Virtual Kollage: The importance of a political party manifesto

Posted by / Wednesday, 1 March 2017 / No comments

The importance of a political party manifesto



POLITICAL PARTY MANIFESTO
Definition
A political party manifesto can be defined as the plans, programmes and broad policy directions that a political party captures on paper and declares as what it wants to implement when it is voted into power during a general election.

In most political jurisdictions, a political party is expected to present its manifesto to the people because the electorates would look at the programmes and policies the party is going to implement if it is voted into. It is on the bases of this manifesto that some electorates are going to vote for party ‘A’ or party ‘B’.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MANIFESTOES IN A POLITICAL SYSTEM
Sets ideological direction
One of the reasons why a party manifesto is important is that it is able to determine a clear ideological direction for the party. It indicates whether the party is a social democratic party, a capitalist oriented party, a purely socialist party or any other ideological direction that it may choose.

Educates the people
Another importance of a party manifesto is that it helps to educate the electorates. In order to advance the reasons for the choice of the party’s policy direction, the party might have to give a background to the particular problems that the country is facing in that particular area. By providing this background before spelling out its plans on how to resolve the problems, the political party, through its manifesto, enlightens the people on the peculiar problems of the country and how they can be dealt with.

 As a measurement tool
Another importance of a party manifesto is that it can be used as a tool to measure the success or otherwise of the party when it comes into power. This is so because, the party sets out its plans in the manifesto so the electorates know what to expect from the party when it gains political power. The people are therefore able to determine whether the party has been able to fulfill its political promises or not and to what extent it has done so.

Gives the programme direction to the party
Also, the party manifesto helps to give direction to the party’s programmes. The party manifesto is able to give a broad policy direction that the party hopes to chart when it is voted into power. For example, the manifesto tells how the party hopes to deal with inflation, export crop production or how to lure investors into a particular area of the economy.

Attracts people to the party
The political party manifesto is also important in the sense that it helps to attract people to the party. A political party activity is a game of numbers. The more people a party has, the more likely it is that such members would vote for it. The electorates are attracted to programmes and policies of the party and that is why the parties try to have a manifesto.

Spells out the aims and objectives of the party
Another reason why a political party manifesto is important is that the people become aware of the aims and objectives of the party. The aims and objectives of the party are clearly spelt out in the manifesto for public consumption.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. What is a manifesto?
    b. In which five ways is a manifesto important in a democratic system?

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