ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT.
Dangers of the elective system increase in proportion to the extent of the prerogative.—This system possible in America because no powerful executive authority is required.—What circumstances are favourable to the elective system.—Why the election of the President does not cause a deviation from the principles of the Government.—Influence of the election of the President on secondary functionaries.
The dangers of the system of election applied to the head of the executive government of a great people have been sufficiently exemplified by experience and by history; and the remarks I am about to make refer to America alone. These dangers may be more or less formidable in proportion to the place which the executive power occupies, and to the importance it possesses in the State; and they may vary according to the mode of election, and the circumstances in which the electors are placed. The most weighty argument against the election of a chief magistrate is, that it offers so splendid a lure to private ambition, and is so apt to inflame men in the pursuit of power, that when legitimate means are wanting, force may not unfrequently seize what right denied.
It is clear that the greater the privileges of the executive authority are, the greater is the temptation; the more the ambition of the candidates is excited, the more warmly are their interests espoused by a throng of partisans who hope to share the