The idea that high government officials must be accountable to the people should be uncontroversial. Democratic accountability is a cardinal principle in a constitutional republic. Requiring government actors to be answerable to the people protects the public from arbitrary and tyrannical governance. In practice, this means significant government decisions, especially those that regulate private conduct, must be made only by elected officials or those who are accountable to the people in other clear and direct ways. Such accountability is an essential means by which the government retains the consent of the governed.
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