Goodin, Robert E. and Saward, Michael
Dog whistles and democratic mandates.
Political Quarterly, 76(4),
Manipulative mixed messages from candidates to voters affect what governments are entitled to do in office. A party that wins an election gains a 'mandate to rule'. But there is a second type of mandate: a 'policy mandate' to enact specific policy proposals central to the winning party's campaign. Mixed-message politics in general can undermine policy mandates, and the use of 'dog whistle politics' - telling one group of voters one thing, while allowing or encouraging another group to believe another - makes the inferring of policy mandates especially problematic. Referendums provide only a partial remedy to dog whistle politics. Winning a clear policy mandate means forgoing dog whistle politics, despite the short term electoral advantage they may deliver.
Actions (login may be required)