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must result. The people would soon learn that they only \ give themselves extra trouble by scattering their votes. It is evident that this method of settling an undecided election is very different from that provided in Art. IV, Sec. 3, of the New York constitution, as to which indeed it may be thought that elections by plurality are still preferable.
In suggesting amendments to the New York constitution, only those will be indicated which are calculated to carry out the principles above laid down, and without making any distinction, which is yet sufficiently obvious, between those which might offer a possible hope of acceptance and those which in the present state of the public mind are quite beyond such a contingency. The first would be the expunging of the words in Art. IV, Sec. 3, above referred to: "The persons respectively having the highest number of votes for governor or lieutenant-governor shall be elected," and the substitution for it in its proper place of another section the exact reverse of that in the Massachusetts constitution:
In all elections of civil officers by the people, the person having a majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected; undecided elections to be settled by a second ballot within days thereafter, between the two candidates having the highest number of votes at the first.
2. The Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer and Attorney-General; also a State Engineer and Surveyor, a Superintendent of Public Works and a Superintendent of State Prisons shall be appointed by the Governor, and shall hold office during his term, unless sooner removed by him. The words "by and with the advice and consent of the senate" shall be expunged wherever they appear.
3. The Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer and Attorney-General shall have the right and duty of attending the sessions on different days of the week, both of the House and the Senate, under rules to be agreed upon between the two branches, and to take part in debate relating to their
respective departments, and answer questions and give information in relation to the same; the same right and duty shall be extended to any other executive officials upon the address of the two Houses accepted by the Governor. The Governor shall himself also have the right of attendance with his subordinates and of taking part in the debate, but shall not be held to answer questions, which shall be addressed directly only to the heads of departments.
It is to be observed that this personal responsibility of the chief officials to direct cross-examination by individual members is a far greater check and security for the character of the governor's appointments than confirmation by the vote of the Senate can possibly furnish.
4. All proposals for financial legislation, whether of revenue or expenditure, shall proceed from the State Treasurer, as the agent of executive administration. Acting in concert with the other departments, he shall prepare an annual budget of receipts and expenses in detail for the financial year ending and shall place the same upon the table of the Assembly on or before the The Assembly may decrease, but not increase, any item of expenditure or taxation without the consent of the executive. No member shall propose any definite measure of expenditure or revenue, but either the Assembly or the Senate may, either in the discussion of the budget, or at any time during the year, pass a resolution requesting the Governor to bring forward a provision for a specified item of revenue or expenditure, and if such resolution shall be passed by both Houses, it shall be the duty of the executive to carry out the same; provided that the executive may still demand a reconsideration, after which, if the resolution is reaffirmed by two-thirds of both Houses, it shall be mandatory and final.
It will be observed that this regulation in no way diminishes the ultimate control of the finances by the legislature or increases that by the executive; it merely secures the treatment of finance as a whole and that it shall not be dis
ordered by all sorts of proposals, coming from any members, and passed by the body without due consideration or reference to other financial conditions. The executive is a unit and represents the whole State. Members are many and represent only fractions of the State. Finance to be sound must be treated as a whole and protected from isolated and disconnected attack. While the final decision must rest with the legislature, the side of the whole public interest should be strongly presented, and the body compelled to act, if at all, under the clearly defined responsibility of its members.
Inasmuch as by the second, third and fourth amendments here proposed the unity, the strength and the responsibility of the regular executive administration, which are now almost wholly wanting, would be restored, the government by commissions might be left at least for the present to fall into disuse. There appears to be no need for a constitutional prohibition, any more than there now is for a corresponding establishment of them.
The parts of the Constitution which would need modification, to meet these requirements, appear to be, apart from those already noticed, Article I, Section 9; Article III, Section 13 and Section 19; Article IV, Section 9; Article V, Section 7.
No reference has been here made to the delicate and vexed question of the judiciary, because the present paper attempts to deal only with the relations of the executive and the legislature: and none also to the organization of the counties, because, though the numerous and separate elections appear to violate the principles herein laid down, yet they constitute a system of local government so different from the town meeting of Massachusetts that the present writer cannot venture to touch upon it.
A DECADE OF MORTGAGES.
What is the condition of the people of the United States in regard to real estate mortgage indebtedness and what does this indebtedness mean? After an alarm and an agitation of several years, the Census Office now prepares us to answer the question, if not conclusively and finally, yet from many points of view and with the assurance that the subject is much better understood than ever before.
In its aggregate amount the real estate mortgage debt of the whole country has reached a stupendous figure. This debt, at the beginning of 1890, was more than $6,000,000,000. In this amount the mortgage debts of quasi-public corporations, such as railroad companies, are not included, so that only the mortgage debts of individuals and strictly private corporations are represented. The quasi-public corporations of the United States owed a mortgage debt of about $5,000,000,000 in 1890, most of this amount being composed of actual returns made to the Census Office. If the real estate mortgage debts of individuals and all private and quasi-public corporations are combined, they make a total of about $11,000,000,000, which is more than one-sixth of the wealth of the country, and about three-tenths of its taxed real estate value. What is regarded as the private real estate mortgage debt, which does not include that of quasi-public corporations, is about one-eleventh of the nation's wealth and about one-sixth of the value of all of the taxed real estate owned by individuals and strictly private corporations. To this debt it is intended to confine the remainder of this paper.
The results of the census investigation of mortgages are at hand for thirty-three States, owing about five-sixths of the mortgage debt of the country, and in detail their debt January 1, 1890, is exhibited in the following table:
EXISTING REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE DEBT OF THIRTYTHREE STATES, JANUARY 1, 1890.
A classification of real estate as acre tracts and lots is the only feasible one in this great statistical undertaking. The