Thursday, December 04, 2008
Yeah, let's talk about that Conservative "mandate," shall we?
While I really do have more pressing things to be immersing myself in today, I want to put the hobnailed boots good and hard to a particularly pernicious bit of bullshit -- that, in the last election, Canadians gave Stephen the Large a solid "mandate" to govern.
Rubbish. That talking point is, quite simply, utter shash and I am now going to explain why.
Quite simply, mandates do not exist in a vacuum. Voters do not simply give their elected leaders a blank "mandate." Rather, they give them a mandate to govern under the assumption that those leaders will govern in the manner they described in their pre-election promises.
Put another way for the hard of thinking, if I am running for office and I promise the electorate that I will unambiguously support philosophy "X" if elected, and I am then elected, then I can correctly claim that I have a mandate from the electorate to support "X". That last qualifier is critically important since it is generally safe to assume that I was handed that "mandate" from the electorate based on the electorate's belief that I was going to keep my word. Are you still with me?
For example, imagine that I campaign for local office on the platform that I will push for light rail. The voters support this idea, therefore I am elected. At which point, I shaft them entirely and come out opposing light rail vehemently upon taking office. Can I still claim to have a "mandate" from the voters? Of course not -- don't be stupid.
That "mandate" was given to me under the assumption that I would keep my word. Once I break it, any claim to a "mandate" vanishes like one of Stephen Harper's farts in a windstorm. I'm still in office and there's no way that can be undone, of course, but a claim to a "mandate" is no longer accurate. As I said before, mandates do not exist in a vacuum -- they are inextricably linked to one's promises and how well one keeps those promises.
Which is why any claim to a "mandate" by Stephen Harper is utter crap.
In the run-up to the last election, Harper clearly and unmistakably promised to co-operate with the opposition, and to govern in a spirit of non-partisanship for the good of the country. As we have seen, that was a hideous, bald-faced lie and the instant it became obvious, any claim to a mandate disappeared.
So please, wankers, can you put a fucking sock in it with respect to this vaunted "mandate?" The instant post-election Harper dropped the mask and turned into a petty, vengeful, vindictive asshole is when any claim to a "mandate" went away. Voters handed a mandate to a man who promised to govern wisely and responsibly, and who would play nicely with others. They didn't give it to the loathsome buttfuck Harper turned into as soon as the election was over. So please take all your sanctimonious whining about a "mandate" and stick it where only Richard Evans is interested in poking around.
Do we understand one another?