Whose mandate? policy promises, strong bicameralism and polled opinion

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The political theory of Australian politics has been dominated, since the election of a Liberal-National Party government in 1996, by claims and counterclaims about electoral mandates. The government has privileged its position in the House of Representatives; opposition parties have pointed to their support in the Senate. This paper provides a historical re-examination of the meanings and merits of mandate theories; it outlines the difficulties posed by strong bicameralism for any mandate theory; and it shows how the rise of survey research has strengthened some claims to a mandate, especially in bicameral systems, while weakening others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-352
Number of pages26
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


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