Guerrero (2010, p. 298-299) argues that the manifest normal mandate is the best description of a political candidate’s support, wherein the manifest normal mandate (MNM) refers to the amount of support expressed for a candidate through the electoral system in a certain area. While Brennan’s (2009, p. 537) “lesser of two evils” paradigm addresses the fact that voters must sometimes vote for a candidate they don’t wholly support, I think that Guerrero misses another important case: the case in which a voter supports two candidates, but cannot vote for both because they live in a jurisdiction with a one-vote electoral system. This paradigm, which I will refer to as the “greater of two goods”, could cause a candidate’s MNM to be much lower than the candidate’s actual normative mandate, which refers to the “degree of support that [the candidate] has from those individuals living in the jurisdiction over which [they] do or might govern” (Guerrero, 2010, p. 275).
For example, imagine that Candidate X and Candidate Y are both running for president. Perhaps Candidate X is a staunch supporter of climate change reform whereas Candidate Y is a stanch supporter of LGBT rights. If you feel passionately about both climate change and LGBT rights, it is possible that you may support both candidates. However, under the current electoral system in America, there is no way for you to actively support both candidates at the polls. This has implications at a societal level in that if many people support both candidates (but only vote for one of them), both candidates will end the election with an amount of votes that does not reflect their actual support. Therefore, the amount of support expressed through the polls (the MNM) would not accurately repre...
... middle of paper ...
...of two evils’ (Brennan, 2009, 537) or the ‘greater of two goods’. Therefore, it seems that Guerrero (2010) must concede his point that officials should use MNM to determine the capacity in which they should govern. However, I believe that the MNM can be used to discriminate between the trustee role and the delegate role in a multiple vote or ranking system, as these systems would likely give a fairly accurate picture of the exact support and consent given by the governed because it allows citizens to express support for everyone that they would consent to be governed by.
Therefore, Guerrero (2010) need not vacate his entire argument, but rather qualify his conclusion by stating that while the MNM can accurately depict the amount of support a candidate has and reflect the role in which they should govern in multiple-vote systems, it cannot do so for one-vote systems.
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