Political Parties: Electoral Mandate

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 02-04-19 13:58
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  • Does the concept of an electoral mandate make sense?
    • NO
      • The low turnout at recent general elections means that the winning party can hardly claim to have secured a convincing mandate.
      • Coalition governments such as that seen in the wake of the 2010 general election mean that two or more parties must agree a compromise programme for which no single party has a mandate.
      • Most voters pay little attention to party manifestos, whether in full or digester form. Voting behaviour is more about long-term factors or personalities than it is about policy detail.
      • The concept of the mandate is flawed because it is impossible for voters to cast a ballot for or against a given party on the basis of a single policy.
    • YES
      • The franchise is widely held and there is a high level of individual voter registration.
      • The FPTP electoral system usually results in a single-party government, so it follows that the victors should have the right to implement their stated policies.
      • Each party's manifesto is readily available to voters ahead of polling day, both in print and electronic form.
      • Digested summaries of the main policies of each party are disseminated by the mainstream media. Televised leaders' debates at the last two general elections have seen the leaders of the parties questioned on their main policies.

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