What is this mandate that politicians and their supporters spruik with great certainty.

It seems such a simple word, that one would think looking in the dictionary would soon give one the answer. 

Maybe we need to look in a political dictionary, still no simple answer.

I looked in the Constitution that did not throw much light on the meaning.

For a word that everyone appears to use with ease, it is hard to pin down.

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Dictionary meanings.

In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative.[1]

The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of democracy. New governments who attempt to introduce policies that they did not make public during an election campaign are said to not have a legitimate mandate to implement such policies.

Elections, especially ones with a large margin of victory, are often said to give the newly elected government or elected official a mandate to implement certain policies. Also, the period during which a government serves between elections is often referred to as a mandate and when the government seeks re-election it is said to be seeking a “new mandate”.

In some languages, a ‘mandate’ can mean a parliamentary seat won in an election

 

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“…..An election promise is a promise made to the public by a politician who is trying to win an election. They have long been a central element of elections and remain so today. Election promises are also notable for often being broken once a politician is in office…………

………Elections promises are part of an election platform, but platforms also contain vague ideals and generalities as well as specific promises. They are an essential element in getting people to vote for a candidate. For example, a promise such as to cut taxes or to introduce new social programs may appeal to voters……….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_(politics)

 

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“2: an authorization to act given to a representative <accepted the mandate of the people>

 Example

He won the election so convincingly that he believed he had been given a mandate for change….”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandate

 

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What does a mandate mean in the Australian context.    I have gone to the aph Government library.

Research Paper 19 1998-99

Mandate: Australia’s Current Debate in Context

J.R. Nethercote

Politics and Public Administration Group

11 May 1999

  • an explanation of why mandate debate in Australia is more frequent and more complex than in other Westminster-based parliamentary systems, especially since introduction of the proportional method of electing Senators in 1948
  • an authoritative account of debate about the mandate arising during and after the 1998 national elections
  • appendices include material on dictionary definitions and academic analyses.

The principal findings of the research are:

