Public: Politics
Mandated Government   (+2, -4)  [vote for, against]
Hey you voted them in, so let them do their job

Let me preface this by saying that this is based on the Australian Government system whereby there is a House of Representatives and a Senate, which can block proposals by the House of Reps.

In Oz we've just had an election and it would appear that the winning party will not have a majority in the Senate - meaning they will need to negotiate with minor parties to get any legislation through.

My suggestion is: At election time the parties put up their core and non-core policies. The core policies are not subject to review by the Senate however the non-core one's are (because core policies are mandated). If the government does not action its core policies it can be subject to dissolution another election being called (with the potential of being voted out).

I think it would make people a lot more careful with their vote if they knew the government *had* to do what it said it would do before an election.
-- Brett-Blob, Nov 28 2007

Suddenly neither party has a core agenda (or if elected, the failure of their core agenda is the opposing party's fault) and all issues become peripheral.

Actually, that's probalby already true.
-- phoenix, Nov 28 2007

I'm afraid this is a very bad idea as it would mean that those who are represented by parties which are not part of government would be even more sidelined.

The opposition and the senate play a key role in helping force the government to listen to and take account of the views parties outside government.

The more the government has to make concessions to minor parties and the like, the more their eventual measures represent the country as a whole.

Personally, I advocate direct democracy via the internet in which every measure is voted on by every interested citizen, directly and the role of representatives is to draw up the measures and teach their constituents about them.
-- vincevincevince, Nov 28 2007


nobody lazy enough to think they can change the world through the internet should be allowed to vote for governmental policy.

voting should remain the activity of the interested and active, and be at least a slightly complex procedure - involving physical things, like paper.

lazy people should do what they are told.

internet people are a bunch of chumps anyhow

about the idea, i don't believe a government should be required to maintain policies for the however long it is in power (in australia, isn't it optionally forever? are there party term limits?)

things change. The best option is to be able to vote leaders out if you don't like them.
-- mylodon, Nov 28 2007

The purpose of the senate is to represent the interests of the states. What happens when the mandate of the govenment is against the interests of one or more states? Stupid idea... [-]
-- sprogga, Nov 28 2007

This would allow for a disturbing lack of flexibility in the government.
-- Noexit, Nov 28 2007

<spogga> Hang on a sec, the Labor Party ran on a platform of (amongst other things) signing the Kyoto Protocol. That's a simple, measurable and quantifiable goal clearly stated before being elected. Now there in power you're telling me it's OK for the Senate to say 'oh no, I realise that the majority of people agree to this idea (ie it's mandated and democratic), but (for example)' the Liberal Senators are automatically going to vote against it on party principles. Whilst the Senate may in theory be charged with looking after the interests of the States in practice Senators largely vote along Party lines. How is that democratic - the Liberals lost the election because (amongst other things) they didn't want to sign Kyoto.

<mylodon> I would think that you would want to make core policies to be very specific in terms of timeframe, costing, implementation time etc.
-- Brett-Blob, Nov 29 2007

[Brett-Blob], aren't you overlooking the fact that the minor-party senators holding the balance of power in the senate are just as democratically elected as the government that they are able to obstruct?

To take your Kyoto example, most of the minor-party senators are, in fact, Greens, so I doubt they'll stand in the way of signing up to Kyoto. What the public has indicated in the way they've voted is, in effect, "We wouldn't actually want the Greens running the country, but we want them to act as a strong environmental conscience, in the legislature, for the people who *are* running it." And that's pretty much what's happened, so far as I can see.

Allowing for the elements of muddle, compromise and weaseliness that are probably inseparable from politics, where's the problem?
-- pertinax, Nov 29 2007

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