Front Page Titles (by Subject) 131.: Letter to Bernard Domenger - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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131.: Letter to Bernard Domenger - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Letter to Bernard Domenger
Paris, 25 March 1849
[vol. 7, p. 392]
The last time I wrote to you I did so in haste, and I believe I forgot to speak to you about the elections. The time is coming closer, and since you are determined to put me on your list, I would be grateful if you would inform me regularly of what is being said and done. I am certain that there is a great deal of prejudice in the region against me and that these sentiments are sustained and perhaps inflamed by candidates or someone in their midst. I am aware that discussions with my proposers would be useful, but I cannot leave the National Assembly before it is dissolved. For this reason, I will shortly be sending a report.
I am sure that I will have little support from the district258 that would be most necessary to me, that is, Saint-Sever. If a bargain is struck among the three districts and each puts forward two candidates, I will probably not be on the Saint-Sever list, and while the two other districts would regret this somewhat, these regrets would not go so far as to break the agreement. I will therefore be, as they say, among three stools, etc.
As I am convinced that I have done my duty, this failure will be hurtful initially. I hope that I will be rapidly consoled. I do not lack other work to do outside the legislature.
But, from the political point of view, I would consider it a great misfortune if the elections produced a result that differed significantly from that of 1848. If you assess it with impartiality you would acknowledge that the Assembly has carried out its mission, overcome the greatest physical and moral difficulties, and finally restored order to events and peace to people’s minds, and that the most dangerous utopian ideas have been brought down before it, even though at the outset it was strongly imbued with illusionary hopes. This Assembly is on the right track. It would have accomplished for finance, if it had had the time, everything it was possible to do. Is it the right time to turn it out and replace it with different men imbued with a different spirit and with hearts full of bitterness? I can tell you that the government is very anxious about the future in this respect. Will we never cease to embark on adventures? I therefore think that, if there were anything better to do, it would be to continue in the electoral spirit of 1848, except for the removal of a few men, on the right and the left, who have shown a disruptive spirit of unruliness.
In our département, this reproach can scarcely be made to our representatives. Only one of them, probably in good faith, has produced a dangerous proposal, that of progressive taxation and the taking over by the state of several private industries. Keeping the Republic honest has been the motto of the job of a deputy. The question should thus be asked: are we going to send back the same representatives or will we make new choices with new purposes in view?
Experience has proved to me that the struggle between the districts will be a very small affair if it breaks out. I can assure you that the district of Saint-Sever is the one that gives me the least work. I do not remember having received a single letter from the chief towns: Hagetmau, Amou, Geaune, or Aire. Even Mugron has sent me only three on matters that are not incompatible with the mandate of a deputy; Dax and Le Saint Esprit have sent me more. In all, I am edified to see just how far the spirit of lobbying has died out.
[258 ]There are three electoral districts in the département: Mont de Marsan, Dax, and Saint-Sever.