  • during and following the 1998 elections there was debate about the Government’s bid for a mandate for its tax proposals, especially the goods and services tax component. Debate centred on both voting and seats won in the Senate and the House of Representatives. There have been similar debates during the Whitlam Government, 1972-75, and following election of the Howard Government in 1996
  • because of the character of Australia’s bicameral Parliament, both Houses of which are elected and have comparable powers, debate in Australia about the mandate is more frequent, more complex and more vigorous than in other Westminster-style parliaments, for example, in the UK and Canada, where the lower house’s preeminence over a non-elected upper house is well-established
  • mandate is a political idea in two senses. Mandate doctrine derives from the politics of responsible government on a democratic basis. It does not derive from constitutional, legal or parliamentary prescription. Moreover, a mandate is not a substitute for prescribed constitutional, legal or parliamentary procedures, though it may influence the workings of such procedures
  • second, mandate doctrine has been mainly developed by politicians in political forums rather than by philosophers or academics
  • the purpose of mandate doctrine is to accord a larger role to the people than simply casting a vote at specified intervals. It is about politicians declaring the philosophies, principles, policies, plans and programs which they will support if they win office. President Eisenhower furnished a succinct definition of what mandate is about. He entitled the first volume of his presidential memoirs, Mandate for Change, and the relevant chapter, ‘Promises to Keep’
  • there is considerable debate about what a mandate is. Does it apply to the entire platform (or manifesto) of a winning party only to the more important item or to matters mainly the subject of contention during a campaign? And can others, apart from winners, claim to have a mandate? Likewise, there is considerable debate about how a mandate may be discerned-seats in a legislature, seats in which chamber of a legislature or the voting strengths which lie behind respective party strengths in parliament? And what of voting strength not translated into representation?
  • in the UK, mandate ideas were related, first, to the rise of campaigning and the need to tell the voters how power, if won, would be exercised. They were also important in the ascendancy of the House of Commons over the House of Lords
  • in Australia, it has been a different story, especially since adoption of the 1948 method of electing Senators. As a consequence, disputes between the Houses are more likely than previously, but it is less likely that they will be resolved by recourse to simultaneous dissolutions of the Houses except with respect to the legislation on which the dissolutions are based
  • the debate in Australia during and after the 1998 elections reflected the long history of discourse on mandate doctrine and embraced many of the elements which have arisen during the past two centuries of democratic responsible government
  • academic analysis of mandate matters is divided. Some authors consider it is a political idea which seeks to give meaning to elections and that criticisms are based on overly literal definitions of the term. Others believe that the legitimacy of democratic politics requires that, as much as possible, commitments made on the hustings should be honoured once the election result is settled (recognising that there are circumstances where a mandate will lose its relevance or be overtaken by events), and
  • critics of mandate doctrine portray it as a device for nullifying or circumventing due processes of government and legislation. The conception of mandate doctrine which they criticise is the product of rhetoric rather than more considered expositions.
  • during and following the 1998 elections there was debate about the Government’s bid for a mandate for its tax proposals, especially the goods and services tax component. Debate centred on both voting and seats won in the Senate and the House of Representatives. There have been similar debates during the Whitlam Government, 1972-75, and following election of the Howard Government in 1996
  • because of the character of Australia’s bicameral Parliament, both Houses of which are elected and have comparable powers, debate in Australia about the mandate is more frequent, more complex and more vigorous than in other Westminster-style parliaments, for example, in the UK and Canada, where the lower house’s preeminence over a non-elected upper house is well-established
  • mandate is a political idea in two senses. Mandate doctrine derives from the politics of responsible government on a democratic basis. It does not derive from constitutional, legal or parliamentary prescription. Moreover, a mandate is not a substitute for prescribed constitutional, legal or parliamentary procedures, though it may influence the workings of such procedures
  • second, mandate doctrine has been mainly developed by politicians in political forums rather than by philosophers or academics
  • the purpose of mandate doctrine is to accord a larger role to the people than simply casting a vote at specified intervals. It is about politicians declaring the philosophies, principles, policies, plans and programs which they will support if they win office. President Eisenhower furnished a succinct definition of what mandate is about. He entitled the first volume of his presidential memoirs, Mandate for Change, and the relevant chapter, ‘Promises to Keep’
  • there is considerable debate about what a mandate is. Does it apply to the entire platform (or manifesto) of a winning party only to the more important item or to matters mainly the subject of contention during a campaign? And can others, apart from winners, claim to have a mandate? Likewise, there is considerable debate about how a mandate may be discerned-seats in a legislature, seats in which chamber of a legislature or the voting strengths which lie behind respective party strengths in parliament? And what of voting strength not translated into representation?
  • in the UK, mandate ideas were related, first, to the rise of campaigning and the need to tell the voters how power, if won, would be exercised. They were also important in the ascendancy of the House of Commons over the House of Lords
  • in Australia, it has been a different story, especially since adoption of the 1948 method of electing Senators. As a consequence, disputes between the Houses are more likely than previously, but it is less likely that they will be resolved by recourse to simultaneous dissolutions of the Houses except with respect to the legislation on which the dissolutions are based
  • the debate in Australia during and after the 1998 elections reflected the long history of discourse on mandate doctrine and embraced many of the elements which have arisen during the past two centuries of democratic responsible government
  • academic analysis of mandate matters is divided. Some authors consider it is a political idea which seeks to give meaning to elections and that criticisms are based on overly literal definitions of the term. Others believe that the legitimacy of democratic politics requires that, as much as possible, commitments made on the hustings should be honoured once the election result is settled (recognising that there are circumstances where a mandate will lose its relevance or be overtaken by events), and
  • critics of mandate doctrine portray it as a device for nullifying or circumventing due processes of government and legislation. The conception of mandate doctrine which they criticise is the product of rhetoric rather than more considered expositions. …………………

…………… Mandates may be challenged where parliamentary majorities are at best insecure; where the outcome in one forum is not reflected in others (as in Australia when a substantial majority in the House of Representatives is not matched by even a small majority in the Senate); where they are not supported by voting majorities, or unambiguous pluralities; where party manifestos are so long and complex that the significance of particular items is unclear; and where a policy to which a government subsequently attaches great weight attracted little or no attention in the relevant campaign. A mandate also has greater force immediately following an election; the legitimacy it confers wanes as a new poll approaches.

