Where is the manifesto?
In order to attain political power, some politicians make vain promises without recourse to a documented manifesto. There have been instances where the atmosphere at rally grounds has been so charged that some politicians have made incredible campaign promises.
There is the story of a parliamentary hopeful during a campaign who promised his constituents a bridge over the town’s only river, but he was immediately reminded that the so-called river was no longer in existence, as it had dried up some five years earlier.
When such campaign promises are randomly made without recourse to a party manifesto, the people find it difficult to hold them to it, when they fail to deliver. Unfortunately, we see our politicians making serious campaign promises at rally grounds and in the print and electronic media, where it would be difficult for the electorate to hold them to strict proof when they fail to deliver.
An electoral manifesto is a public declaration of the principles and intentions of a political party, which sets out its strategic direction, and outlines of prospective legislation should the party win political power. The manifesto is in the form of a social contract between the electorate and the political party seeking power.
The voting public is informed about the party’s programmes and how it intends to administer state apparatus if given power. The voting public is informed by measuring the government’s performance against its stated goals in the manifesto, and guides the voting public in exercising their franchise.
The December 2012 general election is about two and half months away. So far, only two political parties have out-doored their manifestoes. The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have unveiled their manifestoes for perusal by the electorate.
The Chronicle congratulates both political parties for coming out with their programmes, albeit late. We would like to remind the other parties, including the party in power, that the electorate have waited for too long to appreciate what they intend to do if given the mandate.
It is about time our politicians spare us the off the cuff and extempore campaign promises, which could not form the basis for a social contract with the people.
Since the NPP launched its manifesto, the flagship policy of free Senior High School has been in the public domain and is being debated, which is aimed at educating the electorate to make an informed choice about the direction of Ghana’s education on Election Day. The CPP manifesto is hinged on social transformation and economic sustainability.
The Chronicle wants a debate of issues concerning the economy, health, education, agriculture and employment, among others. It is the manifestoes of the political parties that can streamline the electoral debate on issues and not personalities. We are waiting on the other parties to tell us what they stand for.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=47635