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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Going down


OK so this blog has never really gotten off to what we'd call a rolling start, much less a steady hum. I'm finding that a lot of what I want to post is rather personal, so I'm going to switch over to blogging using my .Mac account (makes it easier to manage pictures, etc.)
Also, I'm taking an interest in starting a blog to discuss professional issues or patient cases, and I'd like to start with a certain degree of anonymity.
Thanks to those who took the time to read.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mandate




Congratulations to Felipe Calderón (pictured above with my daughter) on a preliminary victory in México's Presidential election. This morning on NPR they mentioned that it is going to be a tough road ahead for Mr. Calderón, since the election was so close and thus there is no clear mandate. This took me back to the US election in 2000, when I was similarly struck by how the notion of a "mandate" is a frighteningly artificial construct.
From wikipedia: "Elections are often said to give the newly elected government or elected official a mandate to implement certain policies."


I suppose that if you have a huge majority voting for something (say environmental conservation, as in the 2000 US election if you add up Gore+Nader) then you have a clear "mandate" from your electorate that you need to pursue a certain agenda. To me the highly contested Mexican election signifies a mandate for healing the growing divisions between rich and poor. Lopez Obrador seems to have captured a large portion of the disaffected poor by essentially promising handouts (hmm... I'll give you money if you vote for me - where have I heard that before?), but the message to me is one of increasing discord. So even if there is not a clear majority of the electorate showing support for a particular set of policies, I think that the message they send is still clear enough to constitute a mandate.