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assigred to them. We know that, somewhere or other, the fractions must have representatives assigned to them. If a small county possesses more than half the ratio of representation, is it not right and proper that that county should first be provided for, in preference to giving a reprosentative to a fraction in a large coun:y? Look at the territories which are comprised within the small counties and which will be left without representation if something of the kind is not done, and then say whether it would not be better for us to give those smaller counties one representative, before we assign more representatives to the large counties. I do not desire to take away from the large counties any of their representation. All I wish is that all should be represented that every district of every county in the state should be represented--and that a representation should no longer be denied to the small counties whilst the large counties are fully and efficiently represented.
It may be said that, in osiering these remarks, I have my own county in view. As to that county, it was not according to the last apportionment, and is not at present entitled to a representative by itself. Sill, however, by combining the counties of Union, Juniata and Mifflin we are fairly represented and we do not make any complaints.
These are my views in suggesting the modification I have done to the gentleman from Luzerne. The gentleman from Northampton, (Mr. Porter) has so fully expressed the opinions which I myself entertain on the question that I need not trespass longer on the patience of the convention.
As to the fourth section, if it stands as it now does, each county, according to my understanding, will be entitled to a separate representation. If it is amended by striking out, that would be another affair.
Mr. WOODWARD, said he had examined the suggestion of the gentleman from Mifflin, (Mr. Banks ;) and that he (Mr. W.) was fully satisfied that that gentleman and himself had the same end in view. But he felt apprehensive that the modification suggested would not be as intelligible as the amendment in the form in which he had himself offered it
He thought his own proposition conveyed inore clearly the idea which it was intended to express. So far as concerned the principle, he did not object to the suggestion of the gentleman from Miftiin.
Mr. STERIGERE said, that if the convention were to adopt the proposi. tion of the gentleman from Mifflin, it would render the contradiction still more apparent than it would be by the amendnient of the gentleman from Luzerne.
Mr. Banks said, he had probably not made his ideas clearly understood. His desire was that the fourth section should be amended so as to strike out the following words :
" Each county shall have at least one representative, but no county horeaster erected shall be entitled to a separate representation until a sufficient number of taxable inhabitants shall be contained within it, to entitle them 10 one representative agreeably to the ratio which shall then be established.”
Mr. STERIGERE resumed.
The explanation of the gentleman from Mifflin places the matter apon a different fooling. But we must take the amendment as it stands.
The amendinent of the gentleman from Luzerne, as it appears to me, produces the most entire confusion, and I think that it will baffle the ingenuity of any man to say what these two sections will really be, if thaf amendment is adopted. The fourth section declares that each county shall have a representative. The fifth section says, that “not more ihan three counties shall be united to form a representative district,"? &c., &c. Consequently, there is no difference except as to those small counties spoken of by the gentleman from Northampton, (Mr. Porter.) And I do not think that he has put the question on a fair footing before the convention. He has urged this matter, as if the taxable inhabitants of the small counties were to remain what they were three or four years before--because it is to be recollected that the taxable inhabitants to which he refers are the taxables as taken in 1834. I should think that Jefferson county by this time amounts to half the ratio, and before another enumeration is made, all these counties may each have half a ratio.
The gentleman from Fayette, (Mr. Fuller) says that he is not disposed to be quite so liberal as I am. He thinks that in an old county, being entitled to more than one member, they may have another meinber on a ratio extending only to half. He must, therefore, abandon the idea of equal representation and refer to territory. Thus it seems that the principle upon which he goes, is precisely that for which I am here contending— with the single difference that so far as relates to the counties which can have no voice under either of these amendments, I am disposed to give one to them. He is disposed to prevent this representation entirely, and to give the counties which have already several members and who need it not, an additional advantage in the shape of representation.
Mr. FULLER, of Fayette, asked leave to explain. What I meant to say, continued Mr. F., was this; that the counties containing a less number of taxable inhabitants than one half the ratio, should not be entitled to a sep. arate representation. Now, the genileman from Montgomery, (Mr. Sterigere) states, that my idea was that the counties having a less population than half the ratio should go unrepresented. This certainly was not my intention. My idea was that the counties having a less population than over hall the ratio should be united in the manner set forth in ihe fifth section. I take it they would thus be represented. I wish that the position I assumed in this respect should be properly understood.
