I am framing this in an idealized situation with the following assumptions:
- The official never lies. (I did say this is an idealized situation)
- The official honestly and openly presented his position on the issue when running for the office.
- The official thoroughly researched the details of the bill he is going to vote on including listening to constituent feedback and expert opinion.
- The official’s sincerely held position on the bill is in opposition to the majority opinion of his constituents.
- The official is confident that he knows the majority opinion of his constituents.
- The official’s constituents are all well informed and thoroughly researched the issue. (Again, an idealized situation)
- To keep this a bit more narrowly focused, we'll say for this is a U.S. Representative.
- The official believes the bill is perfectly in line with his stated position while running for office.
- The official believes the bill is almost perfectly in line with his stated position while running for office, but rejects it due to elements that are not or because it incorporates a means of implementation that he strongly disagrees with (i.e. the ends don't justify the means).
- The official has a sincere change of heart while in office and the bill is not in line with his stated position while running for office.
Should the official always vote his conscience or should he sometimes vote against his conscience because the majority of his constituents believe he should?
While I am interested in this from a philosophical perspective, I am asking here about any obligations or expectations stated or implied by oaths, laws, etc. within United States government.