Practical problems aside, the mandate has been roundly criticised on general grounds as a means for avoiding, circumventing, short circuiting or nullifying parliamentary process in the making of legislation. In this view, the mandate is portrayed as a bludgeon in the hands of a majority party for imposing its views on others; behind this lies a fear that the view of the majority party is only that of a majority within it and therefore a minority within the whole.

Critics of mandate doctrine usually focus on its rhetorical rather than philosophical expositions. Few if any defenders of the mandate eschew the need for parliamentary process in law making. For them the mandate is about the significance of commitments to the electorate before and during elections; the need subsequently to realise obligations made during campaigns; and the importance of these for maintaining the legitimacy of democratic parliamentary politics.

In the debate about the mandate these apologia are critical for they demonstrate that such authority as is conferred by a mandate has its source in undertakings given by a winning side during a campaign. Authority thus flows from obligation and commitment. The integrity of politics will be diminished if promises made on the hustings can be readily discarded once victory has been achieved.

Recent debates centre on incumbent governments seeking to honour obligations made during campaigns in the face of continuing resistance from opponents with a footing in the parliament and, thereby, also able to claim electoral support for their position.

There are occasions, however, where it is the victors who wish to turn away from undertakings made in the course of a campaign. That the main sanction against their doing so is their likely fate at the next election underlines the political character of mandate doctrine, and, in illustration, the fact that the penalties, such as they are, are themselves political, not constitutional nor legal…………….

 ………………”The concepts of mandate and ‘broken promise’ are the opposite sides of the same coin in the Australian political game, but all players know that policy commitments are always open to various interpretations and that some must be adjusted or abandoned as circumstances in the political, legal, economic, social and technological environment change or as new information becomes available.(33)…………..

 

 

……….. … the right to govern does not give an executive an automatic right to convert its policy into law. It must explain itself fully. It is obliged to defend itself against charges of inconsistency: that a Bill departs noticeably from what was foreshadowed, or confers too much discretion on minister and public servants. With controversial policies, the government cannot necessarily invoke its own mandate as a trump card.(92)…..

 

…. Sharman asserted:

[The mandate] does not mean that the government can make any new law it wants by the stroke of the prime minister’s pen. Governing is not the same as legislating … the only body that can make laws is the Parliament … the whole point of parliamentary democracy is that governments are forced to submit new legislation to a representative assembly to gain consent for it.(105)………..

Murray Goot of Macquarie University provided another commentary on the current debate in Australia. Goot followed Dahl in seeking to use public opinion polling as a means of probing beyond election results to ascertain the voters’ minds on questions at issue.

He believed a claim to a mandate is difficult to sustain in a bicameral parliament in which each house has comparable powers. In Australia, he pointed out, ‘the Senate turns out to be a better-not a worse-mirror of the nation’s mind than the House of Representatives’.(106)

Goot traced growing criticism of mandate theory but believed that opinion polling provided a means to ascertain whether or not there is substantial support for particular policies. On the basis of the polls he found, in the case of Australia, that there is often popular support for Senate actions and, moreover, cases where the public does not have any objection to a Government failing to honour a promise.…..

Most analysis of the mandate question focuses on a simple set of circumstances-a party makes promises during an election campaign which it is expected to implement in the event of victory.

Politics is, nevertheless, a dynamic process; today’s promise may simply be irrelevant tomorrow. The question of realising a mandate may be as much a question of the party’s prospects at a succeeding election as one of keeping promises made during a recent contest. Public opinion about a policy or program may change and there is no impediment to an incumbent government responding to that change; indeed, in a democracy it would be wholly appropriate for it to do so. Opinion polls may inform decisions of this character but they cannot, of themselves, legitimate decisions having this effect.

The circumstances giving rise to a particular policy may likewise change necessitating change to the policy or even its abandonment…..

 

http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rp/1998-99/99rp19.htm#Australia

 

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When we look at the Constitution, we find there is no mention of the Prime Minister.  There is no mention of parties.  When our Constitution was created, parties as we know them today did not exist.  In fact, preferential voting was introduced to weaken the Labor, one of the first political parties, which arose out of the Union movement.  Preferential voting has worked to favour one or another of the two major parties over time. 

