Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

existing in America ; but the objection strengthen the 'Tory, or weaken the which likened the proposed mode of Whig, party in a future contest. If polling to the ballot, or secret voting, such an apprehension existed on the was the strangest of all! The suffrage side of the Liberals, it is to be lamenthas never been exercised with greater ed that, instead of opposing the Bill, publicity, or in a more solemnand deliber- they had not removed the objection by ate manner. The vote is given first under an amendment, which would have effecthe eye of a magistrate and neighbour of tually negatived any tendency that it the voter, whose attention is especially could have to afford a triumph to one cilled to it for the purpose of attestation; party, at the expense of the other, and it is then published with the name of would, at the same time, have been a the voter, in the hall, or court of the further and a great step in political Vice-Chancellor or returning officer, and method. The only addition necessary it is finally recorded in a documentary to Mr. Dodson's Bill, to have rendered form, always open to reference for public the representation of the members of purposes. Certainly a vote thus given the universities as nearly perfect as is far less likely to “escape observation ” the present restrictions in our electoral than a vote polled at any ordinary hus- system will permit, was a clause protings in the presence of one or two poll- viding that no vote should be definitively clerks, and perhaps a few cabmenor idlers, taken for more than one candidate, but loitering about the polling-booth. The that every elector might name contingently, new process, in fact, combines all the great in his voting-paper, as many candidates requisites for the exercise of such a duty as he should think proper, numbering by a conscientious man-an opportunity them iu successive order—the vote being for quiet and deliberate resolve and for taken for the second, only in case uncontrolled and uninterrupted action, the first should, without it, obtain half terminated by such a permanent record the number of votes polled in the of the thing done as is calculated to university at that election. In this attach to it a sense of lasting responsi- method no vote is lost. If 4,000 elecbility.

tors should poll, and a favourite candiIt has been observed that the measure date should have 3,000 votes, all the met with but little of the aid, or of the plumpers, or voting-papers in which hostility of party ; but it would pro he is alone named, would be first approbably be incorrect to say that no part priated to him, and then so many of the of that support, or opposition, arose from last votes received at the poll (all anticipations of the effect it might being numbered as they are entered), hereafter have in party contests. The as shall be sufficient to make up 2,000, action of non-resident members in the and complete his election. The surplus local business of the universities has not would then be polled for the second always been in accordance with the name on each paper; and the candidate views, or opinions, of the more intel- having the majority of the remaining lectual of the resident body, and there 2,000 votes would be the other successis little doubt that it would be better ful candidate. Under such a system that such business, which has no analogy the difficulties, or apprehensions, exwith the choice of the representatives in pressed by Sir Stafford Northcote, and Parliament, should be more exclusively Sir William Heathcote, as to the reserved to the resident members. It is use of the voting-papers, in the shape possible, however, that some of those of plumpers or as split votes, or who, in Parliament, voted for or against in cases where new candidates come the Bill, might have been influenced by the supposition, that the country clergy See a paper “On the application of the would be found less liberal in their

method of ascertainment of the votes of ma

jorities in an exhaustive manner.” “ Trangpolitical creed, and that the reception

actions of the Statistical Society of London," of their votes with greater facility might September, 1860, pp. 327–345.

