The Congress is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In this section we studied how the Congress functions as a whole. Understanding how the Congress functions is very difficult because the public never sees or hears what exactly going on inside the Congress, says Woodrow Wilson. But in our class we have tried to understand how the Congress function as a whole and how the powers are split equally. We learned that the Congress functions through subcommittees, and each subcommittee is put together through specialization and seniority. Each subcommittee is split by specialization for example a legislator who has had experience in the military or any other armed forces would be in the subcommittee that deals with those types of issues or laws. The people who have been serving in the Congress for the longest will usually be the committee heads, which would be seniority.
One large issue that comes up with the legislators in Congress is the way the members of Congress represent their people. We learned through our textbook about the Delegate Model, the Trustee Model, the Politico Model, and the Conscience Model. The Delegate Model is when the legislator tries to do his best to represent the people but then he makes his own decisions. The Trustee Model is when the legislator considers the view of the people but then they do what they think is right for the country. The Politico Model is when the legislator does what he wants until the constituents become vocal on a certain matter. The Conscience Model is when the legislators follow the opinions of the people unless he truly believes it better to act against them for the betterment of the nation. After learning about these 4 ways of representation, I thought the best way of representation is the Conscience Model. I think this is the best model because the legislators always follow the voice of the constituents. They should feel obligated to because those are the people that voted them into that office. The legislators are supposed to be the voice of a group of people.
A conflict that still comes up now is that, how are the legislators supposed to hear the opinion of the people? With the launch of the Internet and social networking, hearing the public opinion should not be difficult at all. Almost everyone is using a social networking site or even an email account. Hearing people’s opinion as a whole can be easily noticed because there is always a cause or an issue that many people support avidly as a trend. Hearing news about legislator’s personal life is now very easy through the social network because as soon as one person sees it and shares it with all their friends, and their friends’ share with their other friends, and information can spread within a day throughout the entire country just through social media and networking. For example Congressmen Weiner recently resigned because of a picture that was put up on twitter.
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