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lature was to control this propensity. One object of the National Executive, so far as it would have a negative on the laws, was to control the National Legislature, so far as it might be infected with a similar propensity. Refer the appointment of the National Executive to the State Legislatures, and this controlling purpose may be defeated. The Legislatures can and will act with some kind of regular plan, and will promote the appointment of a man who will not oppose himself to a favorite object. Should a majority of the Legislatures, at the time of election, have the same object, or different objects of the same kind, the National Executive would be rendered subservient to them. An appointment by the State Executives was liable, among other objections, to this insuperable one, that being standing bodies, they could and would be courted, and intrigued with by the candidates, by their partizans, and by the ministers of foreign powers. The State Judiciaries had not been, and he presumed would not be, proposed as a proper source of appointment. The option before us, then, lay between an appointment by Electors chosen by the people, and an immediate appointment by the people. He thought the former mode free from many of the objections which had been urged against it, and greatly preferable to an appointment by the National Legislature. As the Electors would be chosen for the occasion, would meet at once, and proceed immediately to an appointment, there would be very little opportunity for cabal, or corruption: as a further precaution, it might be required that they should meet at some place distinct from the seat of govern
ment; and even that no person within a certain distance of the place at the time, should be eligible. This mode, however, had been rejected so recently, and by so great a majority, that it probably would not be proposed anew. The remaining mode was an election by the people, or rather by the qualified part of them at large. With all its imperfections, he liked this best. He would not repeat either the general arguments for, or the objections against, this mode. He would only take notice of two difficulties, which he admitted to have weight. The first arose from the disposition in the people to prefer a citizen of their own State, and the disadvantage this would throw on the smaller States. Great as this objection might be, he did not think it equal to such as lay against every other mode which had been proposed. He thought, too, that some expedient might be hit upon that would obviate it. The second difficulty arose from the disproportion of qualified voters in the Northern and Southern States, and the disadvantages which this mode would throw on the latter. The answer to this objection wasin the first place, that this disproportion would be continually decreasing under the influence of the republican laws introduced in the Southern States, and the more rapid increase of their population; in the second place, that local considerations must give way to the general interest. As an individual from the Southern States, he was willing to make the sacrifice.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. The objection drawn from the different sizes of the States is unanswerable. The citizens of the largest States would invariably preVOL. I.-76
fer the candidate within the State; and the largest States would invariably have the man.
On the question on Mr. ELLSWORTH'S motion, as above,―New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, aye-4; Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7.
Mr. PINCKNEY moved, "that the election by the Legislature be qualified with a proviso, that no person be eligible for more than six years in any twelve years." He thought this would have all the advantage, and at the same time avoid in some degree the inconvenience, of an absolute ineligibility a second
Col. MASON approved the idea. It had the sanction of experience in the instance of Congress, and some of the Executives of the States. It rendered the Executive as effectually independent, as an ineligibility after his first election; and opened the way, at the same time, for the advantage of his future services. He preferred on the whole the election by the National Legislature; though candor obliged him to admit, that there was great danger of foreign influence, as had been suggested. This was the most serious objection, with him, that had been urged.
Mr. BUTLER. The two great evils to be avoided are, cabal at home, and influence from abroad. will be difficult to avoid either, if the election be made by the National Legislature. On the other hand the Government should not be made so complex and unwieldy as to disgust the States. This would be the case if the election should be referred
to the people. He liked best an election by Electors chosen by the Legislatures of the States. He was against a re-eligibility at all events. He was also
against a ratio of votes in the States. An equality should prevail in this case. The reasons for departing from it do not hold in the case of the Executive, as in that of the Legislature.
Mr. GERRY approved of Mr. PINCKNEY'S motion, as lessening the evil.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS was against a rotation in every case. It formed a political school, in which we were always governed by the scholars, and not by the masters. The evils to be guarded against in this case are,-first, the undue influence of the Legislature; secondly, instability of councils; thirdly, misconduct in office. To guard against the first, we run into the second evil. We adopt a rotation which produces instability of councils. To avoid Scylla we fall into Charybdis. A change of men is ever followed by a change of measures. We see this fully exemplified in the vicissitudes among ourselves, particularly in the State of Pennsylvania. The self-sufficiency of a victorious party scorns to tread in the paths of their predecessors. Rehoboam will not imitate Solomon. Secondly, the rotation in of fice will not prevent intrigue and dependence on the Legislature. The man in office will look forward to the period at which he will become re-eligible. The distance of the period, the improbability of such a protraction of his life, will be no obstacle. Such is the nature of man-formed by his benevolent Author, no doubt, for wise ends-that although he knows his existence to be limited to a span, he takes his mea
sures as if he were to live forever. But taking another supposition, the inefficacy of the expedient will be manifest. If the magistrate does not look forward to his re-election to the Executive, he will be pretty sure to keep in view the opportunity of his going into the Legislature itself. He will have little objection then to an extension of power on a theatre where he expects to act a distinguished part; and will be very unwilling to take any step that may endanger his popularity with the Legislature, on his influence over which the figure he is to make will depend. Finally, to avoid the third evil, impeachments will be essential; and hence an additional reason against an election by the Legislature. He considered an election by the people as the best, by the Legislature as the worst, mode. Putting both these aside, he could not but favor the idea of Mr. WILSON, of introducing a mixture of lot. It will diminish, if not destroy, both cabal and dependence.
Mr. WILLIAMSON was sensible that strong objections lay against an election of the Executive by the Legislature, and that it opened a door for foreign influence. The principal objection against an election by the people seemed to be, the disadvantage under which it would place the smaller States. He suggested as a cure for this difficulty, that each man should vote for three candidates; one of them, he observed, would be probably of his own State, the other two of some other States; and as probably of a small as a large one.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS liked the idea; suggesting as an amendment, that each man should vote for