In an ideal democratic world, the values, views and concerns of citizens would be routinely on the minds of elected leaders, who are, after all, the representatives of those citizens. But there are at least two flaws with this proposition. First, it is difficult always to know what citizens want, either because they may not know themselves or because of the pitfalls in measuring public opinion. Second, opinion is divided on almost every public issue, leaving elected officials to decide whether to side with the majority, be concerned only with those who elected them, or do what they think is best.
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