By Wayne William Cipriano
I heard a well-known Sunday news show host comment on how parochial our legislators have become. “This is the inescapable result of so much redistricting [which assures that by carefully drawing district borders to include majorities of the voters who support those doing the drawing, those politicians will be re-elected]. The politicians who win in their districts are listening to the constituents and ONLY to their constituents.”
As Homer Simpson would say, “Duh?”
Was this host surprised that elected officials were listening to and presumably doing what the people who elected them were telling them to do?
Of course, this is a reflection of the eternal debate which occurs so often within every real democratic republic. Do elected officials do what their constituents want them to do based on victory at the polls or do elected officials do what they feel is correct based on the trust their constituents have placed in them by their votes?
It’s best when a specific issue is on a ballot and voters decide the outcome. Next best is when the “druthers of constituents and voting officials coincide. But, if neither is the case, what are elected officials to do?
Is this where the difference between statesman of character and crass politicians appears? Sure, if the vote goes your way. Not so much if it doesn’t.
Do you stay in office by doing what you are told or do you stay in office by doing what’s right? Is it just about staying in office?
What do you think?