[Volume 1, Page 408]

CHAPTER 13 | Document 31


16 Feb. 1788Storing 5.13.3--4

And first the constitution should provide for a fair and equal representation. That is that every member of the union have a freedom of suffrage and that every equal number of people have an equal number of representatives; for if the preceding sentiments are just, no one deprived of suffrage, ought (unless he voluntarily adopt it at least implicitly) to be under the controul or direction of such constitution, or any law made in consequence of it: it is no law to him, he is in respect of it, still in a state of nature: and without equality of numbers it would be unjust; for it is incontestable that if every man has an equal natural right to governing power, he has an equal right to every thing that represents it; and if we suppose for instance one district to contain one hundred inhabitants, and another a thousand: each entitled to send two representatives; if we suppose the former to be only duly represented, then there will be nine hundred in the latter not represented at all; But this is so plain a case that it is only strange that it should ever have been controverted.

But again it should provide against their holding those trusts for long terms. This would call into public service a greater variety of estimable characters; would beget an emulation who should serve their country the most essentially; and make it perhaps as fashionable a virtue to serve the interest of the public, as it has been formerly a vice to serve the private interest of some favorite family or worthless dependent. Besides, this is a security which the people owe to themselves, for the fidelity of their servants; and perhaps the only good security they can have: add to this temporary intervals of ineligibility, that they may in a private capacity feel all the good and evil effects resulting from their administration; and be prevented from acquiring any influence, dangerous to the liberty of the community. Who ever doubts the utility of this provisionary measure let him just recur to the state of the British government under the triennial and septennial parliaments: and he will soon be satisfied.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 13, Document 31
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

© 1987 by The University of Chicago
All rights reserved. Published 2000