Edmund Burke on deliberative representation

‘Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices to your opinion….Government and legislation are matters of reason and judgement, 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?’


Edmund Burke, ‘Speech at the Conclusion of the Poll, 3 November 1774’, in W.M. Elofson and J.A. Woods (eds) The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke, Vol.III: Party, Parliament, and the American War 1774-1780, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996, pp.68-70.

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