The French Chamber of Deputies was engaged on Monday in
a warm discussion on the moderation or want of moderation with which the right of invalidating elections had been exercised by the Republican majority. The discussion arose on a proposal by Admiral Touchard to require a two-thirds vote for the invalida- tion of any election. Considering that the Admiral is the sole Conservative returned by Paris, that his own election was vali- dated without a question, and that the election of M. Paul de Cassagnac,—the most rowdy of the Conservatives,—was validated very soon afterwards, it does not seem that there is any real case for a motion which would put it in the power of a minority of one-third plus one, if at all disposed to be vehement, to set completely at defiance the judgment of two-thirds of the Chamber minus one. Indeed, M. Gambetta pointed out how little case there was for such a vote, remarking that already while 100 Conservative elections had been validated, only seventeen had been invalidated, and this though the 2,000 political prosecutions by the late Government had exercised a kind of terrorism at the recent elections. Of course, the true ultimate solution of this dis. pute, in any country whose tribunals stand really above suspicion of political partisanship, would be to place the power of validating or invalidating elections in the hands of one of the best of such tribunals. But as things stand at present in France, that would only mean handing over the decision from an avowedly political Assembly of large numbers, mainly governed by considerations of high policy, and therefore often disinterested, to an unavowedly political body of small numbers, actuated by considerations of petty policy and pettier passion Admiral Touchard's notice was lost by a majority of 126 (312 against 186).