Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What is a Mandate?

Last week my fellow blogger across the aisle, Matt Best at Courage of Conviction, asked us to think about mandates, specifically what a mandate is. A flippant answer would be a mandate is when everyone in my house agrees on what we should have for dinner. A more political explanation is probably what Matt had in mind.

The Webster's dictionary we have at home lists a number of definitions for mandate. The most applicable one is "an authorization to act given to a representative." We tend to think of it as something indicated by a lopsided electoral vote. There is no understanding on what that percentage is. Pres. Bush claimed he had a mandate with a bare majority (if that). I would tend to think you would have to have somewhere close to 70% to say you have a mandate. You could probably get a 70% agreement on the need for immigration reform, health care reform, and the need to end the war in Iraq. Where things get sticky is now the what but the HOW. How should we change health care? How should be get out of Iraq? How should we change our immigration laws? The devil is in the details.

I don't know if this answers Matt's question, it's just what came to mind.

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