- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Sometimes it's best when people neglect the 'mandate'

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on October 01, 1999 at 10:56:38:

In Reply to: I prefer the socialist notion of a mandatist system posted by Lark on September 30, 1999 at 11:45:05:

: Nice but it's more than likely going to go the road of personal popularity contests, I mean would you be content in the township where the charismatic minister with fanatical totalitarian religious views gets elected because everyone in the township knows him and considers him a pillar of the community, their possibly completely ignorant of his politics too (see I'm playing this out too).

If people want to vote based on personalities rather than on policies, we might disagree but they should have that right.

: I prefer the socialist notion of a mandatist system where everyone has three votes, the most popular is granted office the other two stand in waiting then if an elected official tries to do anything that they hadn't made clear in their election manifesto (EG Tony Blair abolished freedom of education in the UK without a mandate, the electorate didn't expect him to) or doesn't do what they promised they would, then there's immediately a re-elction or the candidate with the most second votes assumes office.

that sounds good, but bear this in mind. Sometimes someone is elected on a platform of doing X, but instead does Y, which turns out to be much better. Let's say a politician is moderate, but is elected on a platform of right-wing Machiavellian conservatism- would you want to hold him to his election promnises, force him to becoem more reactionary? Richard Nixon is one example. He promised on being elected to gain a victory in Vietnam, but he had the good sense to pull out when he was in office. OR Charles de Gaulle, who promised when being elected that he would hold on to Algeria, but later turned it over to Ben Bella when he was in power. Lots of people become more moderate once they get into power

: It's just a suggestion but if we had activist democracy, EG the presnt system but with everyone interested and acknowledging that rather than being a core politics (including whether or not your left or right wing) is a mark of the good life, I don't think it'd be that bad and decentralisation is almost guaranteed.

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