/rep'ri zen tay"sheuhn, -zeuhn-/, n.1. the act of representing.2. the state of being represented.3. the expression or designation by some term, character, symbol, or the like.4. action or speech on behalf of a person, group, business house, state, or the like by an agent, deputy, or representative.5. the state or fact of being so represented: to demand representation on a board of directors.6. Govt. the state, fact, or right of being represented by delegates having a voice in legislation or government.7. the body or number of representatives, as of a constituency.8. Diplomacy.a. the act of speaking or negotiating on behalf of a state.b. an utterance on behalf of a state.9. presentation to the mind, as of an idea or image.10. a mental image or idea so presented; concept.11. the act of portrayal, picturing, or other rendering in visible form.12. a picture, figure, statue, etc.13. the production or a performance of a play or the like, as on the stage.14. Often, representations. a description or statement, as of things true or alleged.15. a statement of facts, reasons, etc., made in appealing or protesting; a protest or remonstrance.16. Law. an implication or statement of fact to which legal liability may attach if material: a representation of authority.[1375-1425; late ME representacion < L repraesentation- (s. of repraesentatio), equiv. to repraesentat(us) (ptp. of repraesentare to REPRESENT) + -ion- -ION]
* * *In politics, a method or process of enabling a constituency to influence legislation and government policy through deputies chosen by it.The rationale of representative government is that in large modern countries the people cannot all assemble, as they did in the marketplace of democratic Athens. If the public is to participate in government, citizens must select a small number from among themselves to act for them. Political parties have come to act as intermediaries between citizens and their representatives by helping to formulate systematically citizens' demands. Arguments persist about the proper role of representatives; some theories suggest that they should act as delegates carrying out the instructions of the public, whereas others argue that they should serve as free agents, acting in accordance with their best ability and understanding. See also proportional representation.
* * *in government, method or process of enabling the citizenry, or some of them, to participate in the shaping of legislation and governmental policy through deputies chosen by them.The rationale of representative government is that in large modern countries the people cannot all assemble, as they did in the marketplace of democratic Athens or Rome; and if, therefore, the people are to participate in government, they must select and elect a small number from among themselves to represent and to act for them. In modern polities with large populations, representation in some form is necessary if government is to be based on the consent of the governed. Elected representatives are also less likely to reflect the transitory political passions of the moment than are the people, and thus they provide greater stability and continuity of policy to a government.Through the course of long historical evolution, various methods and devices have been developed in attempts to solve the many problems that have arisen in connection with representation. These problems include the qualifications of electors (see suffrage); the apportionment of constituencies (see constituency); apportionment (electoral); the basis of election (see plurality system; proportional representation); methods of nominating candidates (see primary election); and means of ascertaining the wishes of electors (see referendum and initiative). Because of the need to formulate systematically the demands of citizens, political parties (political party) have come to act as intermediaries between the citizens and their representatives. Political debate along party lines has thus become a characteristic feature of most representative systems of government.How answerable a representative should be to his electors is an issue that has long been debated. The basic alternatives are that the representatives of the people act as delegates carrying out instructions or that they are free agents, acting in accordance with their best ability and understanding.The representative principle is not limited to government: it is applied in electing executive officers of large social organizations such as trade unions and professional associations.
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