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CHAPTER XXXII: concluding reflections on swiss political institutions - Viscount James Bryce, Modern Democracies, vol. 1. 
Modern Democracies, (New York: Macmillan, 1921). 2 vols. Vol. 1
Part of: Modern Democracies, 2 vols.
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concluding reflections on swiss political institutions
The interest of a general survey of Swiss institutions in their constitutional framework and in actual operation consists not only in the unlikeness of these institutions to those of other modern States, but also in the fact, that their daily working has produced results that could not have been predicted from their form. This has been due to two causes. One is the growth of usages which have essentially affected and come to govern that daily working. The other is the comparatively small influence exerted by the power of political party.
Both of these are visible in the Swiss habit of handling their Constitution. That instrument is less precise in its distribution of powers between the National Government and the Cantonal Governments than are the Constitutions of other Federal States. It grants concurrent powers over many branches of legislation, and it permits the National Government to disallow cantonal laws. Controversies may be raised regarding doubtful points of interpretation which in most Federal countries would give rise to friction. In America they would be brought before the Judiciary, there an independent power, which can by judgment raise issues susceptible of final determination only by an amendment of the Constitution. In Switzerland, however, comparatively little trouble has arisen. The Legislature endeavours to adjust matters, keeping as much as possible in general accord with the provisions of the Constitution, where these are clear, yet in such wise as to mollify the canton concerned or the interest affected, and find a solution which will work smoothly all round. Thus a laxity which Americans or Australians would not put up with gives little trouble in Switzerland, and a deviation from the sound principle that no legislature should be allowed to be the judge of the constitutionality of its own action becomes harmless, because every one knows that the Assembly would not abuse a power whose misuse could be promptly corrected by the people.
The frame of National Government creates a Legislature with a term of only three years, and an Executive of seven persons chosen by that Legislature with the same term. These executive officials have not, like the British Cabinet, the advantage of being members of the Legislature, though they can address it. Such a scheme would seem calculated to produce constant changes in men and in policy, as well as to weaken the authority of a Ministry short-lived and dependent on a short-lived Legislature. But neither of these things has happened. Owing to the habit of re-election, the Federal Council stands practically unchanged from one three-year period to another. So, too, the composition of the Legislature itself has hitherto changed little. It is in close and friendly touch with the Executive, profiting by the latter's counsel and administrative experience, leaving minor affairs to it, but in large matters directing its course and taking responsibility for the conduct of business, while within the Federal Council custom has established the rule that each of its members accepts the decision of the majority, or, if the matter has gone to the Assembly, the decision of that body. Because it is not a party body, this Federal Executive of seven is a virtually permanent Cabinet, and the nation gains by retaining the services of its most experienced administrators, though it is perhaps too apt to shift them from one department to another. These benefits are due to a practice or convention not embodied in any provision of the Constitution, but formed by usage, and commended by the results. It is an interesting illustration of the extent to which the legal provisions of a Constitution are modified in their working by what Professor Dicey1 has called the “Conventions of a Constitution,” usages which are worked by a sort of understanding arrived at between politicians and so well settled by practice as to become virtually, though not legally, imperative. Such “understandings “generally grow up in oligarchical rather than in democratic Governments. It was largely by them that the extremely complicated constitution of the Roman Republic, in its legal aspect a mass of apparent contradictions, was worked. It was by them, as they were formed under the oligarchic regime of the eighteenth century, that the British Constitution was, and is to some extent still worked. Such conventions fare well so long as their moral authority lasts, but in the long-run break down when unduly strained. They broke down at Rome because ambitious leaders, in a period which was becoming revolutionary, disregarded them, and having military- force at their command pushed to an extreme the powers which the letter of the law gave to a magistrate. They have largely lost their force in England, because parties in the Legislature, under the influence of passion, have disregarded them and have exerted to the full the powers which majorities in a ruling legislature possess. Switzerland is a remarkable instance of a government in which they grew up after it had become democratic, for though there were doubtless plenty of such non-legal usages among the oligarchies in cities like Bern and Zürieh before 1848, the new Constitution did not take them over, as the purchaser of a business takes it over as “a going concern.” It was the Liberal statesmen of 1848 who created them for their own use.1 The absence in Switzerland of the friction between the Houses of the Legislature, so common in two-Chambered Governments, is, however, due not to conventions or understandings but chiefly to the fact that for many years the same party held a majority in both Houses, the members of both being, moreover, drawn from the same class, elected, either directly or indirectly, by manhood suffrage, and neither House having any special interests, economic or ecclesiastical, to defend. Their differences are only such as naturally arise between any two bodies of men debating apart, though holding opinions and guided by motives substantially the same.