Early, the Coalition has the support of Senator Harradine and the DLP.  The Democrats were harder to define.  They eventually sided with the Coalition in most serious legalisation.  The pendulum has veered to Labor with the growing power of the Greens.  Independents come from both sides of the political fence. The party in government has rarely controlled the Senate at the same time.

The people in each electorate vote in one MP.  Each MP gets their mandate directly from the people who vote for them.  After 1948, this also applied to Senator, which is elected on a State basis, obtaining a mandate from those in the State that voted for them.

We only vote for our local member.  The PM gets their mandate from their own electorate.  They have a duty to the people who give them a mandate.

To me, parliament does not care whether a MP or Senator comes from any party or are independent.  The parliament only has an interest in the vote they cast.

Governments do not make laws.  The parliament does. 

Voters in general cannot vote for a PM.  Therefore, the only mandate the PM have is the same as all other MP’s.

What each leader does is to make promises on behalf of the candidates that declare themselves belonging to the party they represent.  Some call these policies or promises a mandate.  At the very most, these promises can only be expected to be kept for a short time.  If we expect all promises to be kept, it would lead to a very rigid parliament. 

There has to be room for change and flexibility.  There must be room for change of mind. Government are elected to govern on our behalf and need to have the power to meet new situations as they arise.  Some, many still criticise the Rudd government for abandoning surplus budgets when faced with the GFC.  This is unfair and it would have been negligent if they kept the election promise or policy.

If one believes that the elected PM has a mandate, which gives them to put in place all promises made, how does this compute if the Opposition is given a mandate in the upper house?  In reality, a PM only has a mandate from the electorate that elects them.  All MP elected have a mandate, to act on behalf of their electorate. 

Whose mandate rules supreme is determined on the floor of both houses.

I believe that every elected MP and Senator first responsibility is to the people who elect them, not to any party.

I believe that every elected Member of Parliament have a mandate from those who vote for them.  These mandates are sorted out in parliament. 

Sometimes the promises are not practical or circumstances change after the election. Sometimes promises contradict one another.  Sometimes the election and new parliament throws up better options.

Sometimes the makeup of the parliament makes possible what before the election considered impossible.

Promises are what a leader hopes to achieve.  They are not set in stone, and change or be altered to suit the circumstances that exist when placed before the Parliament.

There would not be a voter alive that supports the full manifesto of any leader.  An example of this was the introduction of the GST.  It was a promise but many strongly opposed the introduction of the policy.  The majority of the people hated it.  The Opposition in Parliament fought it hard.

There has never been a government that kept every promise made.  There has never been a government that did not introduce new policies once they were elected, because they can. 

Did anyone expect the Howard government to take the dogs onto the wharves?  Did anyone expect that the same government would encourage firms to set up new companies, to pay wages?  Companies with no money in them, robbing the workers of their earned wages.

Mr. Abbott is wrong to claim he has a mandate to do, as he likes.  There is no obligation on the Opposition or any other MP to support him.

They all have a mandate from the people.  It is not winner take all.  That is not democracy.

It will be up to Mr. Abbott to manipulate his policies through Parliament.  It will be up to Mr. Abbott to work with other MPs.

MPs are obligated to get the best deal they can, on behalf of those who vote for them.

It is true; politics is the art of the possible.

What is a mandate is not black and white.  It can mean different things to different people.

To me, a mandate is not the manifesto or policies that one takes to an election.  It is the power, given by the people, which allow one to sit in Parliament. 

The vote on the floor of each house decides whether a mandate is legitimate or not.

Promises or a manifesto is what one hopes to do if elected.  Whether one gets to put all the promises into action, defends on the makeup of the Parliament and the circumstances of the time. There must be flexibility to do what is right or needed.

50 comments on “What is this mandate that politicians and their supporters spruik with great certainty.

  1. Thanks Pip, it is a little longer than I like. When I try to take anything out, it did not seem to make sense.

    The trouble is that there is more than one answer.

    It is not what Mr. Abbott claims.

