What is the "obligation" of a US Representative?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by manifold, May 11, 2009.

  1. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    In your opinion, is the obligation of a US Representative to merely "represent" his constituency and cast votes based on the majority wishes of his constituency, or is it to vote his conscience, even if it conflicts with said majority wishes? Is it any different for a US Senator? :eusa_think:
     
  2. auditor0007
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    auditor0007 Gold Member

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    Any good representative has a core set of beliefs that he/she is elected on. In other words, people choose representatives who think like them. So normally, the way a representative votes is based on the wishes of his constituency. However, there are times when the greater good comes into play, and when a representative may need to go against the wishes of that constituency if it is in the greater good of all. Of course, that representatives constituency then will determine if they want to retain that representatvie.

    In the end, I personally believe the greatest representatives in goverenment, and those who become the greatest leaders, are those who vote their conscience and can justly explain the way they vote to their electors.
     
  3. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Core beliefs
    Upholding and abiding to the rules set forth in the Constitution
    Representing the interests of the community, and explaining his/her positions and votes on issues to those he/she represents in the community...
     
  4. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    IMO, it is the representatives obligation to represent his/her constituency regardless personal agenda.

    Representatives represent the people at the distric level, senators the state. Ideally, both represent the people. Again IMO, there are there to represent us, not their own beliefs.
     
  5. Tech_Esq
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    Tech_Esq Sic Semper Tyrannis!

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    The representative should be elected on his views by the people of his district. They should evaluate his ability to represent them and their district's needs in Washington. It is not necessary that he poll every question or represent whatever he thinks is the majority view in his district. If that was the case, we could just poll every congressional vote directly by district and there would be no need for a representative.

    They were sent there to use their brains and vote in a manner that represents the needs of their district not to slavishly vote the majority position. In reality, a representative is going to vote party line 85% plus because of the whip system and rules of the House of Representatives. There are very few votes that the whips will relent on.

    The senate is (or more correctly, should be) different. The senator represents their state as a political entity, not the people of the state. Sometimes that is a fine line. Sometimes the differences are fairly wide. The distinction has been blurred they the Progressive era "reform" that provided for the direct election of senators rather then by selection by the state legislatures as provided in the Constitution. A process of "filtration" as Madison described it in the Federalist.

    Under that system of selection, it makes it more clear who or what the Senator should represent.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  6. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    The obligation is to support the constitution. Therefore, it is probably impossible for them to always vote the way their constituents wish them to vote.
     
  7. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    they vote for what their constituency tells them too,, it's why kennedy kerry murtha dodd and some of the other more repugnant ones have been their stinking up the place their whole lives.
     
  8. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    IMO what they should do is what they think is 1) best for the United States and then 2) what is best for their constituency.
     
  9. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    And that is why their constituency continues to re-elect them?
     
  10. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    Then why bother with them at all? Why not just put every bill to a popular vote? We certainly have the technology.
     
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