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We have discussed how elected officials (as agents) often attempt to represent “the people” (as their primary principle) through models of trustee and/or delegate representation. Balancing these two competing visions of representation, however, can be chal lenging. Consider the following. Political
leaders have an incentive to reflect the interests of their constituents because their offices are connected to popular elections. In addition, representative democracy itself seems to imply that elected officials should carry out the will of those who elected them. However, research shows that
most Americans are politically uniformed and/or apathetic about politics. These findings raise some challenges as well. For instance, we might ask whether politicians should reflect the interests of the people when their constituents may not fully comprehend their own interests? In addition, we might
also ask whether a country made up of uninformed and apathetical citizens is truly capable of democratic governance?
With these questions and concerns in mind, which model of representation, in your assessment, is best suited to meet the needs and demands of the American population? Make sure to analyze each model of representation and discuss both their strengths and weaknesses.
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