|Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 9):|
it would be erroneous to claim that representatives can decide to overrule the clear will of the people, unless it is also your position that being voted out of office is a desirable outcome.
They absolutely can decide to overrule the clear will of the people, and they do so at their own risk. Nothing wrong with that. My point is that it is useless to try and set up an additional system to force representatives to obey their constituents when a very good system is already in place.
An example: let's say that the city council wants to build a brige over a rail yard to allow a busy street to cross it instead of diverting traffic around both sides. The residents feel that a two-lane bridge is sufficient, and don't want to put out the extra tax money for a four-lane bridge. The city council, however, has some experience with city planning, and knows that if they build a two-lane bridge now, it will be perfectly adequate for the level of traffic at that point in time, but that it will be quickly outgrown later on as the city grows, which will lead to undesirable traffic jams. With that in mind, they unanimously approve the four-lane bridge, against the opinions of their constituents. Was that the wrong decision? I would say no, since there was sound logic behind it, logic that the constituents may not have been privy to. Sometimes unpopular decisions have to be made (in fact, unpopular decisions are made on a regular basis). Doesn't mean that they are bad ones. And I'd rather have unpopular decisions made intelligently than popular ones made because a lot of people can get together and complain really loudly about things they may not have the full picture of.