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Democratic Equality$
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James Lindley Wilson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691190914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691190914.001.0001

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Elections and Fair Representation

Elections and Fair Representation

(p.116) Chapter Five Elections and Fair Representation
Democratic Equality

James Lindley Wilson

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes what appropriate consideration requires in terms of what are often called “aggregative” procedures—procedures for aggregating citizens' judgments into common decisions, such as the selection of representatives. These procedures also include processes of election and voting on laws. Among other things, these requirements entail a shift in how people think about the responsibilities of representatives. Democratic representation requires an egalitarian synthesis of citizens' judgments, which is complicated by the fact that citizens render judgments at different levels of specificity. Citizens themselves differ as to how much discretion their representatives ought to have, and this disagreement should be reflected in representation. The chapter then argues that aggregative procedures must satisfy an “antidegradation” requirement that precludes rules and procedures that express or reflect a judgment that some citizen or citizens occupy an inferior political status. This is a kind of antidiscrimination rule for political decision-making institutions.

Keywords:   aggregative procedures, citizens, common decisions, democratic representation, antidiscrimination rule, political decision-making

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