If I somehow became an elected representative, I would create an app/forum for my constituents and every time I had to vote on something, I would first call upon my constituency for their input. Regardless of my party affiliation, regardless of my personal views on the matter (exempting egregious violations of civil liberties), I would vote however the majority (or supermajority?) of my constituents weighed in.
I realize the job of a “representative” is to act on behalf of your constituents, who are, in theory, too detached and uninformed to make these decisions on their own, but I feel that this entire notion is archaic in the modern age. There is no reason not to employ this kind of direct democracy, thus the majority of my efforts as an elected representative would be outreach and engagement with my constituents. One criticism might be, “but not everyone will participate!” — you mean just like the national presidential election which has far more impact than any one congressional vote?
Such a direct policy would also help to diminish divisiveness inherent to ‘party loyalty’ mentality. No more voting along party lines simply because you’re an R or D. As it currently stands, a representative from a congressional district who takes home 51% of the vote is by no means a “representative” in any sense of the word. Nearly half of the district’s population goes unheard for at least two years. Where is the fairness in that? How is that representation?
My proposed method would actively engage all willing participants in an open forum and, as their congressional representative, my voice is their voice. I would rather vote ‘yes’ on a bill that I hated if it meant the majority of my constituents (say, 80%) were getting what they wanted (a chance to have their voices heard) than vote ‘no’ simply out of principle, effectively silencing my own constituents.
In an ideal world, though, we citizens would simply have direct, proportional representation and every bill would be put to a nation-wide vote.