The Problem of Representative Government

Our current problems with elected officials representing their own interests instead of ours are not new and the solution was the same back then as it is now.

William Willoughby wrote this in 1919:

The Problem of Representative Government

This type of government, from its very nature, raised a political problem of prime importance.  How are the people to make sure that their representative, the legislature, will in fact, represent them in the sense that its action will accord with their wishes?  This is a problem which, in spite of our hundred or more years of experience with the system, has not yet been solved.  It is only too well known that in many cases legislatures have failed utterly to translate into action the wishes of the people represented by them.  In many cases they can be said to represent the people only in name, since the election of their members has been controlled or dictated by a small part of the voters to whom we have given the opprobrious names of the “ring”, the “machine”, the “bosses”, etc.  Often members of legislatures have used their powers to promote personal or party interests rather than those of the people as a whole.

The remedy

The solution back then as it is now was to vote these people out of office.

We deserve better



11 Responses to The Problem of Representative Government

  1. voter 001 says:

    This is the very reason the Tea Party was formed. The early members had very specific concerns and wanted them addressed. They would have been successful had the movement not be co-opted by those who added reams of social issues,etc. Then it just turned into another radical contingent.


  2. voter says:

    The problem goes beyond money. At the national level, you would have to start with the gerrymandering that gives us radical right and radical left representatives.

    At the local level, the public needs to be better informed. Few people subscribe or read the newspaper. Local television could host forums so the voters can see who they are voting for. At the local level, I would disagree with limiting contributions.


  3. Jerry K says:

    First, you have to get people to vote. Good luck doing that here.


    • Juana says:

      If you have to “get out the vote” it won’t help. I am against get out the vote campaigns. Those who have to be encouraged to vote should stay home because they are totally uninformed. It’s like those examples when they ask the man on the street (usually a young person because they are the least informed) if they know the name of the vice president. Did you see the episode where a girl was asked is she knew what religion the Pope was? She said Baptist.


      • Jerry K says:

        No disagreement. My studies have boiled urban vitality down to two variables – the percent of adults who have a 4-year degree and the level of citizen engagement as measured by election turnout. If these two are high, you will have a prosperous or at least an interesting city.


  4. Y Que! says:

    And this applies especially to local politics. One party rule in El Paso has created a politburo and has led to an atmosphere of political corruption, fraud, entitlement, and has stymied democracy and freedom. “Play Ball!” of indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ManintheMoon says:

      Y Que!
      Then we have on the local Republican side their parties wealthy donors supporting the Democrats and not supporting those in the own party to run for office. Or in El Paso you have the ones who are clearly Republicans running under the Democratic banner. If the Republican party refuses to run a candidate it’s the Republican party that is at fault. Can’t have a chance to win if you do not have anyone running from your party.Then again do understand it’s easier and cheaper to buy the Democrats running and in office than field your own party’s candidates.


      • Y Que! says:

        So ManintheMoon,you’re saying that Escobar, Esparza, Rodriguez, city council, county commissioners, local government department heads, local media, and even the Borderplex cabal are all under the spell and control of the local nefarious Republicans? Wow. Maybe these local Republicans should go national and show the RNC how to control the opposition! You are very perceptive.


        • ManinMoon says:

          Y Que!
          Well it real easy to find out just read their campaign finance reports they show who is clearly funding who. The complaint of wealthy El Paso Republicans funding local Democrats and not members of their own party is nothing new and is not a big secret. Since your oh so perceptive yourself we are sure you know how to find the campaign finance reports and have read them.Right?


  5. Deputy Dawg says:

    Get money out of politics and go back to publicly funded races. See how quickly it all changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • whizzer says:

      Only if you also also get rid of PAC’s, which you cannot do according to the supreme court. They are now even being used to influence our local elections.


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