In which I suggest a definition for when a President has a “mandate”

November 7th, 2008

generic cialis medical 21985, viagra usa sale 24610103-5005961,00.html”>52% of the vote is not a mandate, it’s a slim majority.

I propose that no one (Democrat or Republican) gets to use the word “mandate” when they win an election unless they receive 2/3 of the votes.*

The United States Constitution required 2/3 of the votes in Congress to override a veto, approve an Amendment, or impeach a sitting President.

I think a politician (and his supporters) should have to reach the same bar before claiming carte blanche.

*I actually think I’m being pretty lenient by asking for 2/3 of the votes cast instead of 2/3 of the potential votes in the electorate. But, hey, I’m feeling generous. ;)

Entry Filed under: Politics

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. elliot  |  November 7th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I’m not saying the winner shouldn’t try to enact their agenda. That’s what winners get to do.

    I’m saying I don’t want to hear the word “mandate” uttered unless someone really wins in a landslide.

  • 2. Debunked  |  November 7th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t think any president has won with 67% of all votes cast aside from George Washington and a few of the other presidents in the early 1800s.

    Definitely nobody in the past hundred years or more.

    That said, I’m not saying that Obama has a mandate. But you’re not really giving him credit where it’s due. Winning by 52.5% to 46% – 6.5% – is a pretty strong victory for a first term candidate.

    Reagan’s first win was a 9% swing in the popular vote, even though he won the electoral college by far more. And the country wasn’t anywhere near as partisan at that time.

  • 3. elliot  |  November 7th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    He doesn’t need credit. He won!

    And I’m sticking to my guns: “winning” does not equal “mandate.”

    And winning with a couple percent more than 1/2 the vote definitely doesn’t.

    We should reserve that word for real landslides.

    Being serious for a moment, what would you be willing to call a “mandate?” (Remembering that both sides have to abide by the definition.)

    I like 2/3. It’s a big number for a big word. But I’d be maybe willing to come down as far as 60%.

  • 4. capper  |  November 8th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    What about when one gets coronated a King? Would that person be allowed a mandate? That would be so cool.

  • 5. Billiam  |  November 8th, 2008 at 6:32 am

    C’mon, Caps. Obama won’t be coronated until at LEAST 2012. It’ll take that long to make the crown. Diefication is set for 2016. :-)

  • 6. elliot  |  November 8th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Kings don’t need a mandate. They have a Divine Right. Way better!

  • 7. Lance  |  November 8th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I have a better idea: it’s a mandate when my side wins.

  • 8. capper  |  November 8th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Bill, not Obama. Me. I was coronated a while ago, remember?

    Divine Right. I could live with that. I also have a Divine Left as well.

  • 9. John Agathon  |  April 6th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    That’s one issue that I have with the U.S. It really does not feel democratic at times, and it has been feeling that way a lot lately, though so far Obama seems to be letting people’s voices be heard, which is a nice change of pace for once.

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