Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Edmund Burke (172997)
If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so,and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter.
EDMUND BURKE, letter to the sheriffs of Bristol, April 3, 1777.The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke, vol. 2, p. 227 (1899).