By Linda Fowler
Discusses the influence of the method of candidate choice on democracy within the usa
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Additional info for Candidates, Congress, and the American Democracy (Analytical Perspectives on Politics)
53, 352). Despite Madison and Hamilton's desire to have master lawmakers in control of Congress, they gave little attention to the problem of enlisting them to public service. Beyond a few assertions that members of Congress would likely be drawn from the state legislatures and provisions written into the constitution setting the minimum age for senators and representatives and requiring them to be residents of their states, Madison and his colleagues in Philadelphia seem to have given little thought to the recruitment of future leaders.
Their vision rested on the notion of citizen legislators who returned to ordinary life after brief service to their country and who brought no special requirements to office other than a love of liberty and empathy for the people in their constituencies. Thus, from the very beginning there has been conflict about the characteristics of federal representatives that the framers never formally resolved in the constitution. " Their constitutional system repudiated the classical quest for just rulers and was constructed to prevent the enactment of bad policies by creating multiple centers of power through federalism and the system of checks and balances.
S. Congress has the unique responsibility in American politics of representing local constituencies in the federal government. Prospective candidates have to appeal to a relatively narrow electorate while harboring an inclination to pursue a national agenda far from home. With a foot in two very distinct environments, they are responsive, as well as vulnerable, to a wide range of political stimuli. The local roots of federal lawmakers and their national prominence therefore make them particularly good subjects for examining the ambiguous status of candidates in American politics.