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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.

4 Comments:

  • so . . . do tell. How did Eva come to be sitting on the lap of the future president of Mexico?

    By Blogger shadowfax, at 7/07/2006 12:06 AM  

  • Yes. Please do tell. Very cool.

    By Blogger Cool Hand Luke, at 7/07/2006 7:52 AM  

  • Sweet!

    By Blogger Chesty LeRue, at 7/07/2006 10:14 AM  

  • About a year and a half ago we were visiting my folks over Christmas, and we took my daughter to a huge indoor kid-themed park known as "La ciudad de los niños." My dad (an astute and interested follower of politics) recognized Mr. Calderón and asked him if he would mind posing for a picture with his cute granddaughter. As no self-respecting politician would turn down this kind of an offer, we managed to snap off a few pictures. At the time my dad told my daughter: "this is the future president of Mexico."

    By Blogger Carlos, at 7/07/2006 3:23 PM  

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