Thursday, November 13, 2003

Re: The Will of the People

If everyone has the same information, why should the representatives substitute their own interpretations, biases, and follies for those of their constituents? Unless one is to argue that the ability to get elected to Congress magically bestows upon the representatives an intelligence and foresight which their constituents lack, the representative should simply follow the will of the people in a world with perfect information.

It could also be supposed that the constituents selected their representative at least in part because of her intelligence, judgment, background, and experiences, with the expectation that the representative would employ all of these tools in furtherance of serving her constituents. Further, it might be interpreted that the consistently greater interest that the public shows in the character and background of candidates rather than their policies is an indication that the public expects these things to be relevant to the duties of public service at least as much as implementing policies consistent with the constituency is.

And in any case (rehashing the old discussion), no representative has perfect knowledge of what the constituency would choose if they had perfect information, and in making that determination all of the representative's interpretations, biases, and follies enter through the back door anyway. People have the right of it now, taking it as part and parcel of the candidate and dealing with it up front through the electoral process.

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