to have in that office at his nominations is a matter of simple by that officer have been taken away all times those servants who will best form, because rarely is any question from him-yet to perform the duties suit their views. I do not believe at raised as to his recommendations. :: of this office requires the best thoughts all in the doctrine of rotation in office. There is another point of view, and and the best directed energies of a man I know that in many of the States, it is it is that to which I wish particularly of large capacity. Yet the people of customary to drop at the end of a to call the attention of the Convention. this State have no warrant that the best short term, a man whom the people The Governor stands before the people thoughts and powers of the man predo not like, and to keep in office as here and in other States, more as the sented to them for the office of Govlong as they can a man whom they do representative of a polity than any other ernor will not be given to his law office, like. I remember, sir, that the late State officer can. In other States, or store, or saw-mill, or whatever may Governor of Connecticut was annually where the Governor has a long term, be the place of his usual avocations.. reëlected seven times; yet four of his the people have to elect a Secretary of Under such circumstances · I would predecessors were permitted to go out State, a Commissioner of the Land not have the term of office made four of office after a single year's service. Office, or some other officer, over whom years. The State needs some security They were not satisfactory to the peo- they get up a contest. Yet, everybody that there shall be not merely honesty ple; but his services they desired. I feels, at home and abroad, that there and integrity of purpose, but efficiency remember that one of the Governors of is something artificial about such a in the management of the executive Massachusetts held that position for contest. . In the minds of the people department; that the man's best eighteen years, being annually re- the Governor stands as the represen- thoughts shall be directed to the object elected. Yet, Massachusetts has not tative of one policy or another, of ef- of placing and keeping the State in

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its proper position with regard to its of 1821, held his office for four years. the far distant State of Oregon has own interests, and also in regard to In that I think he is mistaken. The adopted the term of four years. The the rest of the world. These ideas lead Governor of the State of New York fact that these newer States have me to believe that we should not make never held his office for a longer term adopted the longer term is proof of the the change proposed here; a change than two years.

change in the popular sentiment upon which I believe is not demanded by our Mr. FARMER. Such was my im- this subject. people, and for which, in my judgment, pression. I was born in the State of And every one has noticed that a there are no good reasons to be offered. New York, and lived there some thirty strong sentiment has arisen in the halls

While I am up, as others have re- years. I may have been wrong in my of Congress in favor of a change in referred to the same thing, I will say that statement; but that is immaterial. lation to the office of President of the for the same reasons that I would not Mr. BIRNEY. If the gentleman United States. It will be remembered favor a change in the term of office, I from Berrien, (Mr. FARMER,) under- that the able statesman who now occuwould put no restriction upon the stood me to say that the length of the pies the position of President pro tempower of the people to reëlect a Gov- term made the office respectable, then pore of the Senate, proposed an amendernor. In my judgment, it would have he misunderstood me. I merely meant ment to the Constitution of the United been a great misfortune for the State that it made it more respectable, in so States, by which the President of the of Massachusetts to have lost the ser- far as it freed the Executive from the United States should not again be elivices of John A. Andrew during the necessity of catering to the public ca-gible to that office after he had served recent war of the rebellion. He was price, or from becoming a mere seeker one term. He seemed, apparently, to reëlected from year to year, and car- of office; which we consider as detract- consider that the great difficulty under ried that State through the war in a ing from the dignity of the position which we are laboring to-day in our manner to redound to its own honor and from its usefulness. I think that national affairs, arose from the fact and the well-being of the nation. And there is no one who has observed the that a man had no sooner taken his.. in other States the people saw the pro- sentiments, expressed by the thinking seat as President than he began to look priety of reëlecting their Governors in men of this country but will have per- about him for means to secure a reelec1862, the darkest and gloomiest period ceived that a change has been going on tion, catering to the popular caprice of the war. It would have been a mis- in their minds in favor of lengthening for the purpose of securing that end. fortune if, in any of our principal the term of office.

