Modern democracies are definitely linked to the concept of representation. We do not have any democracy which operates without resorting to representative governance. This principle is solely the fact of our modern times, it seems to have been necessary every time human being tried to implement a democratic system within a nation or a country, "pure democracy" has never been experimented by reason of the incapacity in conciliating the individual and the people.
This system requires autonomy and a specialization of the political sphere, thereby it results a strict division between the governed and the rulers. The political scientist Hanna Pitkin gives us maybe the clearest definition of what is the political representation: "taken generally, [it] means the making present in some sense of something which is nevertheless not present or in fact." On this definition, representation is the activity of making citizens' voices, choices and wishes present in the public policy making processes. In this manner, Hanna Pitkin discerns two aspects of the representative: making present an absent object and acting for it. So, the representatives are the people and can act for the people.
[...] The movement in favor of the proportional representation found its root in the global Progressive Movement, this progressive willingness is symbolized by the creation of the Proportional Representation League in United States constituted by intellectuals and political activists in 1893. They advocated for a more representative system, they wanted to give back the power to the people, so most of their work was to promote proportionality in cities where it was easier ton establish. They believe there would be no more race antagonism if all the minorities were represented. [...]
[...] Several measures (residence requirements, frequent elections, election of many officers, and the decline in the prestige of the real-property qualification for the vote) enacted by colonies differed from the English practice and lead us to conclude that there was a general movement to a democratization of the vote and so to an enlargement of the representation. The idea of representation earlier in the US is linked to its past as British colony. Actually American colonies were founded in a time when the idea of representation was quite developed in England. [...]
[...] That's why Adam Smith advocated for a representation of the colonies should be "in proportion to the produce of American taxation." Representation, then, is merely a device which can be used to register economic change. Monopolies, unfair competition, repressive legislation - all such conditions were burdening the colonial middle classes, but the issue of the taxation without consultation from the British government was the one on which all attention were focused, the American Revolution founds its origins at this point. [...]
[...] However, many contemporary political scientist keep on researching how is understood the idea of representation and if this principle is still coherent in American society. Nowadays, the progress made by the American research point out the crisis of the representative system, and particularly the phenomenon of a democracy without citizens. The Invisible Democracy The representation is the strict division between governed and governor, representatives and constituents. It means that people have to chose who is going to be their representatives and moreover who is going to steer the society. [...]
[...] Conclusion Throughout the essay, we have tried to examine the idea the political representation in the American thought. We know that the idea of representation comes from the Middle-Age when the King was the people and acted for it. However, representation seems to have been a necessity for all modern democracy and particularly for the first one of the modern times, the United-States. No pure democracy has ever existed in modern times, except at local scale. No one has genuinely called into question the representative governance. [...]
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