Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How Should Elected Officials Vote?

Abdul led an interesting conversation on WXNT this morning asking this question. Should elected officials be beholden to the will of the people issue by issue? Or, should they take stock that they were elected to sometimes make tough decisions?

I believe in the latter. They elected you, so it was up to the voters to know what you were about. If it turns out the voters don't like the specifics of what you're about, they can unelect you next time.

The reason Abdul was having this discussion is that the vote on Major Moves happens today. In particular, the northern counties are very opposed to Major Moves, which presumably makes any Republican that votes in favor vulnerable in the next election.

Sticking to your guns is a function of having the strength and courage of your convictions. If Republicans are wavering, it tells me that they aren't completely sold on Major Moves, or that they have failed to do a good job of communicating what Major Moves is about to their voters.

I'll go back to Ronald Reagan, as I have many times in comparing Mitch Daniels. Reagan was brilliant at taking an idea to the people, communicating the benefits of a plan very clearly, often in advance of giving the plan to the legislature. The public was often on board from the beginning, making the decisions for the majority party less difficult. In fact, this is why the phenomenon of Reagan Democrats existed- because Reagan sold plans to the public so well, it became a difficult decision for the other party.

If Mitch Daniels were any kind of communicator, Major Moves might not be a controversial measure at all. If the Republican leadership, such as Kenley, Espich, etc., were any kind of communicators, it might be an easy vote today.

There are still many questions that seem unanswered to the majority of voters, which is why this has become such a controversial issue.

1 comment:

Abdul said...

It's 10:40 p.m. and I've been here since 5:30 a.m. These guys are still talking. That's leadership!