Sunday, 25 March 2007

John Stuart Mill on Checks and Balances

Quoted by Salon concerning the Gonzales debacle, but applicable in many other places, not least our own dear Attorney General:

Instead of the function of governing, for which it is radically unfit, the proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government: to throw the light of publicity on its acts: to compel a full exposition and justification of all of them which any one considers questionable; to censure them if found condemnable, and, if the men who compose the government abuse their trust, or fulfill it in a manner which conflicts with the deliberate sense of the nation, to expel them from office, and either expressly or virtually appoint their successors.

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