Front Page Titles (by Subject) 4.: Hare's Plan for the Metropolis 10 APRIL, 1865 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
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4.: Hare’s Plan for the Metropolis 10 APRIL, 1865 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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Hare’s Plan for the Metropolis
Morning Star, 11 April, 1865, p. 3. Headed: “Corrupt and Pernicious Influences at Elections.” Also reported in summary form on 11 April in the Daily News, and The Times, and (apparently copied from the Morning Star) in The National Reformer, 16 April, pp. 250–1. The well-attended evening meeting, with many women members present, of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science and the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law was held in the Rooms, Adam Street, Adelphi, with Lord Stanley in the Chair. The principal speaker was Thomas Hare (1806–91), author of A Treatise on the Election of Representatives, Parliamentary and Municipal (London: Longman, et al., 1859), which had a profound effect on Mill (see Autobiography, CW, I, 262–3). Hare read his paper, “On such an organisation of the metropolitan elections as would call into exercise the knowledge and judgment of the constituencies, and as far as possible discourage all corrupt and pernicious influences” (The Times, 11 Apr., p. 10). In the ensuing discussion seven members spoke before Mill.
mr. j. stuart mill dilated at much length on the details of the plan submitted by Mr. Hare, and pointed out that the objections raised to it were caused by a misapprehension on the part of those who, either through a want of interest in the matter or a determination to adhere to the present state of things, neglected to pay sufficient attention, so as to properly understand it. aIt seemed to him that the plan proposed was as simple as possible, easy to be understood, and if given a trial would be found to be effectual and salutary in its results. Mr. Mill then referred in caustic terms to the manner in which contending parties under the present system get themselves represented, dwelling particularly on the part the great clubs play during election times.abFor instance, he remarked that no sooner a vacancy for a Liberal or Conservative candidate occurred than some one went down from a club with 3,000l. or 4,000l. at his back, saying, “I am a Liberal,” “I am a Conservative,” as the case might be.b But by the plan proposed by Mr. Hare this system would be checked. cBoobies would no longer be able to go down to constituencies with any chance of success; and besides, public interest would be elicited to a far greater extent than at present.cdHe referred to the injustice of the existing system, in leaving the minority, say 19,000 out of 40,000—the election being carried by 21,000—practically unrepresented.d He considered the proposition of Mr. Hare both feasible and just, and he trusted the discussion that evening, and a little better understanding of the plan submitted, would have the effect of gaining for it that public support it so well deserved, and that the result would be that it would at all events get a fair trial. eThis evil would be remedied by the proposed plan, which, in answer to the objection that it was complex and impracticable, he said was much more simple than the multiplication table, and might be easily understood by anyone who took the trouble to examine it fairly. Mr. Hare’s plan, he knew, was anxiously thought of by some of the leaders of the working classes, and he should not be surprised if, before long, it became part of their political programme. He claimed for it the merit of giving ascendancy to none and justice to all.e He considered that the metropolitan constituencies offered a good field for the purpose of trying the experiment, and he urged the desirability of doing so.
[After discussion, Hare replied. A motion of thanks to Hare, calling for his paper to be printed and circulated to members, was passed, and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the Chair.]
[a-a]DN It was the great merit of the plan that it did not contemplate the elected representing only the opinions and interests of those who voted for them. It would not leave the House of Commons the representatives of only three shades of opinion—whig, tory, and radical—but the opinions of the whole country would be represented, and property as well as numbers. The voter would no longer be compelled to vote for any booby sent down by the dominant party.] TT The great beauty and merit of Mr. Hare’s system was that it would not leave the election to mere political opinion—to the three shades of opinion, Whig, Tory, and Radical. The voters would have the choice of the whole country—of all the eminent men in the country.
[b-b]TT The clubs would no longer be able to send a mere booby with 3,000l. or 4,000l. in his pocket.
[c-c]DN Boobies would no longer be sent down as candidates—men of merit would be sent down, or if they were not, the constituencies would find men of merit for themselves.] TT If they did not send down a man of merit, the electors would choose a man of merit for themselves. At present the Liberals must vote for the Liberal candidate, and the Tories for the Tory candidate, though each of the two candidates might be nothing more than a booby.
[e-e]+DN] TT It was enough to put one out of temper to hear intelligent gentlemen say they could not understand Mr. Hare’s plan. It was not anything like so difficult as the multiplication table.