Numerically the political platform touches about six-tenths of one per cent of the legislation introduced in an average legislature. For instance, in the 1911 Indiana legislature, there were 1,111 bills introduced, while only six bills originated in the political platform of the controlling, in this case the Democratic, party. This revelation, although startling at first, is somewhat deceiving. In the first place, the political platform does not attempt, nor do the party leaders desire it, to touch upon all phases of legislation. There are various kinds of legislation, such as the relocation of county seats, weed laws and individual relief laws, which are too local or trivial to be included in the state platform, and there are other types, such as anti-liquor legislation, which the platform avoids because of their magnified importance.
Although the percentage given is correct, this six-tenths of one per cent is about twenty-five per cent of the important legislation considered. In this study of the twenty year period in Indiana, beginning with the inauguration of Governor Durbin in 1901 and through the successive administrations and ending with the first legislature under Governor McCray in 1921, we are interested in those platform planks alone which positively pledge the party to legislation.