Responses to the discussion
The thought that each House representative represents approximately 700,000 people is daunting. Even in the Senate, each member elected must be in tune with their constituents first and foremost even though the views of those they represent are vast. A member of Congress can be a delegate for the people or a trustee for the people. A trustee acts with more freedom and chooses bases on what he or she personally thinks is best instead of acting as a delegate with the strict positions of their constituents in mind. Two other forms of representation Congress can take on are sociological representation and agency representation. Sociological representation is “the sort of representation that takes place when representatives have the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious , or educational backgrounds” (Ginsberg, et. al., 2017, p. 461). Agency representation is “the sort of representation that takes place when constituents have the power to hire and fire their representatives” (Ginsberg, et. al., 2017, p. 461). A member of Congress as an agent is the only form of representative I can definitively say is best. If the member is acting as an agent he has in the constituent always in mind and communicates with them and presents his case or at the very least does his best to respond to the thought. The other forms of representation have pros and cons and there is no line that says any one thing from them is best.
Gridlock is a word if said today brings on strong feelings of anger and frustration in most due to the recent prolonged gridlock that seemed to cost many people more money than they could afford. As we talked about in this class recently Democrats and Republicans often believe and stand for starkly different agendas. The parties are to represent the people that elected them even to the extent of a government shutdown at times. When the recent gridlock was occurring I definitely was not thinking along the lines of this is happening because parties and elected officials are holding true to the beliefs of the ones who put them there. “For one thing, representatives are probably fearful of voting against their district interests; for another, the districts are unlikely to have elected representatives who would want to vote against them” (Ginsberg, et. al., 2017, p. 461). The representatives, in a way, are doing exactly what they were elected to do. Gridlock can be a good thing. When a proper process of negotiation and give and take occurs I believe gridlock is a proponent of the people’s interests, but without the proper stages of negotiation gridlock becomes unhealthy and dangerous for our country
Congressional members are in charge of representing the entire population of a state and the nation. The duties carried out by a Member of Congress are understood to include representation, legislation, and constituent service and education, as well as political and electoral activities (Roles and Duties 2010). As the text states, “they do work very hard to speak for their constituents’ views and to serve their constituents’ interests (We The People 2017). Members do this by tending to the constituents’ and all American citizens sociological representation. They do so by creating committees with members to represent each level of citizen. These committees are used to help solve policy issues with the most national representation possible (How Congress Works 2017). Also, members of Congress work together to pass laws that all American’s can obey and agree with. Members of Congress also hold hearings that the public can take part in. The best way for members is the Committee and voting system in order to supply an equal opportunity to all citizens input. Representation of people does play a large role in creating Congressional gridlock. When this occurs, Congress is unable to decide and come to an agreement on passing certain laws and regulations, this can happen when there is not enough representation or there is too much representation of one single opinion. Gridlock is bad for Congress because it can cause difficulty with passing important laws and making significant gains in our government. As a society, we need to avoid gridlock in order to advance and become a more cohesive government.