Election manifesto is a statement by a political party,explaining what it will do if they win the elections.Through election manifesto the voters come to know about the policies of the political party they are going to vote for.They can easily think that which party will prove the best for them,they can decide that with whose policies they want to go.therefore an election manifesto is very important – WIKI
Political parties the world over will make promises to an expectant electorate. Based on the ‘complexion’ of the political climate these promises are as outlandish as they come and bear no relationship to the reality of getting the promises implemented if the party is elected.
To be fair to political parties there is nothing wrong with using a manifesto to ‘promise’ what it will do if elected. What must be challenged is the need to establish a ‘check’ for John Citizenry to exact accountability. Why shouldn’t the electorate feel comfortable knowing that the UWI, Cave Hill, Fourth Estate and other entities in civil society have the credibility to challenge, clarify and demystify promises made by political parties on the campaign trail? Why should John Citizenry not have recourse in the law to recall ministers and members of parliament who they are perceived to have under-achieved?
More and more public opinion is being shaped by the partisans who make the loudest din. An example of this can be found on the daily talk shows and the newspapers, even the BU! In this environment where a large segment of the population are ‘Indians’ whose opinions can be shaped, it leads one to question what additional measures can be implemented to ensure our system of democracy remains ‘pure’.
In the 2008 general election the Thompson led Democratic Labour Party (DLP) promised Transparency Legislation in 100 days, it promised that Barbados Labour Party (BLP) operatives suspected of corruption would be held to account, it promised jobs, it promised to reduce cost of living … Another general election is on the horizon and the political parties are at it again. The BLP spokes-people are promising they have the policies to kick-start the economy. The DLP [government] is advocating that its policies are required to lead Barbados during this challenging economic period.
In the USA there is an agency which does ‘fact checking’ to keep politicians and others honest with their mouthings. Although a good initiative, what is required is for ordinary Barbadians to become more discerning and apply reasoning to what is being served up to them by opportunistic politicians. We need to stop politicians playing us for fools in 5-year cycles. Is it unreasonable for Barbadians to expect promises made by politicians to be realistic? The answer is yes but we need to be vigilant when they are not. To relinquish this responsibility because of party affiliation or disinterest makes it a dereliction of our civic duty.
Some suggest with the advent of social media and the spontaneity it brings to how information is shared, this maybe the catalyst for greater transparency in government. We shall see.