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analogy was complete and true. Proposed measures or enactments were there discussed, recommendations were listened to, objections were heard and answered: the minority were there fairly represented, because they were present in propria personâ ; there was, therefore, no injustice in requiring them to bow to the decision of the majority when given against them. In the same manner, it is perfectly right that in our House of Commons the minority should give way when outvoted, and cheerfully acquiesce in their defeat. But it will be obvious, on a moment's consideration, that there is a wide and indestructible difference between being not successful and being not heard—between being outvoted and being excluded — between being defeated after full deliberation in a legislative assembly and being denied a hearing and a seat in that assembly — between succumbing in the lists and being forbidden to enter them. Now, constituents at the poll are not a deliberative body: they hear no arguments ; they decide no measures; they meet simply to determine by arithmetical calculation who shall be chosen to discuss and decide *; -- and if minorities are altogether overpowered, suppressed, and virtually non-existent because non-apparent, — if they return no portion of the members, — their ground of complaint is, not that their candidates are outvoted in Parliament, but that they are not allowed to go there, - that their opinions are rejected, not after, but before, discussion, - that they are
, reduced not only to submission, but to silence. And their complaint is just. No litigant may grumble because judgment goes against him before a fair tribunal; but if his counsel is not allowed to enter the Court or to speak on his behalf, then assuredly he is the victim of a manifest injustice, and has a casus belli against the constitution which treats him thus.
The mode by which we propose to ensure the constituent minorities their fair share in the representation - i. e. to make the majorities and minorities in the House of Commons correspond as nearly as may be to majorities and minorities in the country or in the electoral bodies — is to give (as now) to each elector as many votes as there are members to be chosen, and to allow him to divide these votes as he pleases among the candidates, or to give them all to one. But, as at present most places return two members, it is obvious that, under the proposed arrangement, wherever the minority exceeded one-third of the total number of the electors, they would be able to return one
* The only parties who will be disposed to dispute our argument will be those who hold that members are merely the delegates, not the representatives, of their constituents.
member, or to obtain one-half the representation – which would be more than their fair share, and would place them on an equality with the majority — which would never do; while, if they fell short of one-third, they would be, as now, virtually unrepresented and ignored. To obviate this, it will be necessary so to arrange our electoral divisions that as many constituencies as possible should return three members: one of these a minority, if at all respectable, could always manage to secure. We believe that such an arrangement might be carried into effect in a great number of cases without any increase of the actual number of the House of Commons, since so many of the existing small constituencies will need suppression or absorption; and in a combination of the two plans would be found, to a very great and perhaps an adequate extent, a remedy for the mischievous injustice we are considering. Where there was only one member, the minority would have no share in the representation at all. Where there were two members, the minority, if above one-third, would have too large a share ; if under one-third, too small a share. Where there were three members, it would obtain its just share, and no more. We cannot conceive any valid objection to this proposal
call the cumulative vote; and it will be attended with one incidental and collateral advantage too important to be overlooked. It is this : the parties most likely to be returned by such minorities as our plan would enfranchise would be exactly the class of men most wanted in Parliament, and least able under existing arrangements to find an entrance there those, for example, who were unpopular with the masses on account of some honest but unpalatable vote or opinion; those who sided altogether with neither of the extreme parties; those whose merits were too unobtrusive and too little showy to have been discerned by the multitude: those, in fine, who, not generally or universally appreciated, have few friends, but fast and zealous ones, and who therefore, though counting a minority of voters, might yet have a majority of votes.
which we may
With these suggestions we will bid adieu to the great subject of Representative Reform. We can leave it with perfect confidence in the hands of the statesmen to whom will be entrusted the construction of the measure which next Session is to inau
* This plan is sanctioned by the authority of the Committee of Privy Council in their Report on the framing of a Constitution for the Cape of Good Hope. See Lord Grey's Colonial Policy, vol. ii.
gurate. We know that their popular sympathies are large and hearty, while long experience will have made them cautious in their temper, and a wide range of study will have made them comprehensive in their views. We have no fear either lest they should propose any undigested scheme which will impair the vitality or undermine the foundations of those essentials of our system which have stood the test and received the sanction of six hundred years, or lest they should shrink from any measure merely because it is a large one, if it lies within the analogies and harmonises with the spirit of the Constitution. And if they are able — as we think they may be — to devise a plan which, by eliminating all the corrupt social elements which can be purged away, and embracing all the sound ones which can be discovered and included, shall impose a long if not a perpetual silence on all feverish and distracting agitations, they will have deserved well of their country, and may take rank among the real benefactors of mankind.
