Looking at the millenary development of representative government, the problems concerning election that characterise those settings where representation as it typically functions is under question seem to have surfaced already some time in history. Five issues – by no means unprecedented, the distance of their first insurgence from now notwithstanding – were disputed at some point of this long evolution. They are: the principle of rotation in office; the superiority of representatives over voters; the ambiguity of election as a mixed institution; the elusive notion of discussion within a representative assembly; and the hiatus between the government of the people and the wishes of the electorate. The imperative mandate does not seem able to tackle – even less relieve – any of these critical junctions of representative government. Why proposing to restore it then?