A rubber stamp, as a political metaphor, refers to a person or institution with de jure considerable formal power but little de facto power, one that rarely disagrees with more powerful organs. This is a list of common political Metaphors Relating to the executive Eminence grise: literally "grey man" from French For example, in a dictatorship, the legislature may be little more than a "rubber stamp" of approval on the dictator's decrees. A dictatorship is usually defined as an autocratic Form of government in which the Government is ruled by a Dictator. A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation Rule by decree is a style of governance allowing quick unchallenged creation of law by a single person or group and is used primarily by Dictators and Absolute monarchs Conversely, in a constitutional monarchy, the monarch is typically a "rubber stamp" to an elected parliament, even if he or she legally possesses considerable reserve powers and/or disagrees with the parliament's decisions. A constitutional monarchy, or a limited monarchy, is a form of Constitutional Government, wherein either an elected or hereditary Monarch is In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of Government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the Head of state without the
The term itself likely stems from the commonplace practice of subordinate employees or officials being deputized and given the authority to sign the name of their superior or employer. In situations where this superior official's signature may frequently be required for routine paperwork, a literal rubber stamp is used, with a likeness of their hand-written signature. Rubber stamping, also called stamping, is a Craft in which some type of Ink made of Dye or Pigment is applied to an Image This could also be utilized personally by the individual named on the stamp, to prevent hand fatigue and save time when a large number of documents need to be signed. In essence, the term is meant to convey an endorsement without careful thought or personal investment in the outcome, especially since it is usually expected as the stamper's duty to do so. In the situation where a dictator's legislature is a "rubber stamp," the orders they are meant to endorse are formalities they are expected to legitimize. A dictator is an Authoritarian ruler (eg Absolutist or autocratic) who assumes sole and absolute power without hereditary ascension such as an Absolute
The metaphor can also be used as a verb, to rubber-stamp.
Among auditors and military personnel, the synonymous term "pencil whip" is common.