Hamilton's focus on representation rather than “participatory democracy” is welcome. He has (usefully) highlighted the representational nature of so-called participatory democracy rather than offered putative alternatives to representation. However, his critique of representation deficits in South Africa shows insufficient appreciation of the importance of proportional representation to equal freedom. An examination of the history of council theory and practice on the left provides a basis for some skeptical thoughts about Hamilton's council-tribune model. Although Hamilton's particular institutional prescription is not required by his theory of representation, flaws in the former may be influenced his theorization of group representation.

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