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doubts the essential soundness of this penetrating analysis by an "expert" may find overwhelming demonstration of its truth in President Lowell's statistics on party voting in the United States. If we could get the office-filling machine out of the way, we might possibly get an alignment of parties on real issues.
1 The Government of England, Vol. II, chap. xxx; see also Report of the American Historical Association for 1901.
THE STATE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT1
The Office of Governor
IN no branch of the state government have we departed further from the example set by the first state constitutions than in the executive department. This has been due in part to social and economic changes which have multiplied administrative offices, and in part to a growing distrust of the legislature and an increasing confidence in the governor. In their contest against British dominion, the colonists had used their legislatures with great effect against the provincial governors, and it was only natural that, after securing independence, they should have regarded the executive with great jealousy, and looked rather to the legislature as the safeguard of their liberties. At the outset, therefore, the governor was a mere nonentity, or at best a servant of the legislature; but from this position of political insignificance, the office has been gradually raised by the addition of new powers and duties, until to-day the governor of the state possesses a constitutional and administrative authority of no mean proportions; and when he becomes, as he may, the representative of great popular interests he not only overshadows the legislature, but sometimes springs into prominence as a national figure.2
Notwithstanding this increase of power, the governor, in his relation to the state administration, does not yet possess any such high authority as is vested in the President of the United States by the Constitution. The national executive office was created by men who feared the usurpation of all power by the legislature, and placed their hopes in the controlling influence of an energetic executive elected in an indirect manner. The best principles of the Federalists, especially those relating to efficiency and strength
The principle of separation of powers is applied in our state governments as well as in the federal government. Above, p. 152.
2 See Readings, p. 442.
in a government, have been unhappily too often discarded along
1For Governor Hughes' view of this, see Readings, p. 436.
3 See below, chap. xxx.
highest number of votes at this primary is declared to be the official Republican candidate, and his name is then printed on the regular election ticket along with the names of the candidates of other parties selected in the same manner. The nominees of the several parties are then placed before the voters of the state at a general election. It is now the commonly accepted practice to declare that candidate for governor elected who receives the highest number of votes - not necessarily a majority.'
In New York, the governor must be thirty years of age, and this is the rule for all except a few states. Citizenship and a term of residence in the state (five years in New York) are almost unvarying qualifications. Some states stipulate that the governor cannot be reëlected to succeed himself; Indiana, for example, provides that he shall hold office for four years, but shall not be eligible for more than four in any period of eight years. Other states, however, place no limitation whatever on the number of terms which a governor may serve; but general practice has fixed it at not more than two terms, though the third-term rule is by no means so absolute as in the case of the presidency. It is a customary practice also to forbid the governor to hold any federal office during his term of service; and Alabama, California, and Utah provide that he shall not be elected to the United States Senate during his term of office.
Twenty-two states fix the governor's term2 at four years, and twenty-one at two years; only two states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, retain the older practice of annual elections; and New Jersey alone has a triennial election. The tendency is strongly in the direction of the longer term; even the new constitution of Oklahoma, which reflects in many clauses the spirit of the Jeffersonian democracy, fixes it at four years. This is the result of the recognition of the patent fact that the governor must have time at least to master the details of the complicated system over which he presides if there is to be an efficient administration. No considerable attempt, however, has been made to coördinate the governor's term with those of the administrative officers whom he may appoint. In fact, the terms of the latter are frequently longer than the governor's.
1 Most of the states provide that, in case of a tie, the legislature, in joint session, shall choose from among the leading candidates.
2 See table on the next page.