View Poll Results: Who are our representatives responsible to?

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Thread: Who are our representatives responsible to?

  1. #21
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Senators and Representatives.

    Should they answer to their constituents? Should they bend to the will of the population in general? Should they do what they feel is "right"?

    There are other examples in history, but let's go with the current political climate. Those on the left decry the "Tea Party's" efforts to thwart virtually everything the President and the Dems want to do. I don't think that's really disputable, but... so? If that is what their constituents want, then isn't it their job to do so?

    And at what point does representing one's own constituents become just counter-productive?
    ... in an ideal universe, they would be responsible to their constituents, but for that to work or be sustainable the constituents themselves have to adhere to certain standards of moral behavior.

    (1) not be easily manipulated
    (2) be conscious of history, the dangers of the moment, and the possibilites of the future
    (3) be able to understand, focus on, and communicate their interests
    (4) balance out their interests with the needs of their fellow countrymen and the human race as a whole, aka, believe in something higher than their own opinions or material well being

    And so on.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 10-01-13 at 11:34 PM.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Who should they be responsible to? The people who put them in office. Who are they actually responsible to? Special interests.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    I had to vote "other" because you forgot the option for Satan.

  4. #24
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Quote Originally Posted by d0gbreath View Post
    I had to vote "other" because you forgot the option for Satan.
    I thought that was implied in "party".
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  5. #25
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Allow me to answer the question from practical experience. My job is chief of staff for a state representative in Michigan. We have been here for two terms and will be term limited after three.

    It is the view of the Rep that he works for the constitutients who elected him to the job and is their servant. We have an open door policy in Lansing and any person can come in to make their thoughts known on any issue. He does give extra credence to the views of actual constituents - more if they show up on the past voters rolls. We keep a record of calls or letters on a particular issue and that carries weight - but does not always decide his vote if other relevant information outweighs those opinions.

    It has been our experience that people want a rep who works hard for the best interests of the district. If you do not vote the way they desired, most will accept a reasonable explaination as to why.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Allow me to answer the question from practical experience. My job is chief of staff for a state representative in Michigan. We have been here for two terms and will be term limited after three.

    It is the view of the Rep that he works for the constitutients who elected him to the job and is their servant. We have an open door policy in Lansing and any person can come in to make their thoughts known on any issue. He does give extra credence to the views of actual constituents - more if they show up on the past voters rolls. We keep a record of calls or letters on a particular issue and that carries weight - but does not always decide his vote if other relevant information outweighs those opinions.

    It has been our experience that people want a rep who works hard for the best interests of the district. If you do not vote the way they desired, most will accept a reasonable explaination as to why.
    For the most part this is how I believe it should be. The only exception I would make is that I think the US Senate should think and act more from the country's needs standpoint, and is why I think the Senate was originally picked by the states and not the people, while the House of Representatives takes the people's (read: constituents) interests at heart.

    Couple questions:

    1) Has your representative ever felt they had to go a route different from the people's wishes? I mean, just because the people want something doesn't always mean that that is wise, or even truly in the people's best interests.

    2) You mention extra credence given for specific forms of contact. How would you rate the following? In-person, individual written letter, phone call, e-mail, obvious organized mass mailing. I have been told by some that all forms of contact are said to be equal, but that's not really the case. The ones where more effort is taken are generally given more weight, as it is presumed the issue meant more to the person who took the time to make the effort.

    3) Do you have a small collection of known "gadflys" that routinely complain about anything and everything all the time?
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  7. #27
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    They are responsible for doing what is right.

    We the people aren't accountable to the government. The government is accountable to us.

    There are sometimes people are deceived by the media in to wanting to give up their own freedom. That is foolish and the elected officials shouldn't follow that, but should educate people as to why their freedom matters, and defend it.

  8. #28
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    I put other. When making decisions, Congressmen should consider many factors: what their constituents want, what the general public wants, and what they think is right. One thing that shouldn't come up, but which does, is party. Although we're better about that than most countries.

  9. #29
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    I think, ultimately, they are responsible to their constituents. Of course, there will be some instances where they will have to use their better judgement without the opinion of their constituency. For instance, if a politician runs on a platform of let's say, anti-gun, pro-life, pro-environment, he should vote very strictly according to his platform regardless of what his party does at that time. However, if a war comes up or a funding bill for natural disaster relief, he should go with what he thinks is right. If every Congressman reached back and polled his district on every issue that arose, nothing would get done.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Who are our representatives responsible to?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post

    Couple questions:

    1) Has your representative ever felt they had to go a route different from the people's wishes? I mean, just because the people want something doesn't always mean that that is wise, or even truly in the people's best interests.

    2) You mention extra credence given for specific forms of contact. How would you rate the following? In-person, individual written letter, phone call, e-mail, obvious organized mass mailing. I have been told by some that all forms of contact are said to be equal, but that's not really the case. The ones where more effort is taken are generally given more weight, as it is presumed the issue meant more to the person who took the time to make the effort.

    3) Do you have a small collection of known "gadflys" that routinely complain about anything and everything all the time?
    1 - we are in the middle of something approaching that right now. I cannot say more right now but will post on this in the future.

    2 - All forms of contact are important and I could not rate them in terms of a priority. I would say that as long as a contact appears to be genuine - the true feelings or opinion of a constituent - it is held as important regardless if it is in person or in writing or in the form of a phone call. Organized mass mailings carry lesser weight if it is all duplicate cards or from letters.

    3- We do have a few very persistent people with lots of special needs but every office does and you just go with it and try to do your best but limit the time you put in to them at the same time so as to now cheat others..

    I hope that helps and will answer #1 more in detail over the coming weeks when I can say more.
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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