  2. The way that Tony Abbott treats the word ‘mandate’ is almost the opposite of it’s intended meaning. Abbott treats this word as You do not have the right to, You have no mandate. That is, Abbott treats the word as a negativity, as an accusation.

    Under Abbott’s definition no government would ever be able to do anything which it did not specify prior to the election. There could be no emergency responses, there could be no ditching of policies due to change of circumstances due to the fact that a mandate also assumes an obligation to perform as the electorate was lead to expect.

  3. Catching Up. The electorate will explain what a mandate is at the next election. What a mandate isn’t is saying “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead” ….and then introducing a Carbon Tax. What you guys fail to understand is that politicians are elected by the voters. Their vote is given as a mandate to take actions in line with what the voters want. Not only is the Carbon Tax silly policy, it is expressly against the wishes of the voters.
    the polls are showing in spades that Gillard has not stuck to her mandate from the last election. ….No Carbon T well you know what I mean.
    What you should be considering the abuse of the word “Reform” by this and Rudd’s government.
    Reform does not mean, waste, cockup, dumb policy, dismantling good policy, hence the sub 30% polling.
    Rudd quickly became one of the all time dud PMs but Gillard has eclipsed him in spades.
    I see you spent lots of time twisting and turning looking for a way out for gillard. There ain’t a way out. She lied, she is dumb and she is gone.
    Crean I believe is going to take one for the team and take the role of PM.
    You have to admit, for all your denials, Abbott has slam dunked Gillard.

  4. Geoff you are an idiot.
    This poll says it all.
    Gillard 2,012,633
    Abbott 483,168
    THIS is a DEFINING Mandate.

  5. Geoff

    The only people who think a carbon tax is silly is the same type of people who think the chopping down of trees while removing land for nature combined with explosive human population growth and the overwhelming rise in resource exploitation is doing nothing to our planet.

    Prevention is better than cure, that is, unless it goes against profit for the wealthy or the robber barrons (with thanks to TB), then it is to be hounded, ridiculed, denied, reported biasly, scientists threatened, refuted by scientists who are not experts in the field, fear mongered and down right lied about. And by whom big business and big media, the very people who are the most wealthy and influential.

  6. Why doesn’t Andrew Wilkie bring out some actual victims of poker machine addicts. Like Wives, Husbands Children, Employers.

    Tony Abbott tours the country arriving at businesses claiming to be interviewing the proposed victims of government proposals.

  7. I also wonder what yabots defense is of their renigging on the deal with Labor in the previous parliament, when, according to yabots interpretation, Labor had a ‘mandate’ to put through an ETS?

    And he voted against that ‘mandate’

  8. Abbott’s mandate was from his own party room, voting show of hands no secret ballot, those away ill not allowed to vote. the win over turnbull 1 vote.

    Now the hypocrite Liberals demand that Unions hold secret votes,
    Liberal party room show of hands.

    Our Federal voting system, all registered voters whether ill or not.
    Liberal party room, not able to attend no vote.

    i say give the Liberal party room a true right to secret ballots and full voting rights for a true mandate!

  9. I voted Gillard I won, as to next election well that is in 2013.
    Since the start of 2011 Newspoll has run 18 polls, that is 18 would have been wins for abbott, big bloody deal. Abbott is still the loser, the would have been champion, the man who could not negotiate himself into the lodge, the man left to his stunts.

  10. The checks and balances described in detail by Cu are what keep our Parliamentary system working. To discount a Senate vote on any issue because its ‘mandate’ seems not to apply to a particular issue of the day is not to understand that. Also even voting for the House of Representatives can be overly influenced by pressure from lobby groups and others in response to issue affecting their interests. Even so, as Min says, whoever wins the election, has the mandate.

    As well issues can be given undue and unbalanced media coverage some time after an election. Polls will then reflect a shift in opinion. Can this really be claimed as a mandate?

    Geoff’s example of the “Slap a Politician” results can surely not be taken seriously as reflecting public opinion to the extent that it should cause politicians to change course on earlier policies.