“What has been said of the Confederation seems generally true of the cantonal governments also. There is less smoothness in the working of the latter, because in few has any one party a permanent majority in the legislative Great Council, and because in some cantons the Executive Council is chosen not by the Legislature but directly by the people. Nevertheless, as party oscillations are seldom sudden or violent, and as those executives which are chosen by the people are usually chosen at the same time as the legislatures, these two authorities get on well together. In the cantons, as in the Confederation, the suspicion that power may be abused has prescribed the assignment of all business to Boards.1 Nowhere is there what Americans call a “One Man Power,” not because the Swiss, like the Greek republics, dreaded a possible Tyrant, but because they love equality, and have not been compelled to secure responsibility to the people by fixing it upon a single man who can be held to strict account more easily than can a Board.2 In these small communities representatives and officials all stand near the people and work under the people's eye. Public opinion controls everybody. The Legislature, moreover, though legally the centre of all power, is thought not to need those constitutional checks which the American constitutions impose, because its action can be reversed by the Eeferendum or superseded by the Initiative. Thus the system of government by Executive Councils in touch with Legislative Councils has worked well. The people are, at any rate, contented. Some changes have indeed been proposed. There are those who would assimilate the Federal system to that of the more democratic cantons by transferring the election of the (Executive) Federal Council from the Assembly to the people, a change which while it would on the one hand give more of independent power to the Council, might on the other make it, under the plan of proportional representation, unable to work as effectively as heretofore. Others again would make the Eeferendum applicable to all cantonal laws in every canton, and would extend the application of the Initiative in the Confederation to laws as well as to Constitutional amendments. Some foreign observers, weary of the perpetual strife which troubles their own politics, will be disposed to ask: “Why try further experiments merely for the sake of giving fuller extension to direct popular sovereignty, considering how wide are the powers the people already exercise? Why disturb a system which has worked usefully, with an absence of friction which other countries admire? Might not a warning from the oracle which bade the people of Camarina leave well alone be sometimes serviceable?”
The merits which such observers discover in the government of Switzerland as compared with other full-fledged democracies, ancient and modern, may be stated as follows:
Its stability, remarkable in the Confederation, not so complete, yet pretty general, in the cantons also.
The consistency with which its policy has been directed to the same broad aims.
The quality of the legislation it produces, steadily progressive in the Confederation, more irregular, but on the whole sound and useful, in the cantons also, and in both, be it more or less progressive, a genuine expression of the popular will.
An administration, economical beyond all comparison, and generally efficient.1 The economy is a part of the efficiency, for the close scrutiny of expenditure induces care to see that money's worth is got for money spent.
Ample provision is made, except in a very few cantons, for all branches of Education.
Public works are not neglected. The roads are excellent, considering the difficulties of a mountainous country, liable to landslips and to floods from melting snows. Order is well preserved. Justice is honestly, and above all cheaply, administered, though with less technical perfection than in some other countries.
Municipal government is pure and usually efficient.
Adequate provision is made for national defence, and the citizens recognize their duty to render personal service in arms.
The liberty of the individual is respected. The tone of public life is maintained at a high standard, and politics is not tainted by corruption. The strong sense of civic duty is seen in the large amount of unpaid public service rendered in cantons and communes.
To these let us add certain other points in which Switzerland is to be commended, and which, though not directly attributable to the form of its government, have at any rate grown up and thriven under that government.
Social as well as civil equality exists, and is accompanied by good feeling between the richer and the poorer. Nowhere is the sense of national unity stronger.
There are no marked inequalities in wealth, and wealth, per se, is not an object of hatred. Its power is less felt in legislation than in any other modern country except Norway.
There has been for seventy years little party passion and little religious bitterness.
There are no professional politicians, and comparatively few local demagogues.
Rings, Bosses, Caucuses are rarely discernible, and where visible, just sufficiently so to make their rarity noteworthy.
Except in one political group, growing, but not yet large, contentment reigns. Contentment is not always a good sign, for it may be a mark of apathy, indicating that men have not awakened to the possibility of bettering their conditions and developing their faculties. But no one can call the Swiss apathetic.
