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Mr. CLYMER said, that the aristocratic part, to which he could never accede, was that, in the printed plan, which gave the Senate the power of appointing to offices.
Mr. HAMILTON said, that he had been restrained from entering into the discussions, by his dislike of the scheme of government in general; but as he meant to support the plan to be recommended, as better than nothing, he wished in this place to offer a few remarks. He liked the new modification, on the whole, better than that in the printed Report. In this, the President was a monster, elected for seven years, and ineligible afterwards; having great powers in appointments to office; and continually tempted, by this constitutional disqualification, to abuse them in order to subvert the Government. Although he should be made re-eligible, still, if appointed by the Legislature, he would be tempted to make use of corrupt influence to be continued in office. It seemed peculiarly desirable, therefore, that some other mode of election should be devised. Considering the different views of different States, and the different districts, Northern, Middle, and Southern, he concurred with those who thought that the votes would not be concentered, and that the appointment would consequently, in the present mode, devolve on the Senate. The nomination to offices will give great weight to the President. Here, then, is a mutual connexion and influence, that will perpetuate the President, and aggrandize both him and the Senate. What is to be the remedy? He saw none better than to let the highest number of ballots, whether a majority or not, appoint the Presi
dent. What was the objection to this ? Merely that too small a number might appoint. But as the plan stands, the Senate may take the candidate having the smallest number of votes, and make him President.
Mr. SPAIGHT and Mr. WillIAMSON moved to insert “seven," instead of “four” years, for the term of the President. *
On this motion,
New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, aye—3; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, no—8.
Mr. Spaight and Mr. WilliAMSON then moved to insert “ six,” instead of " four.”
On which motion,
North Carolina, South Carolina, aye-2; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, no—9.
On the term “four,” all the States were aye, except North Carolina, no.
On the question on the fourth clause in the Report, for appointing the President by Electors, down to the words, “entitled in the Legislature,” inclusive,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, aye_9; North Carolina, South Carolina,
*An ineligibility would have followed (though it would seem from the vote, not in the opinion of all) this prolongation of the term.
It was moved that the Electors meet at the seat of the General Government; which passed in the negative, -North Carolina only being, aye.
It was then moved to insert the words, “under the seal of the State," after the word “transmit," in the fourth clause of the Report; which was disagreed to; as was another motion to insert the words, “and who shall have given their votes,” after the word “appointed,” in the fourth clause of the Report, as added yesterday on motion of Mr. Dick
On several motions, the words, “in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,” were inserted after the word “counted;" and the word “immediately," before the word “choose;" and the words, “ of the electors,” after the word "votes."
Mr. SPaight said, if the election by Electors is to be crammed down, he would prefer their meeting altogether, and deciding finally without any reference to the Senate; and moved, " that the Electors meet at the seat of the General Government."
Mr. WILLIAMSON seconded the motion; on which all the States were in the negative, except North Carolina.
On motion, the words, “But the election shall be on the same day throughout the United States," were added, after the words, “ transmitting their votes.”
New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—8; Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, no-3.
On the question on the sentence in the fourth
clause, “if such number be a majority of that of the Electors appointed,”.
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina,
On a question on the clause referring the eventual appointment of the President to the Senate,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, aye—7; North Carolina, no. Here the call ceased.
Mr. Madison made a motion requiring two-thirds at least of the Senate to be present at the choice of a President.
Mr. PINCKNEY seconded the motion.
Mr. Gorham thought it a wrong principle to require more than a majority in any case. In the present, it might prevent for a long time
choice of a President.
On the question moved by Mr. Madison and Mr. PINCKNEY,
New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—6; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, no—4; Massachusetts, absent.
Mr. WillIAMSON suggested, as better than an eventual choice by the Senate, that this choice should be made by the Legislature, voting by States and not per capita.
Mr. SHERMAN suggested, “the House of Representatives," as preferable to “the Legislature;" and moved accordingly, to strike out the words, “The Senate shall immediately choose &c." and insert:
“ The House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President, the members from each State having one vote.”
Col. Mason liked the latter mode best, as lessening the aristocratic influence of the Senate.
On the motion of Mr. SHERMAN,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—10; Delaware, no-1.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris suggested the idea of providing that, in all cases, the President in office should not be one of the five candidates; but be only re-eligible in case a majority of the Electors should vote for him. [This was another expedient for rendering the President independent of the Legislative body for his continuance in office.]
Mr. Madison remarked, that as a majority of members would make a quorum in the House of Representatives, it would follow from the amendment of Mr. SHERMAN, giving the election to a majority of States, that the President might be elected by two States only, Virginia and Pennsylvania, which have eighteen members, if these States alone should be present.
On a motion, that the eventual election of President, in case of an equality of the votes of the Electors, be referred to the House of Representatives,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—7; New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, no-3.
Mr. King moved to add to the amendment of Mr. SHERMAN, “But a quorum for this purpose shall con