Representative Government, Part 4 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Democracy"
Now, one of the most fundamental questions of politics - whether of 1295, or of modern day - is this: Should the representative, sent to the legislature -- assuming, in the first place, that he or she has canvassed the subject to be voted upon and considered all the far flung consequences of it -- vote the way the majority of his constituents would have him vote; or, should he vote on the basis of what he thinks is right, no matter that it may run against the majority of what his constituents would like. Edmund Burke, a most brilliant political thinker, thought that the representative should vote his conscience.5
"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. ...
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. ...
The state includes the dead, the living, and the coming generations."
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