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View Diary: Allyson Schwartz leaves Third Way (51 comments)

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  •  I don't think it is the WHOLE of their job (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, daeros, JVolvo

    Excerpted from Edmund Burke's 1774 speech to the Electors of Bristol:

    My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?

    To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,--these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.

    Burke wasn't any kind of progressive, and I would not take him as the perfect model for what I want in a Congressional Representative. I agree with him in the sentiments he expressed above, though. Ideally, politicians should listen and be guided by their constituents, but if there were no more than that to statecraft then we might as well live in a pure democracy in which we all cast votes on every issue, rather than in a democratic republic.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
    --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

    by leftist vegetarian patriot on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:04:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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