"I was overruled by my Council. The Council were so divided in their opinions, that it was impossible to obtain any better resolution on the point." These and similar pretexts are constantly at hand, whether true or false. And who is there, that will either take the trouble or incur the odium, of a strict scrutiny into the secret springs of the transaction? Should there be found a citizen zealous enough to undertake the unpromising task, if there happen to be collusion between the parties concerned, how easy it is to clothe the circumstances with so much ambiguity, as to render it uncertain what was the precise conduct of any of those parties?
In the single instance in which the Governor of this State is coupled with a Council, that is, in the appointment to offices, we have seen the mischiefs of it in the view now under consideration. Scandalous appointments to important offices have been made. Some cases, indeed, have been so flagrant that all parties have agreed in the impropriety of the thing. When inquiry has been made, the blame has been laid by the Governor on the members of the Council; who, on their part, have charged it upon his nomination; while the People remain altogether at a loss to determine, by whose influence their interests have been committed to hands so unqualified, and so manifestly improper. In tenderness to individuals, I forbear to descend to particulars.
It is evident from these considerations, that the plurality of the Executive tends to deprive the People of the two greatest securities they can have for the faithful exercise of any delegated power:—First, the restraints of public opinion, which lose their efficacy as well on account of the division of the censure attendant on bad measures among a number, as on account of the uncertainty on whom it ought to fall; and, secondly, the opportunity of discovering with facility and clearness the misconduct of the persons they trust, in order either to