The problem of representation is central to all discussions of the functions of legislatures or the behavior of legislators. For it is commonly taken for granted that, in democratic political systems, legislatures are both legitimate and authoritative decision-making institutions, and that it is their representative character which makes them authoritative and legitimate. Through the process of representation, presumably, legislatures are empowered to act for the whole body politic and are legitimized. And because, by virtue of representation, they participate in legislation, the represented accept legislative decisions as authoritative. But agreement about the meaning of the term “representation” hardly goes beyond a general consensus regarding the context within which it is appropriately used. The history of political theory is studded with definitions of representation, usually embedded in ideological assumptions and postulates which cannot serve the uses of empirical research without conceptual clarification.