ADVANTAGES

Locke (1690, chap. XI) gives an account of the internal limits ofdemocracy in his idea that there are certain things to which a citizenmay not consent. She may not consent to arbitrary rule or theviolation of fundamental rights including democratic and liberalrights. To the extent that consent is the basis of democraticauthority for Locke, this suggests that there are limits to what ademocratic assembly may do that derive from the very principles thatground the authority. And these limits simply undermine the right ofthe assembly to rule in these cases since they are not things to whichcitizens can consent. This account provides an explanation of the ideabehind the first internal limit, that democracy may not be suspendedby democratic means but it goes beyond that limit to suggest thatrights that are not essentially connected with the exercise of thefranchise may also not be violated because one may not consent totheir violation.

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