Elections are often thought of as the heart of the political process. perhaps no questions in politics are as crucial as ‘do we elect the politicians who rule over us?’, and ‘Under what rules are these elections held?’ elections are seen as nothing less than democracy in practice. they are a means through which the people can control their government, ultimately by ‘kicking the rascals out’. central to this notion is the principle of representation. put simply, representation portrays politicians as servants of the people, and invests them with a responsibility to act for or on behalf of those who elect them. When democracy, in the classical sense of direct and continuous popular participation, is regarded as hopelessly impractical, representation may be the closest we can come to achieving government by the people. there is, nevertheless, considerable disagreement about what representation means and how it can be achieved in practice.
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- Representation, elections and voting
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- CHAPTER 10