Showing posts from September, 2008

Consent of the Governed

What does it mean to vote in a political election to you? Does it mean you are making your voice heard? Does it mean you are securing your right to complain about the outcome? Or does it mean that you are giving your consent to be governed? To me, it's that last one. The American Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, contains these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..." What this means is that the powers that government derives are only just if derived from the consent of the governed. Further, consent is given to the government by the process of voting for our representatives. Therefore, it follows, that voting for someone is giving them our consent to gove