i

forward at the last moment, would representation, or, in other words, the wholly disappear. After the appropria- formation of new electoral districts, tion of the voting papers in which the having neither historical origin nor successful candidates were the first or local attachment, and to which, when second names to such successful candi- they are plainly described as electoral dates, many of the residue of the voting districts, the English mind has a papers, having neither of the successful not unnatural repugnance, can be names at the head, might yet have one accounted for only by supposing that or other of such names lower on the the method of contingent voting, with paper—the elector, as a compromise of its simplicity and power of satisfying opinion, contemplating the possibility all the great objects of representation, that his favourite candidate might not has never been really understood, or be chosen, and, in that contingency, that our leading statesmen cannot be thus expressing his willingness to be brought to look upon parliamentary represented by the candidate he has elections in any other light than as placed below. In such a case, the vote machinery to be adapted less to the would be appropriated to the successful purpose of obtaining the highest exprescandidate who shall stand highest on sion of the national thought, than to the voting paper; and thus every that of placing and sustaining a parelector in the university might not im- ticular ministry or party in office. It probably be represented. It is difficult cannot be too often repeated that the to suppose that any elector would object true course at this day is the union of to such a method of choice, unless he districts, rather than their geographical should reason thus : “ True, I perceive division: the grouping of neighbouring " that by this system I, and those who places together, so that the members to " think with me, would be tolerably be chosen, and the candidates from “ certain of being able to elect a repre- amongst whom the choice is to be made, “sentative whose opinions coincide shall be as numerous as possible, and “ with our own; but that is not what thus, by offering to every instructed “ we want. We wish to exclude all mind the best embodiment of the “ who do not agree with us from any opinions with which he sympathises, to “ part in the representation of the awaken the dormant energies of those “university. In fact, we wish to ex- classes which our present system renders “ tinguish the expression of all opinions apathetic. It is satisfactory to find that " but our own.”

this method has awakened attention in The system of contingent voting, or Germany as well as in this country, that of voting by the exhaustive majorities it has been powerfully advocated in of large electoral communities, in the Adelaide and Melbourne, and made the place of smaller and arbitrary geogra- basis of an important measure, subphical divisions, by which the mino- mitted to the Legislature of Sydney, and rities are everywhere delivered, tied that, before the great struggle in America and bound and helpless, into the hands had suspended the work of internal imof the numerical majorities of each provement, its application to the ameliopetty locality, is, of course, applicable as ration of the representative system of well to other constituencies as to the the United States was the subject of Universities. The resort, without a word consideration by some of the most proof inquiry or remonstrance in either found lawyers and thinkers in PennsylHouse, to an arbitrary division of the vania. In order to familiarize the public West Riding of Yorkshire into two mind with this system, Mr. Mill suggests parts, with no other object than that of an effort “ to obtain its introduction

“ experimentally in some limited field, 1 See this provision considered and worked

“ such as the municipal election of some out in the form of a proposed law, " Treatise

“ great town.” He adds that, “an opporon the Election of Representatives," pp. 218, 219, new edit. Longman, 1861.

“ tunity was lost, when the decision was

“ taken to divide the West Riding of be, whose success is hopeless, merely as Yorkshire, for the purpose of giving a protest against the otherwise asserted “ it four members, instead of trying the unanimity of the constituency in the “ new principle of leaving the consti- election of candidates who are content “ tuency undivided, and allowing a to be the delegates and creatures of some “candidate to be returned, or obtaining knot of persons, probably more ignorant “ either a first or secondary vote, a and unscrupulous than themselves. In “ fourth-part of the whole number of university elections there are probably “ votes given.” And he thus con- many causes which would equally deter cludes: “The day when such a partial a voter from venturing singly, and on “ trial shall be sanctioned by Parlia his individual judgment, to propose as “ ment, will, I believe, inaugurate his representative, one, however fitted “ a new era of Parliamentary Reform ; for the office, whose nomination had not " destined to give to Representative received the countenance to some con“ Government a shape fitted to its siderable extent of other electors. But, “ mature and triumphant period, when on his voting paper, as soon as it be" it shall have passed through the mili- comes admissible, it is open to every “ tant stage in which alone the world elector of the University, without diffi" has yet seen it."l

