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POLL: Should electoral campaign manifestos be legally-binding?
10 July 2015 @ 12:18

Three-quarters of all Spanish people interviewed say they believe political parties' electoral campaign promises should constitute a legally-binding contract.

According to the Sigma Dos questionnaire distributed by the Transform Spain Foundation, eight in 10, or 79.8% consider these manifestos to be 'important' when deciding whom to vote for, and just over half - 50.3% - say it is their content that influences them more than the party's political colours or the candidates.

In three out of four cases, or 74.8% of respondents, voters believe that as they cast their ballots in good faith based upon these promises, they should be enforced if the party gets into power and that, if the politicians in question breach the contract, they should be treated in the same way as if they had broken any other binding trade agreement: required to fulfil their side of the bargain, resign, face financial sanctions, or otherwise be held accountable.

An overwhelming majority, nine in 10, believe elected parties are generally very unlikely to do what their manifesto says; in fact, whilst 46% say they 'rarely' do so, 44% say they 'never' do.
And more than nine in 10 Spaniards interviewed - 93.4% - say failure to fulfil the aims of an electoral campaign programme means society loses trust in the party itself and the entire political system.

Independent party Podemos' faction in the capital, Ahora Madrid, and its leader Manuela Carmena - now mayoress - said before the elections that her programme was 'only a suggestion'; rival candidate on the PP Esperanza Aguirre produced just one sheet of paper with 10 bullet points, and the now-ex regional president of Castilla-La Mancha and secretary-general of the PP-run central government María Dolores de Cospedal failed to produce her own manifesto until May 22 this year, when the public was due to go to the polls on May 24.

Whilst Sra Carmena's 'mistake' happened after she had already been voted in, Aguirre's and Cospedal's failure to focus on what Spaniards consider the most important part of the entire voting process cost them the elections.

The Sigma Dos research shows how 80% of those interviewed believe an independent board should audit all manifestos, especially in terms of costs, to stop parties promising changes they will never have the funds to carry out, and 91.2% believe each proposal should come with an estimated cost or budget and details of how the candidate intends to finance them.





Like 1


harddunby said:
11 July 2015 @ 09:26

Manifestos are wonderful intoxicating lies by which politicians get themselves elected. If they had to speak the truth they would have nothing to say. The better way is a referendum as in Switzerland where a majority makes it legally binding.

observing said:
11 July 2015 @ 11:11

In some EU countries, party programmes are scrutinized by an independent organisation, usually the same as the one that audits the government's accounts. The result is a realistic view on the costs involved in what parties propose.

TravelswithCharlie said:
12 July 2015 @ 13:13

The term legal is not the best word, manifestos should be politically binding. The new liberalism on today allows the market to dictate policy based on the probability of particular policies. It should be the other way around like it used to be prior to 1979c. Manifestos or policies should reflect the aspirations of a group of voters who support the ethos of a political party more than the specific nature of what may be said during an election campaign. The question also is not a good one. If you support a particular party you should know how they will behave when in government not just manifesto claims. A manifesto should be a list of aims expressed within the philosophy of the party making those claims. So call it a manifesto but really the manifesto should reflect THE core aims of the party and demonstrate how they are going to achieve those aims making the manifesto more than just a few clever or popular culture expressions or words.

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