Chapter

Democratic mandates

Robert E. Goodin and Michael Saward

in Innovating Democracy

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547944
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720116 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547944.003.0011
Democratic mandates

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The democratic aspiration of rule by the people requires that the people know — are told — what they are really voting on. The clarity and consistency of messages from candidates to voters matters deeply to the quality of democracy. What sort of a mandate a government can claim, and what a government is entitled to do in office, depends heavily upon how the campaign messages are conveyed. If campaign messages are mixed, sending different signals to different parts of the constituency, then whomever is elected might have a ‘mandate to rule’ but has no strong policy mandate.

Keywords: democratic mandate; mandate to rule; mixed campaign messages; voters

Chapter.  3593 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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