The last preceding pages have embodied the impressions formed during a visit to Switzerland in 1905. When I revisited the country in 1919 shadows from passing clouds were beginning to fall upon parts of the landscape. Apart from the shock which there, as elsewhere, had been given by the Great War to hopes of the peaceful progress of the world, the Swiss were realizing their especial dangers from powerful military neighbour states, from the influx of immigrants who were strangers to their own traditions, from the rise of prices, from labour troubles — a formidable general strike having been only just averted by the energetic promptitude of the Government — from the contagion of poisonous foreign influences, from a load of debt incurred during the war, from defects in the governmental handling of economic and administrative problems the war had raised. Cautious persons were alarmed by the spread of communistic doctrines, as well as by the tendency to centralization, and by an extension of bureaucracy which seemed to threaten cantonal rights and local self-government. Some, while admitting the force of the arguments for proportional representation, feared that it might enfeeble government by breaking up the legislature into groups, and might make it difficult for the Federal Council to maintain the harmony and general continuity of policy which had proved valuable in the past. Nevertheless there was among thoughtful men more cheerfulness than one could find in 1919 in any other European country. Faith in the good sense and good temper of the people, and in the patriotism which gave unity to them, made them believe that whatever troubles might be in store, patriotism and good sense would deliver Switzerland out of all the troubles that might await her, as they had often saved her before. The visitor was reminded of the persistent optimism of the Americans. Optimism has sometimes lulled democracies into a false security; yet a people's faith in itself may be a well-spring of vital energy.
Against these advantages which the country enjoy, what defects are we to set on the other side of the balance-sheet? Perfection is not to be expected in any government, however popular, nor does one find the Swiss claiming it for their own. They admit that the doctrine of equality is pushed too far in disregarding the value of special knowledge and skill in officials. Some think that in certain cantons the rich are overtaxed, and indeed so overtaxed as to drive wealth, or the industries which capital is needed to maintain, out of the canton.1 Others regret the existence of petty political cliques with selfish aims, of the habit of place-hunting, of local jobbery in the giving out of contracts, and abusing, for some personal end, the position a man holds in a Cantonal Council or as a Cantonal official. Favouritism has been alleged to exist in the granting of commissions in the army to persons who have what is called in America “a pull.” As such evils must be expected in every country, doubtless they exist here; but exactly how far they exist in the cantons chiefly impugned it would be hard even for a Swiss investigator to determine.
Being in Bern in 1905, after expressing my surprise at the excellence of the government of the Confederation, I asked a well-informed and judicious Swiss friend to tell me frankly what he thought were its faults. “You must have some faults,” I said, “and you can afford to let me know of them.” After a little reflection he replied: “We have a practice of referring a difficult question on which legislation is desired to a Committee — like one of your Royal Commissions or Parliamentary Committees in England — which is charged to enquire into and report on the subject. Such a Committee frequently chooses to conduct its investigations at some agreeable mountain hotel during the summer months, and lives there at the public expense longer than is at all necessary. This may not often happen, but we consider it a scandal.” “If you are not jesting,” I replied, “and this is the blackest sin you can confess, then think of Paris and Montreal, Pittsburg and Cincinnati, and, in the words of our children's hymn, bless the goodness and the grace that have made you a happy Swiss boy.”
To what causes may be ascribed the exemption of this Republic from the evils that have afflicted many others? Some causes have been already indicated. The course of Swiss history has formed in the people an unusually strong patriotism and sense of national unity, creating traditions of civic duty which have retained exceptional strength. Those traditions, fostered and made real by the long practice of local self-government, have become part of the national mind. The practice of self-government has also given the best kind of political education, teaching men to associate duties with rights, to respect one another's convictions, to subordinate personal feelings to the common good, to prefer constitutional methods to revolutionary violence. The country has been poor; and though here as well as elsewhere money can tempt virtue — and money coming from abroad used to count for much in old Switzerland — the domestic tempters have been few and have had little to offer. The largest element in the nation consists of peasant proprietors, interested in guarding their own rights of property, and averse to large or sudden changes. Wealth is more equally distributed than in any of the great European countries, and those who have wealth owe it more often to their frugal habits than to large industrial or financial operations.
Much is also to be ascribed to some features of national character. The people are not impressionable, not of an impulsive temper, not open to the charms of thrilling eloquence or of a fascinating personality. Though the grandeur of the scenery that surrounds them has inspired poets liko Schiller and Coleridge and Byron, they are themselves not an imaginative people, and it is patriotism, not the splendour of nature, that stirs their hearts. They have, moreover, some qualities specially valuable in politics,— shrewdness, coolness, that hard clear perception of the actualities of life which it is the fashion to call “realism.” Even the French-speaking part of the people show these qualities when one compares them with the Celts of Ireland, for instance, or with the Slavs of Poland or Serbia. The Romans, far inferior to the Greeks in artistic gift, had a greater aptitude for politics and law.
