Monday, 29 August 2016

The nonsense of the mandate

I grit my teeth every time the modern politician talks about a mandate.
The truth is the Westminster system does not deliver mandates.
It delivers government.
We elect a team to govern, not simply or only to implement the declared and limited list of policies that may have been identified during the election campaign.
I am not saying that these should be disregarded, ....but I will come back to that in a moment...
Then truth is it nonsense for any party to say it has a mandate to implement every single policy that may have crossed their lips during an election campaign simply because they happen to have been elected (and in this latter case by the slimmest of majorities)
Just let me walk you through my logic.
During the last election campaign, just to take the presently elected team, they talked about: Marriage Equality, Superannuation, Budget Reform, Submarines, Education, Refugees and the hideously named  lie "Border Protection", let alone the duplicity on both sides about Health Care
Now I agree with them about some things..and indeed some aspects but not necessarily all of their policies. I do not agree with them about some others
Now I, and everyone else, did not get a chance to say what I was particularly "giving a mandate" for.

Indeed I was NOT giving a mandate! I cast my vote for an individual and/or a party whilst not necessarily agreeing to absolutely everything they were promoting.

Indeed I actively disagree with both major parties about their hideous policies to do with refugee resettlement.

Though they can erroneously claim that they have a "Mandate"...they have no way of knowing which of the broad range of policies people actually approve.

I would suggest that most Australians...however they voted... did not give "mandates", they thought some things were good and other things were not.
We vote not a "mandate" ...but on balance.
Indeed we vote for the team.
We recognise that not everything is solved, or sorted. But by and large one team has got the balance we prefer.  This does not commit us to support the details.
Rather we empower the team.

We do not implement the mandate. We elect a government.

This would rather expose the  current Marriage Equality discussion.

There is NO mandate to implement or not implement Marriage Equality; there is no mandate for a plebiscite.

What there is, is a requirement for the elected member to exercise their conscience.
And not to hide behind the false wall of the illusory mandate.

1 comment:

Peter Yeats said...

And yet we want Parliament to control some things - if they agree with me - but are willing to use other methods if they might disagree. And, of course, the other way round. so , a plebiscite on an issue is a bad thing if I will not win.