4 Qualities of a Good Political Party Manifesto

If a political party is to be successful (in issue-based politics), it needs to have a good manifesto. The moment we make that assertion, one question comes up instantly. That is the question as to what exactly goes into the making of a good political party manifesto. And that is the question we will be attempting to answer in today’s article. Without further ado, a good political party manifesto is one that has:

  1. Relevance: a good political party manifesto is one that is relevant to the targeted audience. You have to understand that people in different places tend to have different needs. Thus, in crafting a political party manifesto, you have to analyze the needs of the targeted audience. Then you need to craft a manifesto that speaks to those needs.
  2. Resonance: a good political party manifesto is one that resonates with the targeted audience. Thus, beyond being relevant (which is an intellectual attribute), it also has to resonate (at an emotional level). You have to understand that people make political choices (mainly) on the basis of emotions. You therefore have to appeal to their emotions. And the way to do so is by having a political party manifesto that resonates with their needs, ambitions, interests, fears… and so on. To this end, you have to look at your average voter. The average voter may, for instance, be the young Lowes Kronos employee:who holds an entry-level, minimum wage store-front position. So you ask yourself the question as to what the needs, interests, fears and aspirations of such a person are. Then you craft a manifesto that resonates accordingly.
  3. Originality: a good political party manifesto has a certain degree of originality. It stands out, at least in some important ways, from the manifestoes of the other political parties within the same environment. Your political party’s manifesto must certainly not be a ‘copy and paste’ piece of work.
  4. Simplicity: a good political party manifesto is one that is simple enough for the average person to understand what it is all about. Thus, in crafting a political party manifesto, you have to engage your mind fully, and figure out how to simply complex political, economic and social concepts into a language that the average man on the street can relate to.

The 2 Main Ways in Which You Can Finance a Political Party

You have two main options, in terms of the ways in which you can finance a political party. You need to be aware of these two options, if you are a person who is in charge of political party finances. You need to (fully) understand how each of these political party financing options works.

The first option entails relying on members’ contributions. You can have two-tier contributions here. In the first tier, you have people who are interested in becoming members of the party paying some registration or membership fees. Then, once they become members of the party, the second tier applies. That is where you can have them paying regular (say annual) membership subscription fees. These fees obvious have to be modest. You have to understand that it is the ordinary people who are likely to be interested in becoming members of political parties. So you may be having a UPS clerk, who has gone to the UPSers.com login screen, signed in, and found that he has earned some good over-time pay. Then, once he logs out of Upsers.com, he may consider using a bit of the extra money to pay membership fees for his favorite political party. But if the party membership fees are too hefty, he would be discouraged from paying them. You therefore need to ensure that the amounts of money charged as political party membership fees are modest. The amount of money you get from individual members may be modest, but if you have a large pool of members, you would collectively get a very decent amount of money.

The second option entails relying on public funds. You see, there are nations where political parties (being important governance entities) are eligible for funding using public coffers. This is where a small percentage of the tax money that is collected is channeled to funding political parties that meet certain thresholds in terms of support. If your political party meets that threshold, then you would be eligible for funding from the public coffers. The amounts of money that are obtainable in this way often turn out to be quite huge.

How to Establish a Political Party Secretariat

One the key steps, while setting up a new political party, is that of establishing a secretariat. The secretariat is meant to serve as the nerve center, from which all the party’s activities are run. It would be very difficult to run a political party in the right manner without a secretariat. The secretariat is the hub, from which all the party’s activities are carried out. The establishment of a political party secretariat usually entails:

  1. Acquiring the premises to house the secretariat: this may entail renting the premises to house the party secretariat. Alternatively, the members may contribute enough money to finance the outright purchase of the secretariat building. Another option is that of having a member who happens to have some idle office space donate it to house the party’s secretariat. All said and done, the party needs to have some physical space on which to base the secretariat.
  2. Electing the officials to be in charge of the secretariat: usually, a political party’s secretariat is headed by the party’s secretary general. So elections may have to be held, for the secretary general to be elected. He would then be deployed to run the secretariat.
  3. Hiring the staff to run the secretariat: the party’s secretary-general can’t run the secretariat on his own. He needs professional staff to assist him. These may be full-time employees, who are paid from the party’s coffers. Therefore, the idea of the party having to sign up for a Securitas Epay account (for purposes of secretariat staff payroll processing) wouldn’t be as unbelievable as it sounds. Under that scheme, the party’s accountant would have to be regularly visiting the paperlesspaytalx login screen, signing in, and proceeding to submit the staff’s payroll data for processing. This, in a nutshell, is to say that the party secretariat should, ideally, be very professionally run. Of course, rather than hiring staff from outside, some party members may volunteer to run the secretariat – making it possible for the party to save considerable sums of money.
  4. Getting the party members to know about the secretariat: once the secretariat is up and running, the party members need to know about it. Then they can be in a position to visit it (or call it), whenever they have any party-related issues they need to be addressed. Ideally, an effort should be made to get the official opening of the party secretariat covered by the national media. That way, many people will get to know about the secretariat.

