Debate of March 12, 1896.Question: "Resolved, That Biennial Elections should be adopted in Massachusetts."
Brief for the Affirmative.A. S. INGALLS and F. H. SMITH.
Best general references: Biennial Elections, pamphlet giving opinions of ExGovs. Alex. H. Rice, Thos. Talbot, Geo. D. Robinson; Hon. H. C. Lodge, and others. Article in Boston Herald of Feb. 15, giving speeches at Reform Club dinner of E. H. Haskell and A. W. Howe.
INTRODUCTION.By "Biennial Elections" is meant Biennial Elections for both the executive and legislative departments of the state government.
BRIEF PROPER.I. The present system of annual elections is disadvantageous.- (a) It is a too great expense of time.- (1) For the people.- (x) Because annual elections draw them too often from the ordinary pursuits of life: Biennial Elections, P. 3, Inaugural Message of ex-Gov. Rice; p. 19, speech of H. C. Lodge.- (2) For the legislature.- (x) Mass. spends more time legislating than any state having biennial elections: Biennial Elections, p. 30, Argument of Mr. E. L. Pierce.- (b) It is an extravagant expenditure of money: Biennial Elections, p. 4, Inaugural Message of ex-Gov. Talbot; Mr. Pierce, p. 34.- (1) Annual campaigns needlessly disturb business.- (2) The quietest state campaign costs at least $100,000: Biennial Elections, H. C. Lodge, p. 20.- (c) It results in crude laws: Biennial Elections, ex-Gov. Talbot, P. 4.- (1) One year is not time enough to give an understanding sufficient to direct legislation.- (2) Elections are so frequent that they are a constant influence upon legislative action.
II. Biennial elections are advantageous.- (a) They are not an infraction of, or dangerous to, the liberties of the people: Biennial Elections, p. 40,
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