Should your political representative be a theoretical purist or represent all of their constituency?
Think about it. When you vote for your local and national representatives, do you expect them to continue spouting political rhetoric and standing their ground on ideas and ideals, or do you want them to roll their sleeves up and get things done. Things that help not only you but all of the people that they represent?
Actually, in many counties across this nation, the choice is the reverse. California instituted a ranking system in 2010 that simply took the top two winners of the primaries regardless of their party affiliation and put them, and only them, on the November ballot. The result was that in many counties, only democrats ran against each other or republicans ran against each other depending on the county. That left many residents of the opposing party hopping mad and without representation. So, that your question would become should a politician be a purist and vote their conscience or simply vote as the majority of their local population wishes and remain in office?
Sorry, sacman, your examples are limited and not do not stand up as reasoning for changing my question. So, I ask you again, be a zealot or be a person who negotiates for the best they can get, for everyone on every issue.
The obvious answer to your question is they must represent their constituency as that is their job. However, my response took your question one level deeper and asked what if the people have no choice of party. Then what should that decision be?
Sorry, all those options are too strong. The best choice is to go back to the original voting method of the highest poller from each party runs in the general election. That will salve the headache.
Voting is now being 0verwhelmingly swayed (controlled?) by giant corporations and their advertisements that both parties now admit a large percentage of are based on lies. We live in a new paradigm!
The voters are the ultimate power but their power is scattered by lack of organization or by the tactics of political parties. People and voters must organize themselves to control candidates for elective positions and their actions once in office.
Representation is based on population and area not on party, religion, cult, or ethnic group. However, in the Philippines we have what is called party-list that represent a minority that is neglected, for example a sector constituted by tricycle drivers. The role of the party is to hammer out rhetoric or ideas and get its candidates elected. But a Republican candidate who wins will represent both Republicans and Democrats, and others without party affiliations, in his state.
When I vote for someone, it's because I want them to do a certain job, and I want them to do it in a way I think is correct. He doesn't have to represent the kind of person I am. He doesn't have to "understand where I'm coming from." He doesn't have to get my demographic. He has to do the job I hired him for.
I feel too much store is placed on "representing the public" I need only two things: to feel that my vote counts, and to be able to vote for whoever I want to.
In answer to your question; I'm not going to ever vote for someone who spouts rhetoric and party talking points. Those people are dishonest and have no interest in solving anyone's problem except their own problem of not enough power/money. If I vote for someone, it will be someone who will do the job they are supposed to do, even if doing it right ruins his career.
Needless to say, I haven't felt like voting counts for much in a long time.
I have told both friends and acquaintances, for the past twenty years or more that: "I don't vote FOR anyone anymore, I end up voting AGAINST the worst of the choices.
Voting against the worst choices is worse than not voting. By giving someone... anyone a "yes" vote, you are not saying "no" to anyone. You are saying: "I approve of this and I want this person to have the job"
swordsbane- I disagree vehemently. The "Ostrich approach" of sticking your head in the sand is NOT the way to run a government. That is what has taken so many government down throughout history!
Deciding not to participate in a process that can only make things worse is NOT ignoring the problem... or do you think we're better off than we were before the Great depression?
I'd like to see less rhetoric (like Obama, Romney and even Bush), and more action based upon our founding principles -- the Constitution (like Dr. Paul and Gov. Gary Johnson).
Big government breeds bigger government.
Lobbyists in Washington are like foxes in the hen house. Now that all the chickens (congressmen) have been eaten, all we have left are corporate foxes. Even the Supreme Court has sided with the Corporate Party.
Government giving something to the people is part of the problem.
Government needs to get out of the way of people and merely protect and secure the playing field so people can do what they are meant to do -- thrive!
Government intervention is part of nearly every problem in America.
Good point lone77star. The corporations are essentially running and driving our election process, to their own ends.
I watched the past election where each party admitted that a large percentage of their ads were based on lies. Now the norm!
Interesting! Living in the Philippines, I don't catch some of that stuff.
Equally interesting to note that both sides of the Corporate Party (D&R) effectively eliminated voting at both pres conventions, and caught on video
At first, congressmen were representatives of their districts, senators delegates of their States. A representative is there to follow the views of his constituents, a delegate to exercise his own best judgment. Since the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913 at the height of the populist era, all members of congress have been transformed into representatives, and so the first duty of both now is to advance the interests of their people, not to follow the dictates of their own consciences or political loyalties.
That is not to say that all do their duty. Professional pols often do not.
I absolutely want to see someone act as a pragmatist in office. I want them to get done what needs to be done as long as it is something that is valuable for their constituency. However, when I say this I don't mean stepping on tough moral positions such as perhaps support of abortion, or taking a position on marriage either way. I mean instead making sure that roads are built, that national guard troops are provided for, that their is security and that the infrastructure of their district is up to snuff. For instance if I were in New Orleans I would expect that my representative was fighting to make sure that the levies were going to hold up against storms and flooding, or that proper procedures were in place to evacuate an area.
Were that it was so, Mr.Mcguire! Were that it was so.
A politician working for their constituents and making deals with their cohorts to get real work done! Sigh!
I wonder how recall election works in your place. I read that Dakota has the highest number of recall elections in the U.S. In the Philippines recall election had been applied twice. One was successful in replacing the incumbent.
It's hard to answer that question. The original system has been somewhat turned on its head ever since presidents and senators started being popularly elected. Each citizen's only real representation was supposed to be his/her one US Representative in the Lower House of Congress. The US Senators represented not the people of each state, but the governments and ruling powers of each state. Presidents represented a more national-version of this. So ours was conceived as a nation where the Senate was meant to get things done for the benefit of the bigger picture of national objectives, while the House was a place where people wrangled over what they wanted for themselves and their constituents. The president was supposed to be more or less a figurehead who followed the will of the Congress, but occasionally made suggestions or requests. Our national government was never really supposed to do much beyond run the mail, manage its own finances, create currency, and raise taxes, make trade agreements with foreign governments, manage national territories, fight wars, and interpret and uphold Constitutional Law. The states were supposed to do everything else for themselves.
After 220 years, things are a little different. Now Senators, Representatives, and Presidents are all doing each other's jobs and they are all trying to make everyone and everything they represent (and their parties) happy. They want to stay in power, which means they can't piss off their constituents. I think they should roll up their sleeves and get something done, but we have to understand that in today's political landscape, this is political suicide for an office-holder or a political party.
You are so right, Old Empressario. Once they are set up in their grand offices in DC, and meet their enormous staff, and begin to exercise their inflated and budgets, they become hooked on their new world, and not on their real and original jobs.
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