Note to No. 199. p. 163. From information which 'has been obligingly communicated to us since the publication of our last Number, we learn that the ring (purporting to be the Earl of Essex's ring) belonging to C. W. Warner, Esq. (erroneously printed Warren in our Article), and that deposited some years since at Messrs. Drummond's bank, are the same. At Maddersfield, in Worcestershire, the seat of Earl Beauchamp, is a three-quarter length portrait of the Countess of Nottingham, with a ring suspended round her neck. It is, however, evident that, if the picture was painted in her lifetime, the ring suspended round her neck could not be Lord Essex's ring, inasmuch as she had, according to the story, concealed her possession of it until her deathbed.
No. CCI, will be published in January, 1854.
A Arctic Regions, the, review of works and Parliamentary papers re
lating to, 342—sketch of Arctic voyages from 864 to 1852, 343-4the knowledge obtained scarcely worth the dangers and hardships incurred, 344-5—mysterious disappearance of Sir John Franklin, 345-6—solution of the problem of the North-western Passage, 347 — the Polar Sea, 348 — Sir Roderick Murchison's opinion on a suggestion thrown out by Mr. Peterman, 349-50-difficulties attending the navigation, 350-1 — the Polynia of the Russians, 351-obstacles encountered by Messrs. Inglefield, Belcher, and Parry, 352-3— the screw-propeller probably an efficient auxiliary in future Arctic voyages, 353— the cold at Spitzbergen not so intense as to prevent further scientific operations, ib.— progress and results of Arctic discovery between the years 1818 and 1845, 353-5 - efforts made to pass from the Atlantic into the Pacific through Lancaster Sound, 355 — Sir John Barrow's 'Chronological History of Arctic Voyages before 1818, 355-6-failure of Sir John Ross in his North-western attempt, 356 — Captain Beechey’s narrative of Captain Buchan's expedition to Spitzbergen, ib. - Sir Edward Parry's three expeditions, 357-8-horrors and hardships attending Captain Lyon's voyage to Wager River in 1824, 358-9-expedition of Sir George Back in 1836-37, 359-60,Captain John Ross's expedition in 1829, his discovery of Boothia,' and of the situation of the North Magnetic Pole, 360-1 — Sir John Franklin's two expeditions in company with Sir John Richardson and Sir George Back, 361 — his third expedition in 1845, and mysterious disappearance, 362 — expeditions sent out by different countries in search of tidings of him, 362-4-conjectures as to his probable fate, 364-6 — expedition under Sir James Ross in search of the lost adventurers, 366-8 — unsuccessful attempts of the North Star,' the ‘Plover,' and the Herald,' to obtain any certain tidings, 368-9— last authentic information respecting the
Investigator,' 369-70 - subsequent unsuccessful efforts of Mr. Kennedy in the Prince Albert,' 371 summary of the voyages undertaken in search of Sir John Franklin, 371-3-conjectures as to his whereabouts, 374-information brought by the Renovation' in 1851, 375-6---concluding observations, 376-8.
C China, relations of England with, — review of Sir John Francis
Davis's work, China during the War and since the Peace,' 98-9— rise and spread of the rebellion against the rule of the Tartar VOL. XCVIII.
dynasty, 99-100-rebellions of the fourteenth century, 100-pre-
Pekin, 127 8–severe sentence passed and carried out upon the
sending an embassy to the Chinese emperor, 129—three principal
traffic, and free intercourse with every part of China, 129-31.
the High Church, and the Broad Church parties, ib. - origin of