|During the course of an election campaign, political parties generally produce manifestos to help voters decide who to vote for. A manifesto is the general term used to describe the published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of an individual, group, political party or government. It some countries, the document my be referred to as the party platform, or programme for government.
We've listed over 240 manifestos from political parties across the Caribbean dating back to 1981. The list is sorted by country, political party, and election year. This list is not all inclusive; we will continue to update the list and eliminate any links that close, are found to be unfactual or deceptive.
|The party manifesto generally provides a guide to the policies each party plans to introduce during their term of office if elected and therefore form the basis of its campaign. Voting for that party means that the voter is effectively endorsing that blueprint and giving them a mandate to govern.
A manifesto can be just a simple list of policy ideas, although these days political manifestos tend to be lengthy documents which explain the party’s policies on a wide range of issues in great detail. The key feature of a political manifesto is that it will usually say what the party’s policies are, as well as giving some kind of explanation as to what each policy is trying to achieve and why that would be a good thing, in order to persuade the voter to support it. Manifestos usually cover a wide range of political issues, including the economy, health, education, welfare, jobs, housing, defence, the environment and foreign policy.
Branding is an extremely important feature of modern political manifestos. This usually begins with a title which tries to make the party sound appealing to voters, and often contains some kind of reference to the core theme of the party’s election campaign. In addition, as manifestos are designed to try to persuade the reader to vote for a particular party, they tend to repeat certain key ideas and phrases which they want the voters to associate with their campaign.
In addition, whereas some successful parties view their manifestos as a social contract with the electorate, others do not beleive so. As such the manifesto promises are not binding; political parties do not actually have to do any of the things they said they would in their manifesto if they succeed in getting elected, although they have to be careful, because failing to implement certain policies can leave voters feeling betrayed, leading to a negative backlash.
Traditionally, printed copies of manifestos were distributed at campaign rallies, by mail, or in person. With the advent of technology, several parties now tend to distirbute digital versions of the manifesto through their website or social media. It’s generally acknowledged, however, that very few people will actually read party manifestos – they tend to vote by party and personality.