according to the jean-Jacques Rousseau The Social Contract
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The political leader must represent the desires of the populace with no personal conflict of interest (good luck with that). The goal of the politician and whatever legislation he brings forth is to protect liberty and equality and to promote the common good. However, the people may not always know how to pursue the common good and may need the help of a legislator to guide them in lawmaking. The legislator prevents private interests from influencing legislation and aids the populace in weighing short-term benefits against long-term costs.