Representation of the People

Overview

Representation is the means by which the principle of the consent of the governed is applied and maintained in the government. Without representation, the people lose their ability to consent. Therefore a mechanism is necessary by means of which the people can regularly express their consent. For the United States, this mechanism is the Constitution. Ultimately, representation allows for citizens to entrust the governing of the country to a few people while still retaining the crucial ability to control the power of the government. This feature provides a beneficial check both on the people and on the government, and thus is favorable to liberty.

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Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, where he is also a professor of politics and history. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School.