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Representation in the Democratic Political System

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Representation in the Democratic Political System

For decades, the idea of democracy in America has been observed and transformed from ever-lasting autonomy to constant misconceptions. The United State’ established democratic republic reveals the story behind the creation of the government’s values and the potential state it could be in in the future. It is important to understand the contrasting representation of both political systems and how they have shaped the different types of democracy in today’s world.                                                                                  Direct democracy is a form of government that gives power to the people to decide on policies and legislation without interference from the elected; it is the people representing the people. This contrasts with a more common form of democracy known as representative democracy in which an elected official will represent a group, or constituents, and their interests. In a direct democracy, or pure democracy, there is an increase in political involvement as people now rely on each other to take action and let their voices be heard as one. Thus, the votes matter more and possess greater importance among the people. Lawmakers don’t hold as much power with the shift in authority, resulting in corruption within the government to be reduced. The highlights of direct democracy create a seemingly unified and balanced nation.                                                                                         However, not everyone has the qualified skills and education to make appropriate decisions, especially on those crucial to the prosperity of the nation. The majority in direct democracy prevails every time in the decision-making process, while the minority has little to no say at all in it. The majority’s unfair dominance can damage the public good when issues requiring specific expertise are involved. This disadvantage to pure democracy was one of the many reasons the founding fathers of the United States implemented a republican form of government; past experiences with government downfalls and mistreatment prompted the founders to avoid the idea of always having one group above the other. This representational system is a similarity between both democratic and republic political systems.                                 In the republican form, the people only have the power to elect representatives and let those representatives vote on laws on behalf of his or her constituents. The founders of the Constitution believed directing less power towards the people was the best way to maintain peace while still ensuring democratic values. There was a fear of potential tyranny and mob rule coming from the majority. The republican form intended to counteract the influence of factions and reinforce federal beliefs into society, as well as a balance of autonomy.                         Congressional representation is very significant to the overall process of voting on policies and laws. The trustee model of representation is often contrasted with the delegate model of representation. Both demonstrate the different roles of representatives and the effects of personal preferences on decision making. A trustee is known to make choices based off personal beliefs and concerns or based off the well-being of the public without bias towards his or her constituents. The desires of the majority on policies will often be ignored by trustees, which means voters are putting all their trust into these elected representatives to make the right calls. The delegate model differs by modeling more of a representative democracy.  Constituents elect their representatives as delegates for their constituency. These delegates have little freedom from their group of voters to act out of their own beliefs like the trustees tend to do.                                                                                                        A member of Congress may typically act in an attitudinal view (trustee) rather than a representational view (delegate) for a variety of reasons. Firstly, if corruption or financial gain is involved, it would push a representative to choose the choice that will benefit him/her the most; where the representative is from may change their personal beliefs and cause him/her to react passionately or indifferent to regional concerns; if there happens to be a divide among a group of voters, Congressman may make their own decision to avoid further conflicts. As mentioned before, there must be a reliance on expertise, otherwise the progress of the people could backfire or slow down. The prominence of the issues at hand can also affect how a representative chooses to respond with what they consider is the “right thing” to do.                        Democracy is the embodiment of values and attitudes that take different forms in all types of government. Looking at the bigger picture of democracy in relations to where it all started will allow critical thinking of the United States government to grow and better itself. Representation goes a long way in how we, the people, want to express our feelings and views. Without the option to chose how we want to be represented, it would take away the purpose of letting our voices be heard.                                                                                                                         



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