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Proportional Representation is almost certain to be extended from Ashtabula to a majority of the other Commission cities, and to a majority of all American cities when the Commission plan reaches them in its contagious sweep. This is a matter of no small concern to Socialist and minority group adherents generally: For, once the principle of Proportional Representation is widely established in municipal elections, voters will not be happy until it is adopted in national elections. How startling a revolution its adoption would effect in the next Socialist representation in Congress, any. intelligent reader may figure out for himself.
Brief Bibliography. 1. The New City Government, by Henry Bruere.
New York, 1913.
New York, 1915.
In the American City, February, 1911.
The National Short Ballot Assoc., N. Y. 1914.
“Review of Reviews,” January, 1912.
BY CLARENCE G. HOAG. The fundamental principle of proportional representation is the election of each member of policy-determining bodiescity councils, state legislatures, the House of Representatives, etc.—by a unanimous constituency instead of by the politically mixed geographical constituency still used in the United States and Canada.
The reasons for making the change are evident on little reflection. Under the old system—one member for each quota of people who sleep inside of an arbitrary line on the map—the largest united group of voters in the district, though usually only about half of the whole number and often less than half, get all the district's representation, the ballots of the other voters being simply thrown away. Under such a system the number of seats in the representative body won by any party, large or small, depends not only on the number of votes cast by the party but on the way in which they happen to be distributed among the districts. Thus in Indiana, in 1914, the Democratic votes for Representatives in Congress, though only 46% of all cast in the state, elected all thirteen of the Representatives. With the votes of the several parties distributed differently among the districts, however, the same number of Democratic votes in Indiana might have failed to elect a single man. Of
course the smaller parties fare especially badly under the present system. For example, in the Congressional election of 1912 the Socialist vote in the country, though large enough to entitle the party to more than a score of seats, failed to win a single one. The same year, too, the Progressive Party won only a small part of the seats to which its voting strength entitled it. The story of a fairly typical state is told by the table below, the figures of which are from the World Almanac of 1915. Elections of Representatives in Congress, Pennsylvania, 1914.
Seats that would
Seats have been won under
representation Republican 592,561 26 17
0 Smaller parties 22,615
0 The means employed to make the change to proportional representation are simple. The single-member-district, of course, must be done away with, the members being elected either at large, as would be suitable in the case of most city councils, or from many-membered districts, as would be suitable for the council of Chicago or New York, for state legislatures, or for the national House. All that remains is to provide appropriate ballots and rules for counting them.
The List System. One way to carry out the system is to let each party nominate as many candidates as it wants to, up to the number of seats to be filled (at large or in the many-membered district, as the case may be), to print each party's candidates in a separate party list on the ballot, and to have the voting done by the marking of the voter's favorite name on his favorite list. When such ballots are counted, of course, each party is given as many seats, as its votes entitle it to; and the particular candidates on a party list to receive the seats won by the party are those who stand highest on the list in personal votes. This system, with various minor modifications, is used for parliamentary elections in Belgium, Sweden, Finland, some of the cantons (states) of Switzerland, and elsewhere. It is proposed, in the bill introduced in Congress by Representative Bailey of Pennsylvania, for optional use in the Congressional elections of any state which elects three or more members of the House.
The Hare System. The Hare system, which is more flexible and free than the List system, is used for parliamentary elections in Denmark, Tasmania, and South Africa, and for city elections in the Transvaal. . It is to be used for the Senate and at least part of the House in Ireland. It has also recently been adopted by Ashtabula, Ohio, for the election of the City Council of seven.
Under this system the candidates of all parties are arranged in one list, with or without party names; the voter indicates his preferences among the candidates to any extent that he pleases; and the ballots are so sorted at the central electoral office (only the first choices being counted at the precincts) as to build up as many unanimous constituencies of voters as there are seats to be filled. Each ballot is counted for the candidate whom the voter who cast it preferred among those who could actually use it in making up the quota of votes necessary to secure election.
During the last year strong movements for the adoption of proportional representation have developed in a number of American and Canadian cities, including Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Springfield, Mass. STATUS OF THE INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND
adopted in adopted in
1911 Arl ansas
1912 3 Iowa
1914 3 Maine
1908 1 Maryland
1915 2 Michigan
1906 1 Nebraska
1912 New Mexico
1911 2 North Dakota
1908 South Dakota
1898 1 Utah
1900 1 Washington
1912 1 The Initiative applies to statutes but not to constitutional amend. ments.
