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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Septennial Act Redux

The Governor of North Carolina has suggested the extraordinary and bizarre step of skipping the 2012 Congressional election to allow the current Congress to continue its work.  While Estase is the last person who wants a return to Pelosism, this is so obviously unconstitutional I can't believe a Governor would even hazard such an opinion.   What it reminds me of is the Septennial Act that skipped the Parliamentary election due in 1716, and allowed the Parliament elected in 1713 to continue until 1720.  The reason for this move was overtly to prevent the anarchy of a change in power in the wake of the 1715 Jacobite uprising, and covertly just an attempt for the Whigs to keep their enemies out of power.  Most historians are dubious about whether skipping an election was legal for eighteenth century Britain, even considering the Stuarts were on the cusp of starting a civil war in England, one that conceivably could have either, according to your point of view, rescued her from Hanoverian domination, or imposed French-style absolutism.

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