How often should one communicate with ones elected representatives? Moreover, how often, if ever, does the body politic communicate with its elected representatives?
In a representative government, like that which is the U.S.A., those elected representatives that do the legislative work that keeps a nation running do so by the will of the people. This idea that any one elected individual has a ‘mandate’ to do as they will just because the body politic has elected that individual is very far off base. This is so, due to the nature of a portion of the body politics sovereignty to the representative. Without this portion of sovereignty passed to that individual the representative would be powerless to govern. Although with this understanding hitherto stated, it should not go without saying that the body politic does not surrender the whole of its sovereignty to its representatives. I will not go into detail for the reasons why this is not done here, but I will state as Rousseau does that if a sovereign, the body politic, were to give up all its sovereignty it would no longer be a body politic. In maintaining a portion of its sovereignty, the body politic retains two of its most important powers: the power of its voice; and in right to regain any and all of its sovereignty at will. The prior of these two point comes to the question for this post.
Tacit consent, as discussion in a prior post, is necessary for a government to run at a certain level. That is, the general voiceless acceptance that a government as a right to govern the body politic. Yet, when it comes to the actions of individual elected representatives, tacit consent, or the perception of it by these representatives, can be on of the most dangerous states that a nation can be in. Remaining silent to the actions of a representative allows that individual to assume that there is some sort of ‘mandate’ that what they are doing is acceptable to the people. If resent actions by the U.S. Congress, and the President of show, there is far to much silence which a lead to a lessening of individual sovereignty. More the ever this a great need for regular citizens, not just in the U.S.A. but all over the world, to ensure the safety of their sovereignty and use their voice.
The use of the body politics voice has the power of regaining control of irrational governments. This use takes up at least two forms. First is writing, calling, or otherwise using any non-violent means necessary to force elected representatives to acknowledge the will of the people. The second, when the representatives has failed to see the peoples will done, is the use of once voice at the ballot box. In the end the governance of the nations is not solely the responsibility of any elected representative. It is the responsibility of each and every member of the body politic. Due to this he body politic must make all effort to be educated on the workings of government to ensure that it is always working for the body and not some other end. To that end, and to close with a clear answer to the question: the body politic must be frequently and actively engaged with its elected representatives.