Resolved: That a constitutional amendment should be secured by which Senators shall be elected directly by the people.
Brief for the Affirmative.
R. W. HUNTER AND E. C. JEWELL.Best general references: Bryce's American Common wealth I. 113; W. P. Garrison in Atlantic Monthly, LXVIII August 1891; 227, Public Opinion XII. Nos. 20, 21; (Feb. 20, 27. 1892); Nation, LIV. 44 - 45 (Jan. 21, 1892); Senator Turpie in Congressional Record, Dec. 17, 1891; J. Story, Commentaries, SS 703-705; Elliot's Debates V. 166 - 170.
I. The reason for the selection of the present system no longer apply. They were. - (a). Distrust of the people, as shown by. - (1) Indirect election of President: Sherman and Gerry in Elliott's Debate V. 135, 161, 168, 223. (b). Distrust of the general government, as shown by: - (1) Gerry in Elliot's Debates: - V. 137, 160, 466, 501. (2) Strict. limitations of Congressional power. - (3) Hesitation of R. I. and N. C.
II. The people wish the reform. - (a) Question has been constantly before Congress since 1826: Dr. H. V. Ames, Proposed Amendments (M. S. in H. C. Library). - (b) They repudiate the secondary elections of President.
III. Popular elections would improve state and local governments: - (a) Local elections are influenced by national issues, as shown by. - (1) Lincoln - Douglas campaign: - (2) Philadelphia ring: Bryce, II. 367 - 384. (b) The present method facilitates bribery; e. g. California, Nevada, Colorado.
IV. Proper election would improve the character of the Senate: - (a) At present able Senators are obliged to resort to jobbery to reelection; e. g. Sherman of Ohio in 1891. (b) Popular election would stop this jobbery by removing election from control of the machine.
(c) Machine elects small men for its own ends, and easily controls legislatures. e. g. Senator Hill, Quay and Bonanza Senators. - (d) People could reward distinguished men; e. g. Russell of Mass.
Brief for the Negative.
C. H. LINCOLN and S. A. MCINTIRE.
Best general references: Story Coming. SS 699 - 709; Von Holst, Const. Law, p. 77; Senator Chandler in Congressional Record 1891 - 92, pp 3493 - 3505; Labor Cycl. of Pol-Sci.. iii. 702.
I. The purpose of the founders of the constitution was to have an upper house which should be - (a) Able. - (b) Dignified. - (c) Conservative. - (d) Differently composed from lower house. - (e) Representative of state government: Federalist, Nos. 27 - 62; Elliot, Debates iv. 63 - 64.
II. The system has worked well. - (a) Fulfilled the purpose of founders: (1) Senate composed of very able men. - (2) Dignified and orderly. - (3) Conservative. - Present system the only practical way to secure an upper house differently composed from the lower house: Kent. Commentaries i 227; Cong. Rec. 1891 - 92, p. 3795; Johnston American Politics 253, 275, 276; Schurz, Clay ii. Ch. 15. - (b) the U. S. senate the best upper house in existence. - (1) It forms connecting link between the state and central government. - (2) A result sought by France and Germany without success. - (3) The U. S. senate has been initiated by South American and Swiss Republics.
(4) The Southern confederacy could only initiate U. S. Senate. Hart, Federal Government SS 41, 152 - 175. - (e) Present agitation of this question due to, - (1) Fickle desire of change by people themselves. - (2) Desire of politicians to please the people.
III. The proposed system would be u favorable to good government. - (a) The best legislatures consist of two houses chosen in different manners: Bryce, Ch. xii, xxv; Lowell's Essays on Govt., 97, - (1) The most intelligent nations are so governed. - (2) A nation is more thorougly represented both in radical and conservative tendencies. - (b) The change would weaken the union of state and national government: Bryce I.pp 110, 318; Boutney Studies in Const Law,p 120. - (1) would lead to proportionate representation. - (2) The legislation is the most fit representative of the state. - (c) The change would offer more encouragement to fraud: Bryce i. 613; Pub. Opinion xii 500, 524, (Feb.20, 27 1892). - (1) More power would be given to the cities. - (2) There would be more chance for "deals". - (d) Inferior men would be chosen, Maine. Pop. Govt., 227; Federalist Nos. 27, 62. - (1) Chosen during the heat of a campaign. - (2) Chosen by an inferior Constituency. - (3) Re - election would be less frequent.