Speech to the Electors of Bristol
1. What does Burke consider to be the duty of the elected representatives? The people’s wishes and happiness depend on the elected representatives. If the representatives do not represent the people and make decisions based on their own opinion they are diminishing the opinion and judgment of the people. Everyone have the right to an equal opinion but the representative have to debate and argue for what the people think. The representatives have the job of protecting and sharing the people’s opinions. 2. In your opinion, is the representative justified in voting his conscience and not the will on his constituents? In America everyone has the right to vote, however everyone has the right to an equal vote. Therefore, representatives can vote on their own conscience but in a normal voting just like anyone else. The representatives should have no more of a vote then anyone else unless they have a strong reason to override the people’s opinion. The people choose their representative and a representative is generally more educated then the people in regards to politics. Therefore, if they have strong reasoning to override the vote they should be able to. 3. Have recent developments in America politics taken us away from the Burkean theory of representation? We have an Electoral College, which is not recent but is against his philosophy. The Electoral College has representatives that give votes depending on the majority in that state. However, they don’t have to vote how the people voted they can vote their own way. As seen in the 2000 election where the people in Florida voted for Al Gore but the representatives voted for Bush.
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