|Budget Amount *help
¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,300,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥300,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
This research focuses on John Stuart Mill's political thought, particularly its relations with the contemporary controversies on such issues of electoral reform in Britain as the introduction of the ballot, redistribution of seats, and so on. Mill has been recognized as one of the representative thinkers in nineteenth century Britain by many historians, but' it should not be overlooked that he was not a mere speculative philosopher. He involved in various political issues about which he raised practical proposals based on his philosophical insights. In the context of the issues of electoral reform, it is remarkable that he withdrew, in late 1840s, his favorable view on the ballot shared by many radicals.
The theoretical ground of Mill's new critical attitude to the ballot appears to be similar, at first sight at least, to that of traditional and aristocratic anti-ballot opinion ; since voting is an act of trust, that is, performing of a public duty, it must be done openly. There was, ho
wever, an important difference between Mill and such political leaders as Russell, Palmerston, and Peel. It can be stemmed to their views on political leadership in a society where democratization had been going on though very slowly. The political leaders of both the Whigs and the Tories, on the one hand, insisted that the present open system should not be altered, because they were anxious to maintain the influence of landed aristocracy which still playd a leading part in parliamentary life as well as in many constituencie. Mill, on the other hand, was seeking for a new leadership of intellectual elites independent of any social classe, because he believed that the presence of such elites would be vital in a democratic society and the ballot would certainly weaken ther influence as well as morally damaging for the electorate themselves.
That difference, however, should not be exaggerated. They shared, at least after 1850s, an intention that political leadership should be maintained in the face of mass democracy. They also had a similar sociological assumption that the maintenance of leadership would be possible becouse of a deferential character of the people. Furthermore, parliamentary leaders now became aware that the deference of the people derived from, their respect not only for the background and fortune but for the intellectual qualities of candidates, the significance of which Mill had already been emphasized. While it is true, as has been noted, that British politics in the latter half of the 19th century assumed a tone characteristic of mass democracy, for example, emotional appeal to the people, it must not be overlooked that the deference which remained in British society continued to be quite strong. It was still an important factor when electoral reform in general as well as the introduction of the ballot in particular were considered and discussed. Less