Mr. STERIGERE resumed.
The explanation of the gentleman from Fayette, so far from relieving him from the situation in which I stated him to be, has fixed him faster than ever. Under his argument, the small counties would be annexed to the larger ones for all practical purposes-their voice would be entirely drowned. The small county is thus not only left without a representation of its own, but is misrepresented for the purpose of subserving the interests of the larger counties. I would rather have the representation of an individual in a distinct part of the state, where there would be no conflicting interests. Fractions have always given a member, and in some instances they have done so where they did not exceed even the tenth part of a ratio. This has been done by the legislature and I am disposed, by means of a constitutional provision, to prevent this improper apportionment. Il we sanction the idea that any thing less than a full ratio is onuitled to representation, we abandon the idea of representation according
to population. I shall vote against this amendment because it produces confusion, and no man can say what its true import is.
Mr. POLLER said, I regret to feel myself under the necessity of adding any thing to the remarks I have already made.
I believe that the sole object which we had in view in going into committee of the whole, was simply to ariopt a provision calculated to put an end to a system which has been carried into practice in this slate, and which is called Gerryma!dering. So far as relates to the basis of representation being on the ratio of population in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I believe there was no difference of opinio'ı amongst us. Now, the introduction of this fifth section into the first article of the constitu. tion was simply intended to prevent the union, unnaturally and inconveniently, of many of the counties of the state. This I understood to be the object in view at the time it was presented. It is irue that this section, as I look upon it, has more language in it than is necessary. The amendment of the gentleman from Luzerne (Mr. Woodwarıl) appears to explain it—to my mind at least-30) as to give as good a representation to every county as we can reasonably expect. A correct representation by which I mean lo say, a representation exactly in proportion to the number of taxable inhabitants can not be expected. The reason for fixing the representation as it is in the constitution of 1790, was first to give to the people a representation according to the ratio which might be fixed by law. Immediately after that, the highest fractions were to take representatives. That was not coming exactly to the point, but it was adopting a principle wlrich caine as near w it as it was convenient for the legislature to adopt.
What is the view taken by the gentleman from Montgomery? It is that he objects to ihis amendinent. And what then? Does he point out a remedy? None at all; but he says that he is favorable to every county having a distinct and separate representation. Now, it is a fact which must be within the knowledge of every member of this convention, that some of these small counties would not have quite one-third of the population required 10 entitle them to a representative.
Mr. STERIGERE asked leave to explain. He had already expressly stated that, in his opinion, it would be unfair to consider the enumeration of taxable inhabitants which was taken in the year 1834, as that at which the taxables should be hereinafter fixed.
Mr. FULLER resumed,
When the gentleman froin Montgomery takes the broad ground that each county should be entitled to a representative, I ask what is the condition in which we stand ? Because some of the northern counties, as I have said, lave not got one-third of the population required to entitle them to a representative. I cannot see any difficulty in the amendment of the gentleman from Luzerne.
In relation to the fourth section, although it is not the immediate ques. Lion before us now, it is a proper subjeet to be brought in connection with this fifth section. I find, al o, that there is a difference of opinion in regard to the bearing which the amended constitution would have on this subject. My own opinion is that the constitution as amended, if it should be adopted by the people, will be the constitution of 1838 to all
intents and purposes, and each county would be entitled to a separate representation : and thus the desire of the gentleman from Montgomery would be gratified. I do not believe that this is the wish of the convention.
Mr. MERRILL, of Union, said he would ask the attention of the convention to the position which has been assumed by the gentleman from Susquehanna (Mr. Read.) That delegate, continued Mr. M., says he supposes that the constitution, when the amendments have been adopted, will be required to be engrossed and deposited in the office of the sec retary of stale as a unit.
Now, suppose it shonld turn out that the people reject the amendments. I ask the gentleman from Susquehanna, are we in that case to be without a constitution? or do the people, if they should refuse to adopi the amendments, reject at the same time the old constilu. tion also ?. If this is to be the course pursued, we might find ourselves in a somewhat perplexed condition.
