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Unformatted text preview: ESSAY OUTLINES 1) Representation Define agency representation and descriptive representation Agency Representation When you have someone who is not like the people he/she represents. They are held accountable to make sure they carry out the interests of the people. They are formally bound to the people they represent, giving them incentive to speak for us and allow the views of those represented override the views of the representative Requires constant communication Descriptive Representation Gut-feeling. When the represented vote for a representative like them. They both are in similar situations and have similar interests. Based off of the assumption that, in the long run, you will be better off with a representative like you. Congress should look like society. Which term better describes the U.S. Congress and why? U.S. Congress is definitely not descriptively representative. Age-wise, Congress is a lot older; about half of everyone in Congress was a lawyer before becoming a representative. Lawyers make up 3% of the population. 90% of Congress has a college degree. All make more than $50,000 a year, distancing them from the middle and lower classes. Power and Representation. Religion-wise Congress is the most representative of the people than it has ever been, historically. Agency representation would fit better because Congress is older, richer, and smarter, which leaves to differentiating interests and values, making them more and more different than the general U.S. population, the middle class. Why might we want to move toward the alternate type of representation (descriptive)? A representative whose interests and values are similar to those he/she represents is more likely to have a passion for the issues that concern those he/she represents. There is no emotional consequence for the agency representative that could drive him/her. Agency representation also requires much more communication between the representative and the represented, a characteristic that could waste time and effectiveness when an important issue comes up. In order to enhance the legitimacy of our government, there has to be some form of mutual trust, that which can easily be found in a Congress that is descriptively representative. Class Notes Representative Institution The Power to Legislate Wide ranging powers to initiate legislation and create policy The connection between legislative power and representation Reinforce each other Ability to represent depends ultimately on ability to legislate The Idea of Representation The Evolution of an Idea Assemblies changed to representative institutions during the French Revolution Gatherings for the benefit of nobility Place to rubberstamp whatever policies the crown might want to have Parliament and Congress What is a Representative?...
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- Fall '07
- The Ambassadors