Essay On Government And Politics

Essay On Government And Politics-8
They are too few, doubtless, and they will always be too few while any are excluded whose admission would not deteriorate the quality of the mass.At present, too, admission and exclusion are capricious; the same description of persons are admitted in cities and parliamentary boroughs, who are excluded in all other towns and in the rural districts.

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This is the only explanation why Parliamentary Reform, though there seldom has been a time when there was less of clamorous demonstration in its behalf, is felt by the leaders of all parties, and all sections of opinion, to be a political necessity.

A constitutional reform brought forward in such circumstances; welcomed by a sort of unanimous concurrence of all parties, but not called for ardently, nor likely to be supported vehemently or enthusiastically, by any; cannot be expected to make more than a very moderate change in the existing distribution of political power.

It is, however, indispensable that the Reform should not be merely nominal; that it should be a real change, a substantial improvement, which may be accepted as a step by those whom it will by no means permanently satisfy, and may hold out sufficient promise of good to be really valued.

The point for consideration, therefore, is, what are the qualities most valuable in a half-measure: for with less than these, no Reformer ought to be even temporarily satisfied.

This does not mean that it should necessarily be framed with a view to accelerate further changes, but rather to guide and regulate them when they arrive.

A legislator is bound not to think solely of the present effects of his measures; he must consider what influence the acts he does now, may have over those of his successors.

Yet at none of these times had any proposal of a further Parliamentary Reform the smallest chance of success; while now, every party in the State, and almost every individual politician of mark, is pledged to the support of some such measure.

An alteration is to be made in the constitution of Parliament, rather because everybody sees such alteration to be right in itself, than because anybody either vehemently desires it, or is expecting from it any great or conspicuous practical result.

Since it does not profess to do everything, it should do what is most required: it should apply a corrective where one is the most urgently needed.

Secondly, it should be conceived with an eye to the further changes which may be expected hereafter.


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