We are not now concerned with perfection or excellence; we seek only for simple fitness and bare competency.
The conditions of fitness are two. First, you must get a good legislature; and next, you must keep it good. And these are by no means so nearly connected as might be thought at first sight. To keep a legislature efficient, it must have a sufficient supply of substantial business. If you employ the best set of men to do nearly nothing, they will quarrel with each other about that nothing. Where great questions end, little parties begin.
(Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1888, p. 261).