And I think if the question were now States, the people had been deprived. The gentleman from Berrien was submitted to the people, there would of the privilege of reëlecting their Gov- pleased to remark that those . States be a strong disposition to change the ernors. It would have been unfortu- which had provided for long terms of term of the President, and make him nate, because it would have deprived the executive office, were not the older not reëligible. . the States and the nation of the ser- or more populous States of the Union. I think it would be a very great revices of men like Morton, Yates, An-1 Mr. FARMER. I beg leave to cor- form in our government if that could drew and others, who kept up the rect the gentleman. I did not say be done. The people of this country spirit of the people of their States, and they were not the older or more popu- are aroused and excited every four in their positionsdid a great deal lous States; I said they were not States years by the strife of a Presidential how much can perhaps never be known noted for their general intelligence or

noted for their general intelligence or election, in which they spend more to carry the nation successfully liberality of sentiment.

money than would be required to put through the great war of the rebellion. Mr. BIRNEY. It is immaterial what| down a small rebellion. They do not

I would not put such a restriction expression the gentleman used. He spend as much money perhaps, as we upon the office of Governor, not only made a comparison between those did in the recent rebellion. But they because of the evils which might flow States and the others, and said they spend an enormous amount of money from it, but because all these things were not States which, from their posi- uselessly in the strife and excitement which tend to fetter the people in ex- tion in the Union, were entitled to of an election. pressing their views, or in electing the much influence in this matter. The The gentleman from Jackson, (Mr. men of their choice, are restrictions, fact that those States comprise a popu- PRINGLE,) argues that, as the Governor not upon the office, not upon the in- | lation which have migrated from the of a State is the representative of a cumbent of the office, but upon the older States shows that they have be- policy, it is necessry for the people to people themselves, those to whom we come convinced by experience that a act upon the policy he represents, and entrust the government of Michigan. longer term of office is better. I take say whether they endorse it or not. · Mr. WILLARD. I would like simply it the men who have been most active That, in my mind is a reason for makto correct à misapprehension which in organizing the new States have been ing the Governor independent of any might be produced by the words of the men who have migrated from the New such influences. There is a clause in gentleman from Kent, (Mr. FERRIS,) England States; and they have been this article which requires the Goverand the gentleman from Kalamazoo, disposed to adopt à longer period for nor to examine into the official conduct (Mr. BRADLEY,) who said that the peo- the term of office of the Governor of any State officer, and if he finds ple had set us an example in favor of a than is established in the States from any one who is acting improperly, he four years' term by re-electing their which they come.

is to have the power to remove him.. Governors. I would state that of thel The gentleman omitted in his list of | We also give him the power of pardontwelve persons who have been the Ex-States the State of Illinois as one of the ing those who have been convicted of ecutives of this State, to the time of the States which have adopted the term of crime. Now, I take it that a man who present incumbent, only three have four years. Indiana has also adopted is dependent upon the favor of this held the office of Governor for just four that term. The plan has operated well office-holder or that office-holder for years.

in those States; we know of no diffi- his election, will hesitate before he re| Mr. HOLT. I desire to make an- culty that has resulted from it there. moves him from office for any cause. other correction. The gentleman from And it is a noticeable fact that those Suppose, for instance, there is in office Berrien, (Mr. FARMER,) I understood States which have more recently framed an individual who is an influential polto say that the Governor of the State their Constitutions have extended the itician, but who is acting improperly and of New York, under their constitution term of the office of Governor. Even corruptly in his office. Now, if the

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Governor knows that the man would, office of our judicial officers should be If he discharges his duties faithfully, if removed, do all in his power to de- shortened. Yet we hold that they then I apprehend the people will reelect feat him for re-election, that might de- would be more competent, and more him; if not, then they will not. I do ter him from prompt and decisive ac- confided in by the people, after they not apprehend that a Governor, whether tion in his case. And, in regard to have given evidence of an acquaintance he has been faithful in his office or not, pardons; if the Governor had reason with their duties, and an ability to dis- will be reëlected by the people because, to suppose that by refusing a pardon charge them.

Was has been said here, such is the comin a particular case, it might array As I said before, this is a matter mon custom... against him a large number of votes, which addresses itself simply to the It has been said by the Chairman of his action might be influenced by such judgment of each individual as to what the committee on the Executive departa consideration. I think it would he deems the most expedient, and what ment, (Mr. BIRNEY,) that the tendency tend to make the Governor more de- would have the best effect upon our in this country is to extend the term of cided and determined in the execution State. The committee think the longer office of the President of the United of what he knew or conceived to be term would have a better influence, States. Sir, I think the disposition of his duty, to have him ineligible to than to have more frequent elections. the party in power in this country at office, than if we left him to cater to For that reason we have reported this this time is not to extend the term of public opinion for a re-election. provision.

