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Political representation and the right of recall: A proposal

Ernesto Screpanti

Department of Economics University of Siena from Department of Economics, University of Siena

Abstract: In a representative democracy, members of parliament should be accountable to the voters who elected them. For this to be actually the case, the latter require an instrument of deterrence, a mechanism of control over opportunistic representatives, for example the right to recall them at any moment. However, two obstacles, one ideological and one practical, hinder legal recognition of this right. The first is due to the doctrine by which members of parliament legislate in the public interest, and therefore should not be constrained by a mandate binding them to their particular voters. The second consists in the fact that voting secrecy hinders the identification of which voters elected any one member of parliament. In this article, leveraging the potential offered by modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), I propose a model for an electoral system that dissolves the first problem and resolves the second. According to my model, electoral platforms constitute the formal instructions by which members of parliament are held accountable, and an electronic vote makes it possible to associate each member of parliament with his or her voters while still guaranteeing voting secrecy. Voters are then able to participate in a process of deliberation about the decisions made by their representative and may revoke their mandate if the representative fails to comply with it.

Keywords: Election law; civil law; e-democracy; right of recall (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K15 K16 K38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-ict, nep-law and nep-pol
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