Another question follows. How far do the successes of democracy in Switzerland entitle us to hope that other peoples may by following like methods attain a like measure of stability and prosperity? “Will Swiss institutions bear transplanting; or will the peaceable fruits of righteousness they have borne ripen only under the conditions of their native home?
Where an institution has succeeded with one particular people and in one set of economic conditions, the presumption that it will suit another people living under different conditions is a weak presumption, and affords slight basis for prediction. Similarly, if an institution works well because it has been worked on certain lines fixed by custom, one must not assume that it will work equally well in a country where a like custom could hardly be created. There are cases in which the custom has become a part of the institution. Strip it away and the institution is not the same.
It is sometimes asked, Is it to men or to institutions or to surrounding conditions that the success attained by a nation is due? These three things cannot be separated. The conditions do much to make the men, and the men learn how to use the conditions; the institutions are the work of the men, and become in turn influences moulding the characters of those who work them.
Among the governmental institutions of Switzerland there are at least two which might furnish a model fit to be studied by other free governments, and ought to be considered by some of the new States that are now springing up in Europe. One of them is the vesting of executive power in a small Council, chosen for a short term and not part of the legislature, instead of in a single President (as in the United States and the Spanish-American Republics), or in a Cabinet composed of members of the legislature (as in France, Britain, and the British self-governing Dominions).
The Federal Council has worked efficiently in this small country with a small legislature, where the leading men are familiarly known to a large proportion of the citizens, and in this poor country where there are no millionaires or gigantic joint-stock companies greedy for benefits which governments can bestow. Would such a Council succeed in the United States or in a German republic? The advantages which the Swiss scheme has displayed largely depend upon the habit of re-electing its members every three years, the legislature which elects being itself little changed from one election to another. This habit of re-election has in its turn depended upon the predominance of one party in both Houses of the National Assembly, on the small size of constituencies, and on the comparatively low temperature at which partisanship stands in the country. Could the advantages which the Swiss scheme yields be looked for in France, where for many years past no party has commanded a majority and party divisions cut deep % As a former President of the Confederation observed to me, “The plan fits a small State where party feeling does not run high. Would it work well elsewhere? “and he added: “Where grave decisions on foreign policy have to be suddenly taken, would a Council composed of men of different tendencies be able to take them effectively?”
Even in Switzerland is it certain that the conditions which have favoured the Council will endure? Were the smaller parties in the Assembly to become bitterly antagonistic to the Radicals, still the largest, or should the Radicals themselves be divided by the emergence of new issues into various sections, it would be hard, perhaps impossible, to prevent the (Executive) Federal Council from becoming either a purely party body, to which men were elected for party reasons and in which they acted on party lines, just as Cabinets do in England and Australia, or else an ineffective body, living by a series of compromises, unable to pursue a decided and consistent policy, as heretofore? I was told that when the Municipal Council of Zurich contained one member of a party fundamentally opposed to his colleagues the situation became very difficult.1 Nevertheless the Swiss example ought not to be forgotten by those who in England complain that a man who has shown eminent capacity for finance or for the conduct of, let us say, foreign or colonial affairs is displaced when his party loses its majority in the House of Commons. Still more does it deserve regard in America, where the disconnection of the President's Cabinet from Congress makes it possible for him to obtain the ministerial services of those who do not belong to his party and need not possess the gifts of speech.
The other Swiss institution which can be, and has already begun to be, imitated in other countries is the direct action of the people in voting by Referendum and Initiative. Here again let us note the circumstances which in this particular country have given to the Referendum such success as it has attained. Chief among these is the small size of the community called upon to vote. The largest canton has a population smaller than that of Lancashire or Rhode Island. The Confederation has little more than half the population of Australia, one-fourth of the population of New York State, one-tenth of the population of Great Britain; and even in Switzerland the popular vote does not often exceed 60 per cent of the citizens, though the level of political knowledge and interest stands higher than anywhere else in the world. Add to this that the influence exercised by the parties has been slighter than is to be expected in any of the three countries above named, so that the Swiss people deliver a judgment less likely to be perverted by party affiliations or partisan representations. Would the Referendum work equally well if Party were to become a stronger force in the Confederation than it has been since 1874? This season of fair weather may not last. There have been periods in other countries when the light breezes of party sentiment that were scarcely ruffling the surface of politics suddenly rose into a succession of gales, which tossed the ship of State for many a year. Should the Socialist party, already eager and active, develop its organization further, the other parties might be obliged, as lately happened in Australia, to create organizations fit to cope with the young antagonist. Or, again, schisms might arise to divide the party now dominant, and one of its sections might form an alliance with another party which would change the whole situation.
