The Australian Labor party has about 50,000 members, most of whom are active only during election periods. The Liberal Party has some 80,000 members. Presumably the National Party and the Greens have smaller memberships. Well, these are fairly large numbers and should represent the cross section of Australians. But recent election comments by media commentators and politicians has suggested that the parliament is representative of the people. I wonder if this is true? What does it mean to be representative of the people? Should governments be representatives of a larger concept than the electorate eg the geographical dimensions of the nation? Should they be representatives of minorities?