2 The referendum only.
STATE CONSTABULARY. In 1905 Pennsylvania adopted a measure providing for a State Constabulary to be used for policing rural districts, and in labor disputes. The militia had been, on account of the experiences in the 1902 strike, when militia men fraternized with strikers, ineffective, and this more efficient weapon was devised. The Pennsylvania Constabulary has practically unlimited power in the way of making arrests and search; ing without warrant. Only the legislature, or the governor when the legislature is not in session, is its superior.
From the date of its inception, organized labor in Pennsylvania has opposed the Constabulary, and has agitated for its abolition. This action has been fought, so far successfully by the Manufacturers' Associations. The case for the constabulary as stated in a Manufacturers' Bulletin is as follows:
"Men and women in this state who own property should combine now in demanding that the dishonest element in labor organizations keep its hand off the state police.
“Manufacturers and employers whom it has saved from bankruptcy express themselves vigorously against any plan to abolish, restrict or hamper the force."
As against this argument Labor pits the findings of the Industrial Relations Commission that:
"It is an extremely efficient force for crushing strikes, but it is not successful in preventing violence in connection with strikes, in maintaining the legal and civil rights of the parties to the dispute, nor in protecting the public. On the contrary, violence seems to increase rather than diminish when the constabulary is brought into an industrial dispute ; the legal and civil rights of the workers have on numerous occasions been violated by the constabulary and citizens not in any way connected with the dispute, and innocent of any interference with the constabulary have been brutally treated, and in one case shot down by members of the constabulary, who have escaped punishment for their acts. Organized upon a strictly military basis, it appears to assume in taking the field in connection with a strike, that the strikers are the enemies of the state and that a campaign should be waged against them as such."
Because of the supposed effectiveness of the State Constabulary in Pennsylvania, and in spite of the findings of the Industrial Relations Commission, New Jersey and New York attempted to pass laws establishing similar bodies. Organized labor, and radical influences, caused at least a temporary defeat of the measures.
PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES.
BY WILLIAM M. LEISERSON. In more than half the states there are employment offices or labor exchanges conducted either by the states or by municipalities, at a total cost roughly estimated at about · $300,000 per year. All together about one hundred such state
and' municipal offices are now in operation; and they fill annually some 800,000 positions. Most of these public employment offices are established by state law. In a few states the city governments have taken the initiative, while Ohio and Wisconsin have joint support for their employment offices by both city and state governments. In addition to all these, the various branch offices of the United States Bureau of Immigration have been doing an employment agency business during the last two years. These are almost all located in cities where there are state or municipal employment offices, and the ainount of business done has not been great.
Ohio led the way in 1890 with the first American law creating public labor exchanges. The industrial depression a few years later gave some impetus to the movement, but by 1900 there were in existence only the offices in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis, Omaha and Superior, in addition to those in the five largest cities of Ohio. Several other offices had been established but were later abandoned; the New York law enacted in 1896 was repealed in 1906. From 1900 to 1910 state laws were enacted in rapid succession and by the end of this period there were about sixty offices located in 19 different states.
Up to this time little attention was given to securing efficient administration of public employment bureaus. The arguments that had secured the establishment of the bureaus were in the main three: (1) Fraud and extortion by private labor agencies; (2) Large numbers of unemployed in the industrial centers; and (3) Lack of farm labor in the agricula tural states. On none of these conditions did the public bureaus have any material effect, even after years of operation. Reasons for this failure to accomplish their purposes were not tar to seek. Few people knew the principles and methods of properly conducting such offices and no seemed to care to study the details of their administration in order to find out how to make them successful. The state laws were crudely drawn, and the laws of two or three states with all their imperfections were uncritically copied by the others. Only Massachusetts and the City of Seattle required all the office-force to be civil service appointees while Illinois had a partial merit system. In all other cases political considerations determined appointments. The records and the statistics of almost all the offices would not bear investi. gation.
New Stage in the Movement. Beginning about 1910 came a new stage in the movement for public labor exchanges. Since that time Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois have amended their laws, reorganized their offices