Mandate (politics)

Under a mandate (from the Latin ex manu date " out of hand given " ) is understood in the context of representative democracies the political representation order, which the electorate granted to a member of a legislative body. The members of respective committees are named according to " Mandated " in Austria and " mandatories "; Another common term is " deputies ". The responsibility or the bundle of powers, which issued the electorate to the holder of executive function is referred to not as a mandate, but as an official. Various schools of thought see a separation of office and mandate as desirable.


A distinction between the "free" and the " imperative " mandate: a free mandate binds the mandated at no concrete orders or instructions. A vital mission requires, however, from mandated to move within a given framework. An election in one of the national, regional and local parliaments of Germany or Austria, or to the European Parliament is accompanied by a free mandate: The MEP is therefore subject only to his conscience in decision making. The often discussed in connection with those bodies called party discipline therefore does not exist. However, the free mandate is limited in practice by a parliamentary party discipline. This means that the losing faction in internal voting minority in the vote in Parliament, the majority faction internal bends and as well as these tunes.

Freedom of mandate is guaranteed for instance in Germany by Article 38 paragraph 1 sentence 2 of the Basic Law (GG). Membership in one of the bodies is also self- dependent, not on membership in a particular political party, faction or other group only on the choice. Deputies to the German or Austrian parliaments or the European Parliament can therefore escape some of their party, change the group or even participate in the creation of a new political group, without its mandate would expire as a result.

Under an overhang mandate therefore is understood in Germany those seats a party in parliament, a parliament or council or a community council, which goes beyond the number of seats that their votes would be entitled in an election based on the percentage of achieved (second ), from the primary vote ( direct mandate ) result. A mandate in a similar sense has also chosen the council. This is not bound by any instructions of the staff or to decisions of the staff meeting. There is also no compelling bond of the works council of trade unions, only one interaction with the trade unions represented in the company is required.

  • Constitutional Law
  • Electoral system
  • Legislature