Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum
“Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitting attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his response, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs, – and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.
“But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure, – no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
▪ Edmund Burke, ‘Speech at the Conclusion of the Poll in Bristol’ (3 November 1774) in Robert Smith (ed.) Edmund Burke on Revolution (Harper Touchbooks, 1986) page 52.