Are there any other matters in which other nations may profit by Swiss experience?
To look elsewhere for geographical and physical conditions which would produce economic and social phenomena resembling those of Switzerland would be idle. To create the moral and intellectual conditions that have formed the political character of the people would be, if possible at all, a difficult and extremely slow work. It is related that an American visitor, admiring the close, smooth greensward of the Fellows' Garden at Trinity College, Cambridge, enquired how the college came to have such a lawn. The answer was: “We have been watering and mowing and rolling it for three hundred years.” Six hundred years have gone to the moulding of the political thought and habits of the Swiss. Nevertheless there are points in which other States may learn from Switzerland. The habit of re-electing to the Legislature or to official posts, irrespective of their party ties, men who have given good service, might usefully be imitated in the States of the American Union, so that the influence of national parties should be removed from local elections with which national issues have nothing to do. Party has its value, and is in some branches of government inevitable; but in Britain and France, as well as in America, it has been worked to death.
Both Englishmen and Frenchmen would do well to note the absence in Switzerland of any grants by political authorities of titles and decorations, ribbons, medals, and other such marks of distinction. To reserve these honours for persons who have really deserved them has, both in France and in England, been found impossible. When they lie in the gift of a party chief, they are sure to be used for party purposes, and therewith they not only lose their value as rewards of good service, but become instruments of a sort, of corruption. Canada has done well to deprecate their introduction into its public life. In a free community the truest — and a sufficient — honour any one can win is the respect of his fellow-citizens.
The constant teaching in the schools of civic duty and the inculcation of the best traditions of national history is a wholesome feature of Swiss life. In no country does one find that the people know so much about and care so much for their historic past. Englishmen have overlooked this side of education so far as regards the masses of the people; and among the educated class it has been frequently turned, as sometimes in America also, to the service of a vainglorious Jingoism from which Switzerland is exempt.
The sense of citizenship finds expression in the willing acceptance of universal military training as a national obligation. If the peace-loving peoples of the world are condemned to endure in the future the same apprehension of attack by aggressive military States as has afflicted the hearts and drained the resources of Europeans during the last two generations, they may have to impose a similar obligation.
Two other things which have greatly contributed to the excellence of government in Switzerland may be commended to the attention of British and French, and indeed also of Spanish-American statesmen.
Great Britain has long admitted, but has also long neglected to fulfil, the duty of trying to divide large estates so as to create a race of small landowners cultivating the soil they dwell upon. It is this class which furnishes the most stable element in the population, now swollen by a mass of new immigrants, of the United States and Canada. It is a class hardly to be found in Argentina and Mexico, and not sufficiently numerous in Germany, Spain, and Italy.
France, and Britain also, have done too little to extend and develop a system of local self-government, especially in rural areas. Jefferson saw that in the presence of such a system lay the political strength of New England, in its absence the weakness of Virginia.1 It is the foundation of all that is best in the political life of the Swiss democracy.
It may be asked: “If the success Switzerland has attained in creating a government which has escaped the evils from which other democracies have suffered be due to a singular concatenation of favouring conditions not existing elsewhere and unlikely to be reproduced elsewhere, of what value is her experience for other countries?”
Its value is to have shown that merits may be attained by a government genuinely popular which those who have followed the history of other governments meant to be popular might have dismissed as unattainable. Citizens may be more animated by a widely-diffused sense of public duty, legislators and officials may more generally resist temptations offered by self-interest, party feeling may be kept within safer limits than has been heretofore found possible elsewhere. A government by the whole people which shall honestly aim at the welfare of the whole people, win their confidence and create in them a sense of contentment with their institutions, is not a mere dream of optimists, not an unrealizable ideal. To have established and worked such a government, even if not perfectly, is to have rendered a real service to mankind, for it cheers them with hopes, putting substance into what those who have followed the hard facts of political history have been wont to dismiss as illusions.