culty or fear of rebuke, to put forward One word more on the University the name of the statesman in whom Act. A time may come when minori- he has the greatest confidence. This ties amongst the electors of either habit, if adopted by earnest and thoughtUniversity may neither hold the politi- ful men, in the circumstances which cal creed of the favourite candidates of have been supposed, will be significant the majority, nor find even in any com- of their dissatisfaction with the narrow peting candidate a fair exponent of their scope now afforded to individual elecopinions. Even if nothing be done to tors, and such an habitual intimation of introduce contingent voting, the Act the opinion of educated persons will affords to such electors the means not scarcely fail to lead, at no distant day, only of expressing their dissent from to the establishment of a system more the views of one candidate, without truly liberal and wise. adopting those of the other, but it In conceding to every elector the enables them to put forward, without freedom of individual action, enabling cost to him or to themselves, the name him to select his representative, without of the man whom they may regard as any control or dictation of club or clique, the most worthy, whether he do or do but according to his own individual not offer himself to the constituency. judgment, from those whom he may It had been thought by many that, after deem the best and noblest amongst a poll had been demanded, no vote his countrymen who devote themselves could be given for any new candidate, or to public duties, we respond, in no for any other person not previously small degree, to the urgent necessity nominated; but this is declared not to be which a philosophical statesman, with the law-a solution of the question far-seeing wisdom, has pointed out as which contrasts the free genius of our existing for some provision to meet the ancient electoral system with our mo- “increased demands of the collective life dern restrictions and refinements. In “ in general; to guarantee us, as far as may borough elections, as now conducted, “be, against the increased abuses which few are willing to encounter the per “ will attend the increase of the moving sonal labour, the derision of an ignorant “power of human life, by combining crowd, or the pecuniary cost which is “therewith an enhanced moral sense, doinvolved in the task of putting in no “riving new strength from new and suitmination one, however eminent he may “able principles, -against the idola fori 1 " Considerations on Representative Go.

“which society engenders, and the deluvernment,” p. 160, second edition.

“sions which they weave around us,

“against the heavy visitations to which, It may be remarked, in conclusion, “in communities, we become liable, that the method of voting by exhaustive “through the conduct of others over majorities, and the advantages, moral “whom we have no control, and to se- and political, which it promises, have “cure to us the realization of the benefi- not been opposed by any serious argu“cial effects of civil reason : lastly, to pre- ment. It has been encountered with “clude the fatal operation of that ten nothing but the sheer that it is “Uto“dency to diminish responsibility and to pian,” or “ worthy of Laputa.” On this “impair the strength (so feeble at the objection, a powerful writer of our day “best) of the principle of individual lately gave utterance to some appro“morality, which we have seen to be- priate words. “I believe,” he said, “ the “long to combination as such, and which, “quiet admission that we are all of us so “if it be not counteracted, may poison the “ready to make, that, because things have “very sources of action and of life.” “ long been wrong, it is impossible they

Nor does such a principle of choice “should ever be right, is one of the most interfere with the scheme of modern “fatal sources of misery and crime from parliamentary government, evolved by “which this world suffers. Whenever the antagonism of party, which some of “you hear a man dissuading you from our political leaders insist upon as in "attempting to do well, on the ground dispensable to the working of the consti “that perfection is 'Utopian,' beware of tution. When every voter has been “that man. Cut the word out of your invited, and has applied himself to the “dictionary altogether. There is no need task of selecting the member he shall “for it. Things are either possible or imdeem the worthiest of public trust, it “possible; you can easily determine may be safely left to the representatives " which, in any given state of human scithus chosen, to form such associations, “ence. If the thing is impossible, you and attach themselves to such parties as, “need not trouble yourselves about it; in the progress of events, shall appear “if possible, try for it. It is very Utoto them best for the public welfare, “pian to hope for the entire doing away “ Not clinging to some ancient saw;

“of drunkenness and misery out of the Not master'd by some modern term;

“Canongate; but the Utopianism is not Not swift nor slow to change, but firm; “our business—the work is. It is UtoAnd in its season bring the law,

“pian to hope to give every child in the That from Discussion's lips may fall

“kingdom the knowledge of God from With Life, that, working strongly, binds, Set in all lights by many minds,

“its youth; but the Utopianism is not To close the interests of all."

“our business, the work is.”

TEN DAYS IN THE CRIMEA.

It has been thought that there are many who will read with interest the following account of a visit to the Crimea, in the summer of 1861, by one who passed the winter of 1854–55 in attendance on the hospitals at Constantinople.