the President. I think that the majorAlthough public opinion and senti- Mr. RAFTER. I favor the amend- ity of that party regret that the presment may be a very good guide to the ment of the gentleman from Cass, (Mr. ent incumbent of that office will have desires of the people, yet it is never Van RIPER,) as far as it goes. But it the privilege of holding it even for ahead of reform. If there is a public does not fully meet my views. I think four years. - That is my opinion in evil that needs to be reformed, that that if an officer is found to be fitly reference to it.. evil probably exists because public qualified for an office, he should not be In regard to the Lieutenant Goversentiment has never been very deci- proscribed from being elected a second nor, I apprehend his qualifications for dedly opposed to it. Public opinion is time for that office.

the proper discharge of the duties of never ahead of a reform; if it was then The CHAIRMAN, (Mr. D. Good- the office of Governor, are not frequentthe reform would be at once accom- WIN.) The gentleman from Cass, (Mr. ly taken into account by the people at plished. A man who seeks to bring Van RIPER,) also includes in his amend- the time of his election. And should about a reform is very apt to run ment a proposition to strike out the such an event occur as the death of the counter to a large number of people, clause making the Governor ineligible Governor of the State, shortly after his : and to excite opposition to his admin- for a second term. But the first prop- election to that office, and the Lieutenistration if he is in office. .. osition is to strike out the word "four,” ant Governor should be found unquali- i

It has been argued by those who op- and insert « two,” before the word fied to fulfill the duties of the office on pose the change which this article pro-"years." The other proposition will his accession to the place, I think we poses, that if the people happen to be voted upon afterwards.

should most sincerely regret, if the elect a bad man to office, they will Mr. RAFTER. That would meet term of office was four years, that it have no remedy if the term of office my views. It has been urged very cou was not two years. I am opposed to is a long one. Sir, the people have a gently here that in order to remove the taking power from the people. I think remedy in their hands. If an officer chief Executive of the State from the they should be allowed to exercise their acts corruptly he can be impeached, temptation to cater to the prejudices discretion, after a man has served for tried and removed from office. And of the people, his term of office should two years as Governor, whether they this article makes provision for a be extended to four years. It is said will re-elect him to office or not... successor to his office when made that the tendency of States now form. It has been argued here that the vacant.

ing Constitutions is towards an exten- short term has a tendency to create a Gentlemen say that if the argument sion of the term of office. It has also furor among the people every two in favor of this change is a good one, been argued that it has become a' sort years, and that it increases the expenthen why not make the office one for of common law in this State to elect ses of the State, or of politicians. If life? I might reverse the argument our chief Executive for a second term. that argument is good for anything, and say that if four years is too long a If that is the case, there is no great then in order to remove this furor enterm, why not make the term one year necessity for providing here to remedy tirely from the people, the term of ofor even one month? You can carry the evil of our chief Executive yielding fice should be lengthened and made the argument to an extreme on either to the caprices and whims of the peo- an office for life. As to the argument hand. We might say, in view of the ple, as he can feel almost certain that on the score of expense, the Governor fact that the New England States elect he will be elected for a second term. if elected every two years will be their Governors annually, that two Now, I think the great impelling elected at a time when the other State years is too long a term. But the motive with the people of this State in officers are elected; and consequently trouble we want to avoid is the summon- nominating a man for the second term no additional expense will be incurred ing of people from their avocations so of his office, is his faithful discharge of by his election. I am, therefore, in fafrequently to pass through the strife the duties of his office during his first vor of the amendment of the gentleand excitement of an election. We term. I think it would have a deplor- man from Cass, (Mr. VAN RIPER.) ? think that would be for the benefit of able effect if the people could not, in : Mr. DANIELLS. I am in favor of. the people, and not deprive them of consequence of a restriction in the the amendment of the gentleman from..

any power which they now have. .Constitution of the State, remove from Cass, (Mr. VAN RIPER,) though I regret ..If that argument is true, then it may office, at the end of two years, a man to be obliged to differ from the very be applied to judicial officers. The who had proved himself unfaithful to able gentleman from Bay, (Mr. BIRdisposition among the people is to in- his trust, or unfitted for the position. NEY,) the chairman of the committee crease and extend the terms of those I think two years are long enough to on the Executive department. I believe very important officers. But if the ar- enable the people to determine as to that. Massachusetts I do not offer this gument is good against a longer term the fitness of a man to discharge prop- as an argument; I merely state it as of the Governor, then the tenure of erly the duties of the office of Governor. my belief from my knowledge of the

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