To wit: Does a political officeholder have an obligation to work for policies supported by a large majority of her/his political party?
Related questions: How substantial does the majority have to be? And what if the officeholder opposes said policy?
From the general to the specific: This week, VTDigger published the results of a statewide survey on gun issues. It found 57% of respondents agree with requiring permits for carrying a concealed weapon. 39% were opposed, and 4% did not answer.
A pretty significant majority, and kind of a surprise in a state where gun control is believed to be political poison.
But, for purposes of my question, the more pertinent result is that 80% of Democrats are in favor of concealed-carry permits.
That’s quite a lot. And this poll, conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute, appears to meet current standards for professional quality: a statistically significant 682 interviews were conducted by phone, with a margin of error at the usual 4% plus or minus. Also, 13% of them involved voters who use cellphones, which would seem to minimize the potential bias in a landline-only survey.
I think it’s fair to say that the 80% figure puts my philosophical question directly before our top political leaders, who generally oppose any gun control measures. I don’t attempt to answer the question, but I believe it must be asked.