Page:The future of democracy.djvu/26

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done before we can make our machinery fit in with modern demands.

If these things of which I have now spoken can be accomplished what will follow? I read this morning a speech by Sir Wilfred Laurier. Someone here had suggested that Sir Robert Borden should submit a list of names of persons in Canada deserving hereditary titles. Sir Robert Borden wrote back that he was very busy and had not time even to think about it. Sir Wilfred Laurier took up the point, and said that the England of the past had been interested in these things, but England was likely to be less picturesque in the future, and to take less interest in such matters, and he agreed with Sir Robert Borden's policy of not taking any notice of the suggestion.

I think it is profoundly true that we are now on the way to see our old-fashioned aristocracy superseded. Quite painlessly and calmly you will put us poor Peers out of political existence, in a very delightful and easy way, I have no doubt; but we are going out of existence. And I am going to tell you what must take the place of the old-fashioned aristocracy. There is going to take its place an elite of talent. You will have your democracy, not on the footing of the Bolsheviks, but with every kind of differing authority, authority according to talent and capacity, only restrained so that the individual of great cleverness shall not be able to get more than the share which is justly his, having regard to the talent he possesses. With the elite of talent anyone, however meanly born, will have the opportunity of rising to the highest position. We have been getting on pretty fast towards that, but I want it done in a scientific way.

If you get rid of the monotony of labour, educate your workman, give him a good home, treat him properly, and see that these minima are maintained, have your electricity taking the place of the deficiency of power that there is at