Majority Rule, Legitimacy and Political Equality
AbstractThis paper claims that the intuitive and widespread legitimating power of majority rule (MR)arises from the link between majority rule and the principle of equality of political opportunity. The egalitarian character of MR is established by exploring puzzles indemocratic theory, such as the insensitivity of democratic voting procedures to unequal intensity of citizens’ preferences, the inalienability of voting rights, and the relationshipbetween the principle of unanimity (sometimes thought better to respect citizens’ equality) and MR. Special attention is directed to the relationship between political equality, andequality in the outcomes of political decisions: the claim is made that the language of equal political opportunity captures well the idea of equal political influence, in the circumstance ofdisagreement about what is required to achieve equal treatment through the outcomes of political decisions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law in its series EUI-LAW Working Papers with number 21.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2005
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Web page: http://www.eui.eu/LAW/
democracy; political representation;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2006-04-25 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-LAW-2006-04-26 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-POL-2006-05-17 (Positive Political Economics)
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