A question about members of Congress and other legislatures

All members of Congress are at one time or another confronted with the question: Should they vote according to their conscience or to the will of their constituents back home? In many cases, the answer is not easy. As political scholars have noted, voter input is often lacking on routine, complex, or “non-salient” issues. On other issues, voters may register opinions that are ill-informed or contradictory. In each of these cases, what is a lawmaker to do? Should a lawmaker pledge only to vote according to what he or she thinks is best? Or, should members of Congress consistently seek out voter input on all matters, even if voters do not seemingly care about the issue? If you were elected to Congress, to which model of representation would you subscribe: delegate or trustee? Why? Would you try to combine the two into a hybrid model so that you acted as a delegate on some issues and as a trustee on others? If so, how would you explain that to your constituency back home?

 
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