Friday, June 08, 2007

Conscience vs Will of the People, (part 1)

While sitting at the table one evening doing my homework a question in my government studies brought up a question that kind of stumped me. It was a question in regards to the idea of what the phrase representative of the people means. Does it mean that once elected he should vote according to his conscience or vote expressing the will of his constituents? Pondering on this question for a while I finally decided to ask grandpa about it. This was his answer.

"Boy, that is a good question. Theoretically it should be both. An elected official when voting his conscience should be expressing the will of his constituents also. But reality declares that to be impossibility. It is the impossibility of this theoretical concept that makes the question valid in the first place. We must also assume from the question that a vote of conscience will contradict a vote of the will of the people and visa versa.

A man can go into a voting booth thinking that the person he is voting for is someone who will vote in accordance to either concept and never know if he will or not. He can only know if that representative voted as he perceives he would have voted on any given bill to address an issue. And that perception of how he would have voted is a perception of conscience.

The answer to the question is more of an ideological answer than a political answer. That representative will need to defend that vote to his constituents regardless of which concept he believes in to vote if he wishes to be reelected. And a person can defend a decision of conscience better than he can a decision based on his perception of the will of his constituents. The reason being is that a conscience vote necessitates the knowing of the reasons before he votes. An elected representative who votes in accordance to the will of the people does not need to know the reasons. He only needs to know how the people wish him to vote at any given time on any issue.

So, based upon the above argument your grandfather has come to the conclusion in favor of the side of conscience. That man or woman must accept responsibility for his vote. I will not hold any one responsible for being in obedience to me if I was to change my mind at a later time. This would be unjust. This is but one reason for a vote of conscience."

Upon finishing talking grandpa got up and headed outside to the outhouse leaving me to ponder the other reasons he had.


repsac3 said...

Thank you, sir.

As is wise, I will hold all questions/comments (should I have any) till the end, but I wanted to acknowledge the effort right here & now...

The Griper said...


welcome back. :) hope you are enjoying the blog. and i'll try to do your silence justice by presenting a well reasoned arguement. i won't guarantee an answer to every question tho.

dcat said...



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