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Current time:0:00Total duration:6:18
CON‑3.C.1 (EK)

Video transcript

what we're going to do in this video is talk about congressional roles now what do I mean by congressional roles well whether someone is a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate or even one of the state legislatures there's different ways that they can act on behalf of the people that they are representing one way is to just be a delegate and that's to say okay what would my people that I'm trying to represent and want me to do and then to do exactly that the other role is to be a trustee and this is the idea of well there are some issues where either the people in my district don't have an opinion or maybe if they superficially looked at it they would want to vote one way but I as a as a representative as a trustee I can dig a little bit deeper into the nuances and realize what's actually better for the people that I represent or for a country as a whole so one way to think about it a delegate would get a sense of the people that they're representing what they would want and just do that while a trustee would say okay what do I believe is best either for the people that I'm representing or for the country as a whole and sometimes they obviously could coincide and the third type of role is Politico now the everyday definition for Politico is a politician and sometimes it's used in the not so favorable sense but in the context of especially in a government class a Politico is a representative who does a little bit of both depending on the situation if there's something that the people that they represent care a lot about something that the constituents care a lot about well there they would say okay you know what I'm just gonna vote the way they want me to vote even if I don't necessarily agree with it because they matter it matters to them a lot so there I'm gonna be a delicate but are the things that really matter to me or that don't matter so much to my constituents well there I'm going to be a trustee so you could view a Politico as a bit of a hybrid so with that out of the way let's look at some scenarios and think about whether these are describing a representative as a delegate a trustee or a Politico so let's start with this first one it says there is a vote on a bill in the House of Representatives that would increase environmental regulations on major businesses several citizens in Illinois's ninth congressional district have contacted their representative to influence them to vote in favor of the bill however representative Whelan thinks that these regulations will cost businesses too much money which will lead businesses to firing his constituents so he decides to vote against it so pause this video and so is representative Whelan or Wallen acting as a delegate a trustee or a Politico so the key clues here are that representative Whelan or Wallen decides to vote against the bill despite the fact that some of his constituents have contacted him to vote in favor of the bill and so here he is clearly acting based on his own beliefs so he is acting as a trustee he's doing what he thinks is best for his constituents even though they might not agree with it let's look at another scenario in the Senate there is a vote on a bill that would eliminate the penny citizens in Indiana reach out to their senator to encourage her to support the bill even though senator Portela thinks the penny is incredibly useful she decides to vote for the bill so pause this video and think about how is Senator Portela acting as a delegate trustee or Politico well it's pretty clear that she's doing exactly what her constituents want her to do the the constituents are encouraging her to support the bill and she votes the bill and she's doing this despite what she thinks is the better option even though she likes the penny she's going to vote to eliminate the penny because that's what her constituents want so she is clearly acting as a delegate and to be clear and this is often the case many times our representative will agree with their constituents and then in that situation they're acting as both a delegate and a trustee now let's look at one more scenario there are two major bills up for vote in the Indiana State Senate one bill will change the name of a high school in Indianapolis to Larry Bird High School the other bill would set aside takers for a new state park senator Kamath has received about 1200 calls from her constituents asking her to support the bill to rename the high school but no calls about the park bill senator Kamath is incredibly passionate about parks but has not decided her vote on the renaming of the high school Senator Kamath decides to vote in favor of the park bill using her better judgment to decide her vote and in favor of changing the name of the high school to represent her constituents interests so you once again should pause this video and figure out is Senator Kamath acting as a delegate trustee or Politico well you can see on the park bill which she supports should she votes in favor of the Parkville she does that because that's just what she thinks is better she's using her better judgment so in that scenario she is acting as a trustee she's doing what she thinks is right and then on the naming the high school Larry Bird High School there she just says hey you know what I don't have a strong opinion of it I am just going to represent my constituents interests and so there she's clearly acting as a delegate and so the scenario where sometimes you act as a delegate sometimes you act as a trustee this is sometimes categorized or often categorized and especially in a government class as a Politico which as I mentioned before is really just a a term often used for a politician and you can imagine it's very natural for a politician to sometimes act as a delegate hey I've got to make my constituents happy let me do exactly what they want me to do but every now and then my constituents either might not care about an issue or they might not realize all of the details or all of the implications and so I might do something that's maybe not exactly what they want and in those scenarios well then I'm just gonna I'm just going to vote my conscience and if I do a little bit of both and on different types of issues well then I'm acting as a political