Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Letter of the Day: Why publish party manifestos so late?

Published:Tuesday | February 16, 2016 | 12:00 AM


As a member of the millennial generation, I am deeply concerned and somewhat disappointed by the direction that this election period has taken. What I had hoped for was an election that would be fought and won based on principles, positions and ideologies, not grandstanding and promise-making.

With a few days to go before the general election, it seems as though both parties insist on having a one-sided conversation with us by airing ads, holding motorcades and staging political rallies. The question I ask is, which medium do we get to interrogate them about these ideas? Better yet, do we even know all the ideas? This is like a slap to the face of voters.

The first slap comes from knowing that with less than two weeks before the election, neither party has published a manifesto - a document that outlines the plans they have will put in place if they form the next government. Whilst I agree that a manifesto isn't necessarily binding, it does provide the electorate with the clearest idea of where the country will be heading over the course of the next five years. The People's National Party only yesterday announced that it will unveil its manifesto today, while the Labour Party's Daryl Vaz had said its own will be published this week.

The second slap is related to the political debate. I view the debate as the only space where both political parties are forced to defend their ideas and track record in a civil, non-partisan space. It may do little for the party faithful, but for people like me, it forms a credible basis on which to decide which party to vote for. It is unfair for us to be denied this opportunity, especially for reasons that can be easily resolved through existing institutions: the Office of the Political Ombudsman, the police or through the courts.

Are we being forced to rely on the heredity vote, party theatrics, political rallies, jingles and ads to decide who is better able to lead the country?


Uncommitted Voter