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cursory reflection on the empirical evi- dence about voting behaviour casts immediate doubt on the simple identifica- tion of consent with liberal-democratic voting. It is argued by Plamenatz, for example, that even electoral abstainers consent, and Gewirth states that the 8 P.H. Partridge, Consent and Consensus (London, 1971), 23 9 The continuing ideological importance of the legacy of liberal social contract theory is, rather curiously, overlooked by Marxist and neo-Marxist writers. C.B. Macpherson, in The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism (Oxford, 1962

reform of American political institutions. Most analysts of the political process agree that American political institutions are not designed to facilitate the transmission of popular enthusiasms through the organs of party government or the presidency. Indeed, the popular sovereignty interpretation of American constitutionalism is flat- ly contradicted by Madisonian principles such as separation of powers, federalism, and checks and balances, and by modern studies of voting behavior.7 Reform of American political institutions would bring about more of the allegedly