Friday, 5 June 2015

Should politicians be held accountable to deliver on promises they made during campaigns?

The campaign period is a time when aspiring politicians sell themselves and their programs to the electorate. These programs lay out what a politician will do if given the mandate he or she seeks. Given that governance is a serious issue, these programs are not plucked out of the air nor do they represent exercise in levity, dishonest marketing or display of naivety. The programs spelt out by politicians are important in that they guide the electorate in its decision making process on who to vote for. In other words, voters take politicians' programs as assurances of what to expect from the person who is making the promises should he or she win. Since the promises and pledges are freely and responsibly made, voters are right and justified in expecting their delivery once the successful politician assumes office. The politician is thus accountable for promises made and must be judged by how much he or she keeps faith with these pledges and promises. Backtracking on these promises and pledges in the absence of any demonstrable force majeure is proof of irresponsibility, deceit and unreliability.

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