In relation to the question before us at this time, the object, as I understand it, is 10 give a full representation to any number of citizens in any county where they shall exceed half the ratio. There would be then fisty representatives. One half of the representatives of the stale would be representatives of territory, and the other half would be divided among the population. Let us recollect that we have a president and vice presi
. deni of the United Stat s lo elect, and state officers, and ibat a popula. tion of one million six hundred and seveniy-six thousand, under our present ratio would give
The operation would be this. Every officer chosen by the state and people as the representative of the people of Pennsylvania, would have a power proportioned to the smallness of the number of people they might represent. Well, sir, I ask gentlemen whether they are willing to adopt this principle ? For my oun part, I do not care much about it. I do not know tha: it will, in its practical operation, produce a great deal of practical injustice ; although there can be no doubt that in theory it is wrong. The representative will be the representative of the territory, and not of the people. This certainly is nou the theory of a republican government, although in practice it inay not make much difference. Then, the half ratio power might deleat the will of the people of Pennsylvania, taken as a whole. The five or six representatives who may represent one territory, may have it in their power to change the voice of Pennsyl. vania in the senale of the United States, against the will of a decided majority of the peeole of the state. Do you wish—is it the object of the members of this convention, to put it in the power of any one county 10 defeat the will of the people? If not, the proper course lo pursue is to have a perfect representation of the people-that is to say, as nearly perfect as can be procured. These are some of the resulis which would follow, if we adopt this amendment. It might, and ir: many instances, I have no doubt that it would, defeat the will of the people upon some great' slate object.
It has been said that there is a system of gerrymandering going on ic the state. What is the evil of thai? It is one for which no remedy is provided in this amendment. It is taking one pari of a district here, and one part of a district a hundred iniles ott, and making it into one district.
The evil is not provided for here, or, if it is, I do not see it. The truc remedy would be that these districts should be separated. This would prevent Gerry mendering, as it is called ; but these are matters which must be left to the legislature. There was a professor in Holland who knew so many languages that he had no vernacular language left . Let us noi place ourselves in such a situation. Let us put this matter in plain English, so th it all who can read may understand it. I believe that the amendinent as it stands is clear enough, so far as concerns the language: but my objection is to the principle.
Mr. Resd, of Susquehauna, said that he had risen for the purpose of replying to the interrogatory of the gentleman from Union who had just taken his seal, (Mr. Merrill) although he (Mr. R.) had difficulty in bring. ing himself 10 believe that that gentleman was serious in what he had said.
When I had the floor a short time since, continued Mr. R., I stated that if these amendinents should be agreed to that is to say, if the amended constitution as signed, engrossed and filed, should be agreed to, it would all of it, without reference to the constitution of 1790, iake date from the years 1838 or 18:39;-in other words, it would take date fro.n the time at which it might be adopted by the people. Now, because I expressed this opinion, the gentleman froin Union (Mr. Merrill) thinks proper to ask me what the result would be—whether the people, in rejecting the amended constitution, would at the same time reject the consti. tution of 1790 ; thus leaving the state without any constitution at all. Surely the gentleman could not have been serious; because he knows as well as I do, that this amnended constitution, thus engrossed and filed, would, in the event of rejection by the people, amount to nothing at all; that it would have no vitality-no existence as a constitution, and that we should ag.in fall back upon the constitutioon of 1790, 10 live under probably for tifty years to come. I hope the gentleman will be satisfied with this answer, is indeed he was serious in putting the question; which I still am very inuch disposed 10 doubt.
One word in reply to the gentleman from Montgomery (Mr. Sterigere.) He has askeil whether any ma:i can tell what the true meaning of this fifth section is. I regret that he should find difficulty in compre. hending it, but I think that I can make it so plain, that he can not fail to understand it, if he chooses so to do. I means simply this :-that by the fifth section, when taken in connection with the fourth, no county in the state shall be without a voice in her legislature in some way or other that the districts shall be made as small as it may be expedient to make them consistently with that which is the main principle of the whole thing; that is to say, that in forming a district a fraction less than one half shall be thrown away and lost, unless in one especial case ; and that a fraction greater than one half of the ratio, although no greater than one vote above it, shall give an additional representative or representalives as the case may be. The matter seems to me to be so plain that I am at a loss to see how any man can mistake it. This is the best way of disposing of the fraction; and it is a rule which the legislature can not disregard for the purpose of raising a political advantage ;-and it is, moreover, a just rule, because it will in all cases give a member, or an additional member to a fraction more than half the ratio, and will always