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Trustee Model of Representation

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Simplest Representation Model

First, there are three concepts involved in the simplest representation model. There are principal, agent and third party. There are principal, agent and third party. The principal is hiring other one to do something for them that they cannot do for themselves. So, the agent performs certain actions on behalf of the principal.

In reality, voters are the principal, while legislator is the agency. In the electoral regulations, voters clearly know the functions of legislators and can monitor through official job reports or websites. The legislators must be clear about their functions. Even if they break the law, they still have to bear personal consequences, which has nothing to do with voters. In addition to legal issues, in daily life, for example, a legislator passed a bad law, but because this legislator is elected by the citizen and represents the citizens, do you think that citizens must bear responsibility for passing bad laws? Of course, it should bear the responsibility. At the time of the election, the citizens still made choices based on the candidate’s political platform. Therefore, in this case, the citizens did not express their personal opinions, and both parties should bear responsibility.

And the third concept is the third party. It is between agent or principal and third party with whom the agent is dealing on the principal’s behalf. The main function is to understand the respective interests, responsibilities, and independence of the two parties being dealt with. Continuing the above example, the Legislative Council is a third party between citizens and legislators. According to the powers and functions of the Legislative Council are specified in Article 73 of the Basic Law, the Legislative Council is the Legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The main functions of the Legislative Council include enacting laws, approving public expenditure and monitoring the work of the Government. This shows that the Legislative Council is an independent department that balances the powers of citizens and legislators.

Trustee and Mandate

The types of representative theories are briefly divided into two major models. Among the two models, one is a trustee that advocates that members can judge according to their opinion. On the other side, it is mandate which advocates that must follow the lead and act in accordance with the will of voters.

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The trustee’s characteristic is flexible and can be extended to cover the representation of individuals who incapability. At the same time, it is advocated to consider the general well-being of the citizen, rather than focusing only on local interests. Mandate’s characteristic is mechanical and understands the preferences of the citizen in its constituency and makes choices based on the opinions of the voter.

Self-reflection

Hong Kong’s representative democracy has existed during the England colonial period, and in the past, it was mainly elitist democracy. The former Hong Kong officials were mainly British officials but failed to listen directly to public opinion, resulting in riots among the citizens. So, the British government found local elite representatives to express opinions on behalf of Hong Kong people. So before 1997, the trustee representative model was adopted. However, I think that before 1997, the level of knowledge and living standards of Hong Kong citizens had not been well developed. Therefore, it would be acceptable to have social elites representing the public.

Andeweg, R. B., & Thomassen, J. J. A. said that if the behavior of the representative is followed from the bottom up, all the logic based on popular opinion will be criticized and reduced to a populist; and if the representative follows the logic of the top-down, the wisdom of political figures is judged as The Lord will again be said to be an elitist.

But I do not agree with the above description populist. I think a government is just an employee who works for the citizen. It is the responsibility of the government to collect the voices of different citizens to make changes and manage the country. In the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (or Anti-ELAB) movement, it is clear that the government has not heard the voice of the citizens, which has increased the power of the government. Therefore, even if there is no perfect representation system, it is still important to consider the voice of citizens.

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Trustee Model of Representation. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/trustee-model-of-representation/
“Trustee Model of Representation.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/trustee-model-of-representation/
Trustee Model of Representation. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/trustee-model-of-representation/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Trustee Model of Representation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/trustee-model-of-representation/
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