Delegate model of representation

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The delegate model of representation is a model of a representative democracy. In this model, constituents elect their representatives as delegates for their constituency. These delegates act only as a mouthpiece for the wishes of their constituency/ state, and have no autonomy from the constituency only the autonomy to vote for the actual representatives of the state. This model does not provide representatives the luxury of acting in their own conscience. Essentially, the representative acts as the voice of those who are (literally) not present.

This model was contested by Edmund Burke (1729-1797), an Irish philosopher, who also created the trustee model of representation.

Further reading[edit]

  • Burke, Edmund. 1774 (1906). Speech to the electors of Bristol in The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke. Vol. II. New York: Oxford University Press.

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