This assignment prompts you to examine your understanding of the manner in which the representative process works in the context of competing needs and interests.
Assume the role of a senator from a small state with a large naval base that is at the heart of the state’s economy. The president has created a defense spending reform package that is designed to construct a smarter and more up-to-date national security budget—an objective that definitely serves the national interest.
However, part of the reform package is the closing of military bases that no longer serve any vital purpose and redirecting that money into programs that will protect national security. Finally, one of the bases that must be closed is the huge naval base in their state. Their constituents are certain to take a short-term economic loss but the nation is better served with this closing.
In a two page-paper answer the following questions:
What should you do when you are called upon to cast a vote on the president’s program?
How would you act—as a trustee or a delegate?
How might your decision be influenced if the president is of the same political party versus the opposition?
Would your seniority matter in deciding how to vote? What kind of pressure might they get from their constituents?