The scanty attention which Swiss institutions have received, and the inadequate recognition of their value to students of political philosophy, seem largely due to the unexciting and what may be called the prosaic humdrum character of Swiss political life. There are no sensational events to draw the eyes of the outer world; no Cabinet crises, as in England; no brilliant displays of oratory, as in the French Chamber; no dramatic surprises, as in the huge national nominating conventions of the United States. Most readers of history find their chief enjoyment in startling events and striking personal careers, however quiet their own lives and however pacific their tempers. They are thrilled by feats of strategic genius like those of Hannibal or Belisarius or Marlborough, and by political conflicts where defeat is suddenly turned into victory by brilliant oratory or resourceful statesmanship. In reading of these things few stop to think of the sufferings war brings, the bitterness and waste of effort that accompany internal strife; and many dismiss as dull the pages that record the steady progress of a nation in civil administration along well-drawn lines of economic progress. So the achievements of modern Switzerland, just because they do not appeal to imagination or emotion, have been little regarded, though directed with unusual success to what ought to be the main aims of government, the comfort and well-being of the individual, the satisfaction of his desire for intellectual pleasures, the maintenance of peace and kindly relations between social classes. The virtues of Swiss government, clad in plaingrey homespun, have not caught the world's eye. But the homespun keeps out cold and has worn well.
The future of Switzerland opens up a dim and distant vista of possibilities. Her fate lies not entirely in her own hands, for she cannot but be affected by the great nations that dwell around her. The next decade may be for her people, as for the rest of Europe, a stormy time, testing institutions and character as they have not been tested during the last two generations.
There were moments in the later Middle Ages when it seemed probable that the “Old League of Upper Germany “as it was called in the fifteenth century,1 would extend itself so widely to the north by the addition of new cities as to grow into a power stretching from the Vosges to the Upper Danube, and perhaps including the western communes of Tirol. How different would European history have been had a league of republics covered the south-western Germanic lands, and had a like power arisen out of a strengthening and expansion of the league of Hanseatic cities in the north! Dis aliter visum. Things might have been better than they have turned out, or they might have been even worse, though it is hard to imagine anything worse than the Thirty Years' War or than that war whose miseries Europe has just been bearing. Things do not always turn out for the best, as some historical philosophers have vainly preached: there have been many calamities redeemed by no compensations. But of Switzerland as she is now can we say less or hope less than this, that a people which has so learnt to love freedom in its truest sense, that has formed such lofty traditions of patriotism and has cultivated through them a pervading sense of civic duty,— that such a people is as well armed against future dangers as any small people can be? To this people may fitly be applied, with the change of one word only, the lines which Wordsworth, in whose mind England and Switzerland were constantly associated as the two ancient homes of liberty, wrote of his own country in her hour of gravest peril: —
The Law of the Constitution.
Something similar happened in the United States during the first half-century of the Constitution. Convenience established, among the then small number of leading men in Congress, usages many of which have held their ground (see the author's American Commonuealth, vol. i. chap, xxxiv.)
A similar feeling operated at Athens (see above, Chapter XVI.). There are similarities between the Greek republics, at their best, and Switzerland, just as there are also similarities between them, at their worst, and the more backward of the Spanish-American republics.
Perhaps also because in mediaeval Switzerland there was never any monarch nearer than the Emperor, so that no monarchical tradition was formed which in other countries made a single Head of the State, however limited his powers, seem a natural apex of the governmental edifice.
Except in so far as small salaries fail to secure high special competence in officials.
I do not venture into the controversial question as to what proportion of their income the rich ought to contribute to the services of the State, but state the complaint as I heard it in Switzerland, and as it is heard now in many other countries.
In 1920 the Federal Council contained five Radicals and two Catholics. The Socialists having refused to work along with the other members, there was no Socialist. There were four members from “Suisse allemande,” two from “Suisse romande,” and one Italian.
Jefferson, however, must have seen, though he thought it safer not to add, that it was not merely the Town meetings but also the quality of the men who composed those meetings, educated land-owning farmers, members of Congregational churches, that vivified the local politics of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Vetus Liga Alemarmiae Bwperioris,
In order to prevent the first volume of this book from being much larger than the second it has been thought desirable to relegate the chapters on the United States to Volume II. And place in Volume I. the shorter chapters on Canada. The reader is, however, recommended to peruse first the account of democracy in the United States, as much of what is said regarding Canada will be better understood if the description of the United States, the economic and social conditions of which resemble those of Canada, while the political institutions are different, has been previously read.