How citizens want their legislator to vote

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Different people have different views about what elected representatives should do in a democracy. Some people think legislators should follow their own conscience (personal view), others think they should do what the majority of citizens in their constituency want (view of the constituency), and yet others think they should do what they promised during the election campaign (campaign promise). Sometimes, these considerations converge, that is, the legislator is personally in favor of a proposed legislation, he or she promised to vote for that legislation in the previous election campaign, and there is majority support for it in the legislator’s constituency. However, which of these consideration(s) should matter the most when there is a conflict? Using an experimental design, we ascertain how these principles of representation affect citizens’ views about how legislators should vote on a salient policy (immigration). Of the three styles of representation, we find that citizens pay the greatest attention to the state of public opinion in their constituency.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 26 novembre 2022 à 14 h 07 min.