Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To Vote The Views Of Your Constituents - Or Not

"You have asked me to express my views with respect to the importance and effectiveness of writing to your member of Congress.  I consider it very important.  It is also effective in that it is one of the many ways a member stays in touch with his constituents and is informed of their views on the issues.

Inherit in your question is also the classic question:  should a member of Congress vote his true beliefs or merely reflect the views of his constituents?  As with most things, the answer is neither simply one of the other.  It is both/and.

On most things a member usually reflects both or they would not have been elected in the first place.  And if a member doesn't mostly reflect both, he or she will not be long in office.  But if a member feels strongly about an issue, they may vote their real views and simply 'take the heat' from their constituents.  This cannot happen too often, however, and remain in office.  In the end, the people do have the final say." -Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2nd District, Illinois

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