    More useful would be to read the results of the Australian National University polls which even recently reflect substantial community support for action on climate change, a carbon tax, the NBN, and even for pokies reform!

    http://publicpolicy.anu.edu.au/anupoll/documents/2011-10-25_ANUpoll_government_services.pdf

  11. And now a quick flash back to the early ’60’s

    In the 1961 election, Killen (Lib, Qld) narrowly retained his seat, and since Robert Menzies’ Liberal government was re-elected with a majority of only two, and with Killen’s seat the last to be declared, it was claimed by some that Killen had ‘saved’ Menzies and his government.

    Ironically it was a small leakage of preferences from the Communist Party candidate Max Julius that helped Killen retain his seat — he received 93 votes on Communist preferences, which, had they gone instead to the Labor candidate, would have caused him to lose by 56 votes. It is often said that Menzies sent Killen a telegram saying “Killen, you are magnificent!”, but, in fact, this line was invented by a journalist, although Killen was happy to repeat the story.

    So the lessons from history are:
    1. Using Abbott’s bullshit logic Menzies did not have a mandate because there is no way he would accept the support of Communists;
    2. Journos are still not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.
    3. The Labor opposition got on with the job and did not try to wreck the place.

  12. Under Abbott’s definition no government would ever be able to do anything which it did not specify prior to the election. There could be no emergency responses, there could be no ditching of policies due to change of circumstances due to the fact that a mandate also assumes an obligation to perform as the electorate was lead to expect.

    Until it suits Liealot to do so, Min. Then he’d claim he had a mandate because he won government (God forbid!), even though he had bugger all policies.

    The exception would be a labor government, because then it wouldn’t have a mandate because the voters hadn’t elected the Liars Party, because a bloodnut witch with a pointy nose and fleshy earlobes (all unimpeachable evidence of witchiness) had cast a wicked spell over the unsuspecting electorate, so they wouldn’t vote for Sir Liealot the Mendacious.

    And it isn’t fair and even if she did get more votes, they really belonged to him because they did and he’s going to hold his breath and drum his heels until she gives them back! And he’s going to tell Andrew Dolt and Anal Jones on her! That’ll teach her to get more votes! and democracy sucks, ‘cos Cardinal Pell said!

    Geoff, get your hand off it! There is no carbon tax, but you’ll get one if you vote for Liealot. But maybe the thought of Sloppy’s pudgy paws in your pocket is a turn on for you!

    Even better for you is his stated intention to reduce the tax-free threshold from Labor’s $18,200 to $6,000 and hand your hard earned over to the big polluters! Now that IS an economy wide GREAT BIG NEW TAX.

    You’ll love it! No compensation; in fact he may make you pay it back so he can hand it over to his mates, reduction of the shiny new $18,200 tax-free threshold to $6,000 and a lovely GREAT BIG NEW CARBON TAX for you to pay.

    Aaahhh! the joy of being shafted yet again by a Liars Party government.

    Ummm can you also tell us what good policy has been dismantled or like all cheerleaders are you short on facts and long on rhetoric and lies?

    And please do some research on the alleged waste. Little Lord Mincy Whynne’s word isn’t good enough; he reckoned they’d “wasted” $8bn, when only $6bn of the budget had been spent.

    But I suppose that’s only to be expected; their only policies have more funding holes than a piece of kindy knitting. Just one of their election policies had a $10bn hole. God knows how much the total would have been if they’d had some more policies. Oh, probably only $20bn; Sloppy’s only got 10 fingers and 10 toes!

    Our Federal voting system, all registered voters whether ill or not. Liberal party room, not able to attend no vote.

    Yes, Sue, but they were Turnbull supporters. Don’t you know anything? lol

    More useful would be to read the results of the Australian National University polls which even recently reflect substantial community support for action on climate change, a carbon tax, the NBN, and even for pokies reform!

    No, no, no, patriciawa! That doesn’t count. Only stunts are a genuine reflection of what voters think. And they didn’t frame the questions properly!

    I mean, what pollster worth his/her salt wouldn’t preface a question with say “given the mismanagement of the economy by the current government”, what is your response to…………… See? That makes getting the correct answer so much easier.

  13. Jane, precisely..for example Abbott could be able to claim a mandate to ‘turn the boats around’, but will he be able to do it ;)

    But more importantly what exactly is this thing called a mandate, is there is reciprocal obligation that whatsoever a person took to the election eg a parental leave scheme, must be done.

