Posted: November 30th, 2013
Elected Officials and Mandates
It is extremely difficult for an elected office holder to prove that he/she has any mandate from the people. In an elected office, mandate is the authority granted by the people electing that office to act as their representative. The mandate is usually an authorization, for the office holder to go ahead with the policies he sought to bring into office during his campaigns upon election (Grossback, Peterson, and Stimson 145). Therefore, the office holder seeks a mandate from people to implement policies that he feels are best for the people. The purpose of campaigning is to get this authorization. It is assumed that when one is elected to an office, they receive the mandate to go ahead with their plans. However, they are not required to implement anything they did not set out to do during their campaign. After all, the campaign was about selling his ideas to the people. What makes it difficult for the elected official to prove he or she has any mandate from people is because, most of what they campaign for is stated in broader terms. This makes it difficult to state the mandate issued by the people.
For people entering public offices through other means, there is mandate or authorization of what they are supposed to do. They are appointed for certain reasons by the appointing committee. On the other hand, for elected members, there are no direct duties stipulated from the people. Rather, the candidate that comes up with policies or a blueprint of what he intends to do in office. This fact means that people only authorize the ideas of a candidate through voting (Bryson 77). However, this does not show the specific mandate given by the people. The fact that people do not issue or come up with their own policies makes it hard for officials to prove mandate from people.
Another reason making it hard for elected officials to prove there is any mandate from the people is the lack of any formal documents. After elections, officials are only sworn in to office, with a vow to serve people with diligence and in accordance with the law. This does not specify any mandate from the people. With other offices, there are documents detailing the mandate of the office, unlike the publicly elected offices. Thus, official publicly elected have no way of proving the mandate of the people in implementing their duties. Documents shows prove of mandate in any office with those who provide the job. For publicly elected offices, the people are the one who give the power through electing. Without documents to show what the official is elected to do, it would be extremely hard to prove any mandate from the people.
More so, considering their duties are to serve the people, they could be engaged in any duty as long as it concerns the people within their representation. For instance, the senate will have many responsibilities concerning the people. Different issues may arise requiring him to handle. Thus, there cannot be a specific mandate for elected officials to show. This makes it quite hard to prove there is any specific mandate from the people. With other officials, there are certain limits to what they can do or what is within their jurisdiction (Dye, Schubert and Harmon 93). There is a clear line of the boundary to their limits. For elected office holders, there are very few boundaries stated. In most cases, elected officials will be involved in many broad and diversified issues. Therefore, they lack any specific mandate issued to them. With such broad issues to cover, elected officials are only limited by law the extent they can go. However, the law does not limit them from issues they can cover in their work. This allows them to cover issues that are related to the people that they are supposed to represent.
Bryson, John M. Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. Upper Saddle River, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print. <http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=jWwpVIsx5SoC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false>
Dye, Thomas R., Louis Schubert, and Harmon Zeigler. The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics. Washington, DC: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print. <http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=QMYIgv2uhKsC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false>
Grossback, Lawrence J., David A. M. Peterson, and James A. Stimson. Mandate Politics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print. <http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=AcZCbAbX2nEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false>
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