A. P. S. SEVEN years ago we left England to minister to the wants of our army in the East. After a stormy tedious passage in a French steamer, which, but for the emergency of the times, would have been consigned to the docks long before, and whose unseaworthy state added

greatly to the sufferings of all on board, we anchored. one cold December day. in the Golden Horn.

Each place had its own share of the consequences of war, increasing in magnitude as the seat of war was approached. At Constantinople there was an everincreasing excitement, occasioned by the coming and going to and from the Crimea. The harbour was crowded with vessels of all kinds. The streets were thronged with Europeans. The

hotels were filled with anxious wives and clasped their hands, unable to utter who had accompanied their husbands more than the one word, “ Sebastopol." so far; and there was the daily inter- “Has it fallen ?” “Would that I had course with the hospitals at Scutari. been in at the last!”

Our destination for six weeks was Perhaps one of the most memorable Therapia. It is unnecessary to enter days was that of the arrival of the into the circumstances which detained news of the death of the Emperor of us there. It is enough to say what it Russia. The excitement in the wards was to see the crowded war-steamers was great. From bed to bed the words pass constantly under our windows, travelled round, “Nicholas is dead," backwards and forwards to the Black “Nicholas is dead,” “The Emperor of Sea. Once only did we look upon its Russia is dead.” The remarks were waters. Once we went to the top of varied :-" Thank God! All blessings the Giant's Mountain, and felt then be with you for bringing us such blessed that nothing intervened between us and news”-“What! Nicholas! Nicholas the one point of interest.

is dead! Well, one should not be glad In January we began work at the at any one's death, but we can't help hospital at Koulalee. There we realized it now"-"How did he die? If he what protracted war was. The battles died by poison we shall have peace, were over. It was not the wounded we but not otherwise"-"Well, I'd rather were called upon to tend, but those have that news than a month's pay. who were stricken down with fever, I hope it's true "_"He's a deal to dysentery, and frost bites, from long answer for. He's been the death of exposure in the trenches. From these thousands.” One man burst into tears, patient, heroic sufferers, we learnt what and, slowly raising his hands, he clasped war entailed ; and it is a gratifying them in fervent prayer, exclaiming, thought that, during an attendance of “Thank God! The Lord have mercy months at that hospital, going, as we upon his soul.” did, into the wards at all hours, no Besides the mournful sight of the word of complaint, no oaths, no coarse processions of the sick, there was daily language, ever were heard by us from the still sadder sight of the dead, borne the lips of our British soldiers.

. away from the dead-house, in the centre Some days and scenes are specially of the court, to the cemetery on the hillstamped upon one's memory. Who will side. At three or four o'clock each forget the arrival of the first batch of in- afternoon the chaplain was in attendance valids who were to be located in the upper there to read the service over the one hospital only vacated by the Turks a large grave. week before? The huge wood fire in One case is specially recalled to me. the stoveless kitchen, the large caldrons It was the funeral of a soldier whose of water set on, the basons of arrow- wife was with him. The excellent root mixed, thrown in and stirred with chaplain, the Rev. H. Huleath, who a long wooden pole, for want of better was ever ready with sympathy, came to implements! Then was the melan- ask for some one to accompany the poor choly procession up the hill; worn- widow to the grave. We went together out men dragging their weak and to see. She was found sobbing bitterly weary frames along, some supported on by the dead-house. “Oh! if I was in each side, some carried on stretchers ! my own country; but I am here all Who will forget the sensation caused alone.” Where any relation was present, by salutes fired at Constantinople, re- a coffin was granted. A sheet from the verberating as they did across the Bos- stores was thrown over it, and it was porus, till the old walls of Koulalee shook borne by four soldiers. And, deep in again! At such times the one thought in mud, we toiled up the hill. Most impresthe wards was, “Had Sebastopol fallen ?" sively the funeral service was read. It Dying men have sat up in their beds was a most affecting sight; the words of

« ElőzőTovább »