ADOPTED AT DEMOCRATIC STATE CONVENTION APRIL 7, 1922
The representatives of the Democratic party of Maine in convention assembled invite the attention of the voters to the following declarations of principles and policies:
The coming election is important. It ought to be decided on present day issues and present day candidates should stand on their own merits.
The day for blind partizanship is passed. The Republican party of 1922 is neither the Republican party of Lincoln , nor the Republican party of Roosevelt , it is frankly reactionary.
It is the party of specia1 privilege. Its every appeal is to selfishness. Class legislation is its specialty. The Democratic party is the party of equal rights and equal privileges and seeks to serve honestly and equitably men and women of every class, of every race, of every religion and of every social station so long as they merit the protection of civilized government. The Democratic party is neither reactionary or radical. It is the great liberal party of America , living in the faith of its founder, Thomas Jefferson, and believing in the teachings of Woodrow Wilson, the leading living exponent of liberal principles and the greatest statesman of his time.
Four members of the House of Representatives and one United Stares Senator are to be chosen in September to represent Maine in the Congress of the United States . A vote for Republican candidates for these positions is a vote of confidence in and an endorsement of a Congress which was elected in 1918 and which for three years has so conducted itself as to merit and receive the rebuke of every independent speaker, writer and thinker in America .
Only the blindest and most violent partizan speaks in praise of to present Congress. It is the duty of Maine lead the nation in condemning its aims of commission and omission and replacing it with a body of men more alive to the needs of the nation and more responsive to the voice of the people.
This nation was instituted as a representative republic based on the propositions that there should be preserved to each individual the largest measure of personal freedom consistent with the public good, that each local government should be supreme in its especial sphere, that the sovereignty of the State should be preserved and that there should be no undue interference by the federal government in matters which should properly be left to the conscience and good judgment of each citizen.
The Republican party has lost sight of these great fundamental principles and the lines of demarcation between national, State and local governments are being rapidly obliterated while the individual citizen has been surrounded and hedged about by so many legal restrictions that he has become practically a ward of the State instead of a self-supporting, self-reliant member of society.
The mission of the Democratic party is to preserve representative government, personal liberty and local self-government and to that mission it dedicates itself anew.
The administration of public affairs in this State for the past five years has been marked by gross extravagance emphasized by occasional instances or misdirected efforts toward economy, by inequality and injustice in the distribution of the tax burden and by inefficiency in the management of the various State departments and State institutions.
No reform in these respects can be expected of the Republican party.
The record of the administrations of Gov. Plaisted and Gov. Curtis is a sufficient guarantee of the promise of Democracy to give the people economical and efficient government and we declare that the reformation of our tax laws is a problem calling for prompt and intelligent solutions and pledge ourselves to bring about that reformation.
A just and equitable system of taxation accompanied by wise economy would do much towards bringing real prosperity to Maine .
We denounce the attempt of the Republican party to make a partizan issue of prohibition. The adoption of the 18th amendment to the national constitution has removed the prohibition question from the realm of party politics. Democrats respect, support and obey the mandates of the constitution and the laws of the land and regard the proper and orderly enforcement of law as a necessary accompaniment of efficient government. A party declaration in favor of, against or relating to modifications in the prohibitory law is nothing more nor less than pure demagogism designed to deceive thoughtless voters and to raise a false issue between the two great political parties when the attention of the people should be directed to permanent matters of real and vital importance.
With the ever increasing burden of taxation this problem assumes more and more importance. The present system and methods are becoming inadequate in the production of sufficient revenue as well as a handicap to our industries in their effort to develop our State. The constitutional limitation upon the power of the legislature in this respect is unreasonably rigid and arbitrary and should be so modified as to give greater latitude in progressive legislation. We therefore pledge our representatives and senators in the coming legislature to work and vote for such change in the constitution as shall permit the classification of property for the purpose of taxation and allow to municipalities some degree of local option in taxation to the end that the construction of homes and the establishment of new industries shall be encouraged.
We recommend the passage by the next legislature of a bill repealing the direct primary law and further recommend that this bill be submitted to popular vote in order that the people may express their views concerning the primary law in the light of their experience during the past 11 years.
Much of the industrial activity of Maine is due to the development of water power, which has already taken place. The possibilities of further development on which depends increased business expansion are practically unlimited, and it is certain that the demands of the future will be greater and more diversified than those of the past.
We insist that all future development must be under rigid State control for use within the State.
We recognize the just demands of laboring men and women to a fair share of the product of their labor. Honest, industrious and prudent working men and women are entitled to financial reward sufficient to live and support their families as American citizens ought to live and as American families ought to be supported.
The importance of our forests is vital to the future welfare of the State and realizing that they are steadily decreasing, we favor immediate steps towards re-forestation of lands suitable for that purpose which may be acquired by the State and substantial encouragement in some form to those who may own or acquire lands in order that this work may be undertaken before it is too late, and will endeavor to bring about increased protection of the forests from fire, pest and waste, and increased re-production of all desirable species; and encouragement of the utilization of forest products without waste and without destroying our forest growth.
The paramount issue for Maine is the economic upbuilding of our State and we pledge ourselves to aid in every legitimate way the development of our resources. During the third of a century which followed Maine ’s entrance into the union, the growth of this State resembled that of the great states of the West; for the past 60 years, under almost uninterrupted Republican control, Maine , as a whole, has made but little material progress. Our sons and daughters, unable to find employment at home, are scattered over the entire country, building up communities not as favored in natural resources as those from which they moved.
Maine is still a pioneer State. Laws which are applicable to conditions in more fully developed and more thickly [populated?] states have been copied into our statutes, although entirely inapplicable to conditions here, to the detriment of our progress.
Maine needs an administration which will work to give our rural towns, the backbone of our State, better educational, social and hygienic conditions so that the movement of population will be towards them instead of away from them as it has been for over half a century.
Maine needs better country roads and better marketing conditions both for the benefit of the farmer and in order that the cost of living to the individual worker may be lowered.
Maine needs improved and enlarged transportation facilities, more miles of steam and electric railroad and legislation to encourage the building and profitable maintenance of such enterprises should be substituted for the laws designed to bankrupt the transportation companies now in existence and prevent others from coming into being.
The interests of Maine in the consolidation of railroads which is sure to take place under the provisions of the Esch-Cummings law should be safeguarded and should not be confused with the interests of Southern New England.
Maine needs to be fully developed both as a summer and winter resort.
Maine needs more farms, more factories, more mills, more hydro-electric development, and every law which tends to restrict or prevent the fullest and freest investment of capital to accomplish these ends should be repealed and encouraging and constructive legislation substituted.
Democracy pledges itself to aid in accomplishing these things.
To the end that these pledges and policies may be carried out, we invite the independent thinking voters of the State to unite with the Democratic party in electing to the various offices candidates who stand upon this platform.
A year and a half ago the people of Maine voted for a change. In this respect, contrary to its usual habit, the Republican party promptly and effectively carried out its agreement and gave the people a complete change.
A change from living wages and low wages—and none.
A change from prosperity to depression and industrial inactivity and strife.
We say to the voters of Maine “You have tried this change more than a year. We challenge you to tell us in September, how you like it.”