Election and Representation

Election and Representation

Election and Representation

Election and Representation

Excerpt

The reader of the following pages will hardly need to be reminded that the forms of election and representation are varied, and have non-political as Well as political applications. It is mainly with their political and economic applications that the present work is concerned. In a word, our main theme is representative government. Inevitably, as soon as one comes within reach of our own time, the question of representative government expands into the wider question of representative democracy. It is no longer possible to doubt that the dilemma of conciliating authority and liberty, power and justice, is as urgent to-day as it ever has been in the past. The future of representative democratic government, national and international, is assuredly the hardest and most pressing of all the problems that confront modern political thinkers.

That the possession of power without responsibility is almost invariably demoralising for all directly or indirectly concerned in its exercise has always been recognised. The need of restraining the exercise of power for the sake of maintaining and promoting justice has been more or less constantly present to men's minds down the ages, and for obvious reasons. Arbitrary power and justice can hardly exist together. Political absolutism at its best is all too . . .

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