How to Maintain Political Party Discipline

If a political party is to be effective, its members need to be disciplined. With a disciplined membership, a political party will be in a position to push through with its agendas. A disciplined political party has all its members singing the same tune. They may disagree sometimes, of course — but thanks to party discipline, they eventually find some common ground. A disciplined political party has a clear ‘party line’ which all members and official are expected to tow. And members of a disciplined political party are always ready to take collective responsibility.

Once discipline is compromised, a political party tends to decline rather rapidly.

The question that comes up, then, is as to how political party discipline can be maintained. And in my experience, there are three things that need to be done, to maintain political party discipline, namely:

  1. Training members on political party discipline: once people join a political party, they need to be given an induction course. As part of their orientation, they need to be trained about political party discipline, why it is important, and how it is supposed to be upheld. Once you give people proper training, most of them will put what they have learnt into practice.
  2. Having a party disciplinary committee in place: the existence of this committee would serve as a deterrent measure. Members would know that they risk being hauled before the committee, if they fail to uphold political party discipline.
  3. Sanctioning members who fail to uphold party discipline: sanctions may include being reprimanded (for minor infringements), being suspended by the party (for major infringements) and being expelled from the party (for the truly serious infringements). This works very well in employment situations. A worker may know, for instance, that he risks losing his position, if he goes against the rules and regulations at the workplace. And losing the position would mean going to a portal like, say, the Paycomonline portal, and finding that he has been locked out — and is therefore unable to sign in. Or if he manages to sign in at paycomonline.com he would find that the pay stub section is blank… Aware of such possibilities, the employees are motivated to uphold discipline at their workplaces. Now a similar system can be used to maintain political party discipline. That would be in a scenario where members would know that there are consequences to be had, if they go against political party discipline norms.

How to Protect a Political Party from Corrupt Influences

Political parties are highly susceptible to corrupt influences. Therefore, as one of the people charged with the responsibility of managing a political party, you need to do your best to protect it from such influences. Otherwise your party will be infiltrated and with time, it will stop standing for the ideals it was set up for. We have seen that happen to very many political parties — and if you are not careful, your political party won’t be the exception. Naturally, a question comes up as to how exactly you can protect a political party from corrupt influences. And in answering that question, we discover that there are at least three practical ways in which you can protect a political party from corrupt influences, namely:

  1. Vetting funds: one of the main ways in which political parties are infiltrated by corrupt influences is through funding. You may therefore find yourself having to decline certain funds, if you want to protect your political party from corrupt influences. If you accept the merchants of corruption to fund your political party, you will also have to allow them to influence your party’s policies. Ideally, a political party should be funded by its members. A political party member may, for instance, go to the KPFprepaid check balance webpage, and discover that he has some extra funds in his account. Those would be funds he can donate to the political party. Another member may receive a salary bonus, and opt to devote part of it to funding his political party. Yet another member may receive a cash gift, and opt to devote part of it to funding his political party… These are clean sources of funds. Relying on them is better than accepting money from the merchants of corruption. When you come to think of it, it doesn’t really cost a lot of money to keep a political party going. There is therefore no reason as to why it shouldn’t be possible to fund the party using member’s contributions. But if you have to accept external funding, you need to vet the donors carefully and ensure that there are no ugly strings attached to the money.
  2. Vetting party officials: all people who express the desire to become party officials need to be vetted carefully, before being voted into office. Only the people who strongly believe in the party ideals, and who have no decipherable connections to the merchants of corruption should be allowed to become party officials. People need to be told, right from the outset, that it won’t be automatic for them to become party officials. That they will have to go through a vetting process, before being allowed to stand for party positions.
  3. Empowering ordinary members: it is the ordinary members who know what the party’s best interests are, and who are less susceptible to corrupt influences. Whereas the merchants of corruption can infiltrate the top echelons and corrupt the officials, they can’t corrupt the ordinary members (who tend to be numerous). Therefore, empowering ordinary members goes a long way towards protecting a political party from corrupt influences. You should aim for a scenario where the ordinary members can veto the decisions made by the officials. But if you have the reverse scenario – where the officials are in a position to veto the decisions made by the ordinary members – then your political party is open to corrupt influences.