    Will we the people then have control of the media microphones to demand that Abbott fulfill his obligations aka his mandates?

  14. Jane
    you have such a way with the english language, that is so to the point, it is exquisite

    “Geoff, get your hand off it!”

    that probably did it for him!

  15. What some are saying is that the polls have replaced an election to establish what a mandate is. Problem is that polls can change often and be manipulated.

    Does one believe that in an democracy should be by popular opinion, identified by the polls.

    I hope this is not what they are saying.

    Government is also about doing necessary but unpopular things.

    The PM during the campaign said that there would be no carbon tax, while saying there would be a price on carbon emission. This is what is happening.

    The PM could and can be criticised for not keeping to her time table, by introducing the scheme a little earlier.

    As I said in my post, promises are what the party wants to put in place.

    Events after the election can often prevent or change the way the promise proceeds. One is expected to change their mind when the circumstances change.

    All MP are entitled to and have a duty to do what they believe is right on behalf of those who voted for them.

    The promises or manifesto made before the election by the winner does not mean that all elected MPs have to pass the legislation.

    It is up to the person who is appointed PM by their party to maneuver the promises through parliament. Other elected have the right to exercise their own mandate in opposing.

    The floor of the parliament is the final arbitrator.

    That is how our Constitution works.

    That is how minority governments can and are legit.

  16. Well Geoff, I did not consider WorkChoices a reform.

    Reform is another abused word, especially when it comes to politics.

    To me, it should mean improvement, but to many it only means change.

    Change not always for the better.

    Geoff can you name any of the changes and leglisation that the Labor government has got through the parliament. Well over 200 pieces by this government alone.

  17. Sue & Min he’s probably buying a pair of binoculars so he can commence the search.

    CU exactly. Governments don’t (or shouldn’t) govern by polls. If they did Howard wouldn’t have introduced the GST, or sent Australian troops to illegally invade Iraq or imposed a whole range of levies from 2001onwards. Oh hang on, we didn’t know about most of them. Good old “Honest” John!

  18. shaneinqld @ 9:04

    Heard on the radio. The NSW Environment Minister has stated that chopping down trees for logging is beneficial to saving Koalas.

    Wonder what party is in power in that State to come up with idiocy like that, and if that party has kept the promises they made during an election campaign?

    Statements of that kind are as bad as those that claim the planet is cooling, and not surprisingly in they are on the same side of the political fence.

  19. Do not be stupid. All should know that if we cut down the trees, it will save koalas.

    It must be right, the present NSW government said so.

  20. I’m with CU, here. We chop down the trees and build nice houses for the koalas. I don’t know why you people are so mean to poor Ms Parker.

  21. “Sue
    Mining tax Mal Washer

    Last night on the radio I listened to an interview with Mal Washer. He said yes he had been advised not to leave home without a flak jacket. He loved his party and would love to abide BUT he loved his country Australia more and would put his country first. The mining tax was a good idea…………..”

    http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/open-thread-vi/#comment-41515

    Mr. Washer has got the mandate right. His first responsibility is to do what is correct on behalf of those who voted for him. The party should come a long last.

  22. Catching up,
    I hope Dr. Washer isn’t hung out to dry by his entire Coalition team while he is ‘re-educated’ by their boss !

  23. Min,
    at least Dr. Washer doesn’t have to worry about the next pre-selection bun fight as he’s retiring at the end of this term.

  24. Min, why?

    Some senators in the Rudd government did not. They crossed the floor for Mr. Rudd’s scheme. Sadly they have now retired.

    It is quite possible that Mr. Washer will do the same. He will not be the first or the last to do this.

    My question is how many more there are. Mr. Wilkie said a handful had approached him. In this political climate, even a handful is not needed to upset the apple cart.

    One or two will do.

  25. CU..it was a play on words..Dr. Washer, then Pip said ‘hung out to dry’, then I said ‘toe the line’ as in clothesline.

    Dr. Washer apparently has always been a staunch supporter of poker machine harm minimisation and also the mining tax. As has been mentioned previously he retires this term and so there are no threats that Abbott can use against him. Let’s hope that Dr. Washer sticks with his principles.

  26. Hey. I Think and I Vote
    Is Gillard’s “Mandate” further eroding?
    Slaps a few days ago
    Gillard 2,012,633
    Abbott 483,168
    This weeks Slaps
    Gillard 5,020,992
    Abbott 484,131
    3,000,000 took the time to slap Gillard this week? Weird. Are you Cafe Whispers ladies closet Gillard slappers?
    I think the electorate is trying to say something about Carbon Tax, Malaysia Asylum debacle, Gillards woeful dress sense, her f*****g annoying Wuurrka accent……….
    The interesting tactic this week is Gillard says she will take the Malaysia Deal to the next election. As Yes minister would say. Very Courageous Prime Minister.. Abbott wedged before a slam dunk on that one.
    Who supports the Malaysia deal ? Labor right? No. Labor Left? Definately No. Coalition? No. Greens (not that it matters). No.
    Gillard must be wondering WTF how did Tony ……?
    The word is Anna Bligh goes to the slaughter on December 3rd.

  27. And Qld will have four long years to regret the decision to give the Liars Party the reins of power, as Victoria and NSW are currently doing.

  28. Pip, well this is something new. We have a person here namely Geoff who gauges politics and his opinions on a Slap a Pollie game aimed at people with an IQ of slightly below room temperature.

  29. Jane @ 4.01pm, we must have misunderstood Dr. Washer…what a difference a day makes.

    Liberal MP Washer won’t cross floor on mining tax

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-28/washer-not-crossing-floor-on-mining-tax/3607220

    Western Australian Liberal MP Mal Washer has confirmed he will not cross the floor to support the Government’s mining tax when it comes before Federal Parliament.

    Dr Washer has been under pressure from his colleagues after he was reported as saying he could potentially support the Minerals Resource and Rent Tax.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott warned Dr Washer would get the message “one way or another” not to support the tax.

    Dr Washer says it was never his intention to cross the floor, only to stimulate debate.

    *Prior to the bullying of Mr. Abbott there was this :-

    Lib could throw PM lifeline on mine tax

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/lib-could-throw-pm-lifeline-on-mine-tax-20111026-1mk8t.html#ixzz1c8GMPogf

    “I could potentially support a mining tax if it is reasonable because we need to take some profits out of the mining industry to assist industries that are struggling in this country,”

  30. “…and his opinions on a Slap a Pollie game aimed at people with an IQ of slightly below room temperature.”

    That high? Wow.

  31. ………….. it is interesting that people have sat at a computer and slapped Julia 5,000,000 times. Surely the Net would have to be described as egalitatian. My point is you have to think there is something wrong with Julia’s direction when 5,000,000 egalitarian net users slap her and only 500,000 similarly egalitarian net users slap Tony. Hmmmm is this an emerging poll trend? Last week the slapping trend was 80% toward Julia and now trending to 90%. ….Maybe this is just a rogue poll in a rogue week?? Lets keep a close watch on SAPP
    (Eck. stands for Slap A Pollie Poll . Didn’t want you do your head in all weekend….Eck )
    Well I am off to my local club for a schooner and put $50 into the pokies.

  32. Mobious and Bacchus, Geoff’s claim of the 5,000,000 sounds like some
    Menzies House types have been playing with the cookies.

    Geoff, with with an IQ of slightly below room temperaturoff to lose/ donate $50 to the pokies….. IQ that high huh….

  33. WARNING

    Geoff seems nice but he’s probably a Bolter refugee. This larrikin may return with his gang.

    End of broadcast

  34. News. ABC24 Quantas is grounding it whole fleet. Blaming unions.

    Airline will be grounded as long as it takes to get a decison.(I assume 100& their way)

    In other words, a lock out.

    All this because Quantas will not give a guarantee that they are not taking their work force offshore.

  35. ….back from the club. I won the chook raffle. woooo hooo.
    Just watched the drongo Union rep in charge of the Qantas campaigne on skynews. He has gotta be on Tony’s payroll. Talk about reading the game like totally wrong.
    Hello more of the Jetstar model and less of the Qantas model.

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