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speech of ex-Gov. Robinson; H. C. Lodge, p. 16.- (1) They are not a radical change: Biennial Elections, Mr. Pierce, p. 22.- (5) They do not infringe upon the "bill of rights": Biennial Elections, p. 9, Argument of Mr. E. H. Haskell.- (3) They do not curtail the franchise.- (x) The franchise is just as great whether it is exercised every year or every other year.- (b) They create a greater interest; Biennial Elections, Mr. Haskell, pp. 12, 13; ex-Gov. Robinson, pp. 43, 44.- (1) Elections assume more importance.- (2) People have more time to devote to politics.- (3) More people attend the elections.- (c) They give the governor a chance to carry out a matured policy: Biennial Elections, H. C. Lodge, pp. 19, 20.- (d) They save time and money: Biennial Elections: p. 61 ff. Opinions of governors of other states.- (1) In elections.- (x) Because not so frequent.- (2) In legislation.- (x) They permit the development of a definite policy.- (e) They give better laws: Biennial Elections, H. C. Lodge, p. 19.- (1) Because legislation is not hurried.- (2) They are the result of greater experience: Biennial Elections, Mr. Pierce, pp. 33, 34; ex-Gov. Robinson, pp. 43, 44.
III. Public opinion and experience in our country favor biennial elections.- (1) Only six states in the Union have annual elections for the legislature: World Almanac (1896), p. 378.- (2) Mass. and Rhode Island alone have a general annual election: as above.- (3) States having the biennial system have not advocated a return to annual elections: Biennial Elections, P. 61 ff. Opinions of the Governors. Ex-Gove. Robinson, pp. 39, 40.
IV. Biennial elections are generally favored in Mass: E. H. Haskell, Biennial Elections, pp. 10, 11, and Boston Herald, Feb. 15, p. 1.- (1) The press and prominent men of the state support them regardless of party affiliations: Biennial Elections, p. 55, Argument of Mr. T. C. Bates; List of names in Ed. of 1895, p. 46.- (2) Bills adopting them have several times passed the legislature: Biennial Elections, Mr. Bates, p. 56, Mr. Haskell in Boston Herald, p. 1.- (3) Public opinion calls for them.- (x) Petitions asking their adoption have been received from more than 200 towns: Boston Herald, p. 1.
Brief for the Negative.H. F. WRIGHT and J. G. PALFREY.
Best general references: R. S. Bridgeman in New England Magazine, new series, VIII, (April, 1893) pp. 206 ff.; Speeches of George Fred Williams and E. B. Hayes before the Massachusetts Reform Club, Boston Globe and Boston Herald, Feb. 15, 1896; George Fred Williams in Springfield Weekly Republican, Jan. 31, 1896, and in Boston Herald, Jan. 21, 1896.
I. Biennial elections would diminish the public spirit of the people by taking from them the educational stimulus of annual elections: R. L. Bridgman, New England Magazine, VIII, p. 218.
II. Biennial elections would fail to obtain the best judgment of the people upon state questions: G. F. Williams, Boston Globe, Feb. 15, 1896.- (a) State issues would be ignored amid the excitement over presidential and congressional elections.
III. Biennial elections would lead to an increase in the power of the Executive incompatible with the theory of democratic government: George Fred Williams and E. B. Hayes, Boston Glove, Feb. 15, 1896; R. L. Bridgman, New England Magazine, VIII. pp. 216-8.- (a) An appeal to the people once in two years is inadequate to insure the enforcement of their will,- (1) as is shown in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. y. Illinois.
IV. Biennials would diminish the efficiency of the legislature: G. E. Williams, Boston Globe, Feb. 15, 1896; R. L. Bridgman, New England Magazine, VIII, p. 215.- (a) The legislature would be to a greater extent made up of inexperienced members.- (1) Experience proves that a smaller proportion of members are re-elected under biennials than under annuals.
V. Under biennials the quality of legislation would deteriorate; R. S. Bridgman, New England Magazine, VIII, G. F. Williams, Springfield Republican, Jan. 31, 1996; Boston Herald, Jan. 31, 1896; Boston Globe, Feb. 15, 1896.- (a) The legislature would be less efficient.- (b) The members would feel less strongly their responsibility to the people.- (c) Members would be more liable to the influence of private interests.
VI. Biennial elections would subject the state to more agitation for the repeal of laws: R. L. Bridgman, New England Magazine, VIII, p. 216.- (a) Laws would be passed with less consideration of the popular will.