Representation - Theories of representation - Trustee model

4 important questions on Representation - Theories of representation - Trustee model

What does the trustee model mean?

The representative acts on behalf of others using his superior knowledge, better education or greater experience and sees this as his moral duty

What is a trustee?

A person who acts on behalf of others, using his or her superior knowledge.

What are the views of Burke and Mill on representation?

People with good duty have a moral duty to represent because the mass of the people doesn't know their own best interest because knowledge and understanding are unequally distributed in society.
Strong elitist implications (once elected the representatives should think for themselves and exercise independent judgment).
Also, all individuals have a right to be represented, but not all political opinions are of equal value.
Both also believe that education creates altruism (concern for the welfare of others).

What are the critiques on the trustee model?

- If the public is ignorant then how can you trust them to choose their representatives?
- little support of the belief that education breeds altruism.
- If politicians are allowed to exercise their own judgment they will just follow their own self-interest.

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