In a democratic government, functions of representation can sometimes become skewed or misunderstood. I will examine the different institutions of government including the legislature, the executive, the bureaucracy, and the courts pointing to their differences in trustee vs. delegate functions of representation.
My understanding of a trustee is that it is someone in a position of power deciding what is best without a direct mandate. In other words, someone who is carrying out the wishes of the constituents when feasible, as well as acting motivated by what he or she feels or thinks is in the best interest of the community as a whole. A delegate function, on the other hand, is one that mandates representation of the constituency. A delegate serves to enact the wishes of those people he/she represents in participation in the development of laws, policies and in leadership.
English philosopher John Locke viewed the power of the legislature as the most basic and important branch of government. The theory behind the legislature is that it will enact laws that will allocate values for society. The legislature works to makes laws, educate, represent, supervise, and make criticisms of the government. Most of the work of the United States Legislature is done in committee, where the real power of the legislature is held. Most legislation originates in governmental departments and agencies. In committees, a majority vote decides and often, compromise must be reached in order for a bill or law to survive committee action. This frequently requires that a delegate alter his position in order to achieve a compromise. This compromise may or may not reflect the wishes of the people he/she represents.
Modern Bureaucracy in the United States serves to administer, gather information, conduct investigations, regulate, and license. Once set up, a bureaucracy is inherently conservative. The reason the bureaucracy was initiated may not continue to exist as a...
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