It is therefore high time for all parties to consider what is best for the whole; and to establish such rules of commutative justice and indulgence, as may prevent oppression from any party. And this can only be done by restraining the hands of power, and fixing it within certain bounds as to its limits and expense.

—Thomas Gordon. Cato’s Letters No. 96, Of Parties in England; how they vary, and interchange Characters, as they are in Power, or out of it, yet still keep their former Names, Saturday, September 29, 1722.

A well-written constitution is an act of both morality and wisdom: morality because it is designed to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and wisdom because it is a recognition that any present ascendency by a particular faction is transient and will tomorrow be just as likely to be reversed.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove