John StuartMill ‘s work, Representative Government,is considered an outstanding topic in the world of politics and philosophy. Hetakes a radical position in arguing for improvement in public participation ingovernment, such as the giving of rights to women and the poor (Mill, 1861).This position suggest that Mill’s believe the majority of individuals in thepopulation ought to take a key role in government affairs. Also, Millsidentifies a representative government as the best option compared to otherpolitical systems.
Accordingly, this essay is to examine the benefits andlimitations of representative government as examined by Mill. Mill suggests that there are threeconditions that ought to be fulfilled in identifying which form of governmentbest suits a certain country. First of all, it is about the individuals who aregoverned by the type of government in question ought not to be opposed to it.Moreover, citizens should be ready and willing to support the government and tofacilitate in the realisation of its objectives (Mill, 2010). On the basis ofthese three set of conditions, Mill argues that forms of government and theassociated institutions is an issue of choice. Mill identifies the best formand structure of government should be able to meet the founding objectives for howit was formed.
Mills further identifies various purposes of government,including to enable the advancement of intellect among its people, facilitatingthe mental wellbeing of members of the public and to promote efficiency in therealisation of such purposes (Held, 2004). This forms the basis for Mill’s ideaof a representative government. In developing his view of arepresentative government, Mill takes into account the assessment of the valueof “government machinery”.
Mill’s description of government machinery is inreference to the formal structures of government, along with their operations,including bureaucratic departments, Parliament, and such citizen obligations asvoting. Mill identifies such government structures and their associatedoperations as playing a contributory role in the realisation of utility to a moreor less extent in diverse political settings (Thompson, 2015). In this case,Mill identifies a government is responsible for the realisation of variousissues of public interest, including taxation, policy protection, and nationaldefence, among others. Once these functions of the government have been identified,he then examine the efficiency of the government in fulfilling its roles.
Specifically, Mill argues that representative government is more efficient inmeeting various government functions to the same level as if not better than,other forms of political system.