本文從密爾寫作的企圖與策略理解其民主理論代表作《論代議政府》。密爾試圖以文字論述說服社會接受他的政治理念，因此在論述策略上，為了讓社會大眾對其理論能夠同情理解，並接受其理論，密爾採用了迥異當今學術規格的論述方式。他首先推崇民主政治的優越，討好群眾的認同，再逐步對人民質素低落的問題進行批判，以迂迴的論述引導群眾接受他菁英色彩濃厚的主張。學者由於未能掌握密爾寫作的企圖與策略，對其民主理論多所誤解，或者以為密爾一味推崇民主政治的理想，或者以為他是反民主的菁英論者，或者是認為他的論證中存在著民主政治與菁英統治的矛盾。事實上，民主政治對密爾而言，已不是理想，而是必須檢視的政治現實；他承認民主政治有其優越之處，也尊重主權在民的事實，因此他不是反民主論者；密爾嘗試解決民主社會與菁英統治的緊張關係。《論代議政府》一書其實是他說服英國民主社會接受菁英統治的大膽論述。 This essay interprets John S. Mill's most important writing of democratic theory, Considerations on Representative Government, with a view of his intention and strategy in writing. I argue that with the intention of acquire empathic understanding and acceptance from the British mass Mill adapts a peculiar kind of rhetoric strategy. Praising first the ideal of democracy to greet the mass, then revealing step by step their insufficiency in both intelligence and character, Mill tried to lead them to accept his elitist mode of democracy. Scholars who missed Mill's intention and strategy of argument in this writing regarded him either as an enthusiastic partisan for democracy, an anti-democratic elitist, or a theorist who offered no solution to the contradiction between democracy and elitism. However, Mill is not an enthusiastic partisan for democracy, for democracy, in his view, was no more an ideal, but an essential political reality that should be examined. Nor is he an anti-democrat, for he respects the fact of popular sovereignty. Finally, Mill did offer his solution to the contradiction between democracy and elitism. In fact, Considerations on Representative Government as a whole should be considered as his daring enterprise persuading democratic British to accept elitist government.