Monday, August 29, 2016

Election Manifesto

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Elections all over the world have become very expensive (not forgetting offensive).  Be it in India or the USA, or everywhere else where democratic elections are held, the cost of getting elected (just running) has become astronomical.  With each election cycle the cost of competing has been increasing by so much, it is difficult to comprehend the value of the elected office.  We constantly hear that the latest election is the most expensive in history of the nation.  It only keeps getting more and more expensive.

The reality with the USA presidential elections in 2016 are not only the most expensive but also the most absurd in the history of democratic elections.  One candidate has nothing to say to the public but insult everyone in the nation, nothing positive to say about the country or its global stature and knit pick the opposing candidates and paint a picture of anyone who opposes as unqualified, demented and unfit for holding any responsibility, let along lead the nation.  Especially when it comes to general elections the public (if anyone is listening) gets a belly full of negative barbs on a 24/7 basis, and this will continue until the Election Day.

After the Election Day only one of these candidates will become the leader of the nation for next 4 years.  The loser will have to call the winner at the end of the Election Day and congratulate the winner, and only god knows what transpires in that phone call from the loser to the winner after the Election Day?  The conceding conversation can be anti-climactic for the loser, especially considering the unparliamentarily language that has been hurled at each other for more than a year.  There can be little grace between two candidates at 70 years of age, who have used up just about every abuse on earth in describing each other.   Accepting defeat and humiliation at the end of the Election Day when you have spent close to a Billion dollars running someone down, and screaming at the top of your voice in depicting the person as unqualified.  It must the most difficult telephone call to make, and perhaps even to receive.  There is nothing civil left between the candidates and their supporters.

Each party announces the lection manifesto, essentially publishing a list of things that their party (the one that wins the election) will implement, support and promise to deliver to the voting public.  Election manifestos are a part and parcel of the political process and often align with the political party affiliation.  Each party makes every effort to reach out to their core supporters and also reach out to the independents that might be willing to appreciate the specifics of the election manifesto and its face value to vote for a particular candidate.

To start with the majority of the electorate has party affiliation, and unless and until a political party can’t place an acceptable candidate to lead them, people simply vote according to their party affiliation.  It is difficult to have people vote for someone other than their individual party affiliation.  By and large the democracies vote based on what is expected of the government in the next electoral cycle, and how effective the party in rallying people to get out and vote.  Politics are really an emotional sermon, and people are really serious about their party and its manifesto.  Only a very small fraction of the electorate is undecided or independent until the Election Day, and they certainly can swing the lection one way or the other.

Outside of the party affiliation and an election manifesto, the newly elected leader and the party in majority make up for an organization that can deliver to the often repeated election promises.  The parties have distinct differences in major initiatives, and they are hardly any common ground when it comes to guidance on what each party believes as their basic agenda.  If the leader has a majority required to pass through the legislation then the process of governance and delivery to an election manifesto becomes a reality and the promises of the election manifesto start to become a reality.  There should be no reason to forget the budgets and deficits, while pushing thru the political manifesto.  At the end of the day the country and its population can only live on borrowed money for so long.

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