Manifesto and it’s Reality
With national elections around the corner, political parties are once again gearing up to publish their official stances on key policy issues. The year witnessed myriad promises made by political parties, both informally through speeches and formally through election manifestos.
Election manifestos function as signaling devices through which they attract the voters to set their priorities. While they have generated debate around issues such as employment and certain amount in the bank, they have also made frivolous promises like rebates in the bank loans. Earlier, member of Parliament Varun Gandhi admitted that manifestos often go unread. It is asserted that while manifestos should play a key role in the political affairs. This means that a number of voters are alienated from political processes. One way to loop them back in is by making manifestos more accessible to people. The existence of the political parties depends on the promises and its fulfillment. The promises of political parties are empty because they do not have the ability or the authority to pass the legislation or to promote the policies they promise. These are the roles of parliament and government.
When politicians make promises, they create a rod for their own backs. They create a moral obligation to keep them, but that obligation does not obliterate or override their prior and remaining moral obligation to act in the best interests of their constituents and the country as a whole. If a promise they have foolishly made conflicts with that moral duty, they should break their promise.
It is made very clear that not all the policies outlined in the manifesto are considered to be pledges.
For a politician or a government to uphold or reject a particular policy merely because they had promised or pledged to do so in their party’s election manifesto would be irresponsible.