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Flashcards in Representation Deck (34):

What are the two models of representation?

1. Delegate Model
2. Trustee Model


What does the delegate model stress?

the importance of responsiveness mirroring as best as possible the interests of the represented.


What does the delegate model advocate for?

representatives to represent the members of your constituency.


What does the delegate model respond to?

the needs and wants of the constituency


What is the delegate model's first premise?

that the representative democracy is a necessary, but highly imperfect, substitute for direct democracy.


What is the goal of the delegate model?

should be to maximize responsiveness in an effort to approximate the outcomes that would result from direct democracy


What principle may best fit the delegate model of representation?

adheres to the idea that the actions of the representatives should not be at odds with the wishes of the represented.


The delegate model adheres to___.



Which is more conservative, the delegate or the trustee model?

the trustee model


What does the trustee model reject?

The suggestion that good political representation is merely responsive representation


What is representative democracy, according to the trustee model?

Is not merely a second-rate alternative to direct democracy, that the virtue of representative democracy is that it provides a unique opportunity for a select group o trustees of the public interest to meet and thoughtfully discuss issues of governance in the deliberative chambers of Parliament.


What is the role of the trustee?

Is not to necessarily mirror specific community interests but instead work together with other elected representatives to find solutions for the common good.


For a trustee, representative democracy is, moreover, and opportunity to do what?

Make wise decisions that are not constrained by the short term--and perhaps ill informed--wishes of the population.


What is plebiscitary democracy acc. to Mintz?

"A former democracy in which citizens have greater control that in representative democracy through the use of such devices as referendums, citizens' initiatives, and recall elections (and initiatives)."


What is an example of plebiscitary democracy?

Marijuana legalization in California
-ballot initiatives


What is beneficial about plebiscitary democracy?

Politicians are often reluctant to be on public record for a specific stance


What must be done for an initiative in order to qualify for the ballot?

The initiative measure must be signed by a specified number of registered voters depending on the type of initiative measure submitted.


What is an initiative statue/

Editions proposing initiative statues must be signed by registered voters. The numbers of signatures must be equal to at least 5% of the total votes cast for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.


What are the benefits of ballot initiatives?

-increase interests --> engaged in an issue --> go out and vote
-bring it to the people


What are the negatives to ballot initiatives?

-are we capable of deciding on complex issues?
-task of voting may be a burden (ballots of multiple pages)
-in the next two years there is nothing to set inlace counter-initiatives against we want a society where laws can be changed at the whims of the public?
-*begins to polarize society: winning and losing


What is an initiative constitutional amendment?

Petitions proposing initiative constitutional amendments must be signed by registered voters. The number of signatures must be equal to at least 8% of the total votes cast for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.


What are the problems with ballot initiatives?

-Majority rule is often invoked to defend the use of referenda and justifying binding representatives to act as delegates of the dominant opinion within the community they represent.


What do supporters of the trustee model argue bout the overuse of referenda/

-The overuse of the referenda and treating representatives as mere delegateswill not allow for the protection of minority interests.
-Nor will it ensure that representatives have the freedom to use their judgement to rise above local interests in favour of the national interest.


Could there be ways to "soften" or mitigate the impact of initiatives or referendums and still keep them as a viable option within a democratic system?

-non-binding plebiscites (don't have to change laws)?
-55% not 51%?


How does representation work in the parliamentary system?

We want to be somewhere in the middle


What is the delegate model/what does it advocate for?

-responsiveness of interests of constancy
-trying to represent constitute directly
-direct tie between representatives and constituency.


What are the strengths of the delegate model?

-efficacy (as a constituency you feel like you have an effect on political outcomes)
-accountability (if you don't respect interests)
-Majoritarianism (way to implement --> good as long as you are in the majority)


What are the weaknesses of the delegate model?

-fragmentation (too many different interests --> if your key role is to represent your constituency, when you come together you may all have different interests)
-diviciv environment (interest driven political system --> Canada: unique regional and economic interests)
-you need an informed public
-may lead to short term interests (consistency?)


What is the basis for the trustee model?

Suggestion that good political representations are merely responsive. The trustee is the informed one --> issues, facts.


What is the assumption of the trustee model?

that politics is a deliberative process


Who do you want to be your representative in the trustee model?

you want someone who is accomplished, experienced.


What are the strengths of the trustee model?

-may lead to more efficient lawmaking
-long term vs. short term (way to mitigate what a public may see as short-term interests)
-political culture more unitary than competitive


What are the weaknesses of the trustee model?

-high expectations (less demanding of a certain character)
-doesn't encourage efficacy (alienate your constituency, lack of responsiveness if you're not mirroring what the constituency wants)
-less democratic system (not as much connection
-rule by a few


What is the danger of the trustee model?

-trustee who goes on his own and ignores constituency (because we elevate representative, do we create and oligarchy? Remove ways to make them accountable?)
-lots of damage can be done in 4 years --> citizens have fewer ways to limit their power.