Delegate model with the truste model of representation.

Essay by OpheliaDrowndCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2003

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Comparing the "delegate" model with the "trustee" model of representation poses pertinent questions concerning the heart and will of democracy. With a large population, the need for elected representatives of the public is obvious, yet their very presence is controversial. Relying on a few select persons to make decisions which will affect literally thousands of people seems a bit precarious; it's tough to imagine the amount of responsibility these few people hold. As citizens of the democratic United States, we expect our opinions to be heard, and furthermore, for some form of action to be taken. Yet what happens when our officials decide that the whole of the public who elected them really don't know what's going on? What happens if these representatives decide to take matters into their own hands?

I submit that in a case of the "trustee" model, whereupon elected officials act according to their own whims and impulses, the very basics of a democracy are corrupted.

Electing someone to a representative office is a crucial part of a large population because it would be physically impossible for every member of that population to decide on every question of government. This election implies the belief that since we, as individuals, cannot directly make decisions, our representatives will listen to us and act as messengers, delegates if you will, to put in our vote. If that elected official were to decide that his representative public was wrong, and consequently vote according to his personal opinions, he has not fulfilled his duty as a REPRESENTATIVE. The very meaning of the word "representative" denotes that his vote should symbolize the wills of the public. That said, there are also some problems with a "delegate" model for representation as well, namely, minority rights.

As we have read in the text,