You need strategy to move from where you are to your destination, however, in seeking leadership position through election campaign; your political party is the vehicle through which you can arrive to your destination. Manifestos is often substituted to different kind of names such as; Programmes, Ideology, Policies and so on. Policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. In politics, this is usually design by the political party, while the politician is a candidate that will aspire through election. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by the political party in form of programs which is drawn up by the governing body within political organisation whereas procedures or protocols would be developed and adopted by senior executive officers.
Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making and it goes a long way to determining alignment between character traits of individuals with political organisation they represent.
Cambridge dictionary defines manifesto as; “a written statement of the beliefs, aims, and policies of an organisation, especially a political party”. According to Wikipedia; “A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government” A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus and/or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual’s life stance. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.
For instance we have David Cameron representing Conservative Party in United Kingdom, while his closest rival in 2015 general election was Ed Miliband of Labour Party. For clarity and understanding purpose, I will highlight key point of Conservatives Party policies and Labour Party in tabular form as show below:
Table showing key points of Conservatives and Labour Manifesto as heighted by Steven Swinford and Rowena Mason
In a study carried out by Celeste Hicks et al: to determine what do the people want? Correspondents were sent out to; Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa and Uganda to speak with people from all walks of life: farmers and businessmen, politicians and security guards, housewives and pharmacists. Though these were just 50 Africans interviewed out of more than one billion on the continent, the results were remarkably consistent. The response talk about the need for better public services, be they reliable and cheap buses to get them to work or health and education provision, which everyone agrees are essential for a modern and forward-looking Africa to take full part in the century ahead. With the information in the mind of political office seekers, effort is made to structure their parties manifestos in this direction.
In developed countries, electorates are very keen to scrutinise the policies of the political parties before taking voting decision. Unfortunately in third world countries for instance, the manifesto itself is almost similar focusing on infrastructure’s and provisions of basic amenities. In most cases the masses are too hungry to ask vital questions in relation to previous unfulfilled promises. Often time distribution of food items, with a street name called “Stomach Infrastructure” in country like Nigeria; is enough to win major elections. That is the reasons why religious formalities, prayers and fasting have been taking as easy alternatives bombarding God with prayers that can easily be solved by people oriented governance. The attractiveness of political party manifestos and how it appeals to the public will goes a long way to win you more supporter’s in any election.
We can deduced from the above, that a manifesto is a written statement of the beliefs, aims, and policies of an organisation, especially a political party”. In our next series, we shall discuss how excellent persuasive power can enhance leadership achievement. Your opinion and feedback is expected on the comment column. Do you like the piece? Kindly share.