PML-N, PTI, PPP fail to address important issues in party manifesto

A worker bends while carrying packets of clothes on his back to deliver to a nearby shop in a market in Karachi, Pakistan, on June 24, 2022.  - Reuters
A worker bends while carrying packets of clothes on his back to deliver to a nearby shop in a market in Karachi, Pakistan, on June 24, 2022. – Reuters
  • Of the 18 issues, PPP got zero in 17, PTI in 13, PML-N in 12.
  • PML-N manifesto addressed 12%, PPP 7%, PTI 1.5%.
  • The manifestos were evaluated on the basis of actual reform interventions.

ISLAMABAD: A recent assessment by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) revealed that less than 20% of the country’s critical issues were addressed in the manifestos of the three major political parties. news Information was given on Tuesday.

PIDE has compared the manifestos of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – the three major parties that have historically been at the forefront of forming governments in the past. Have been. Three posts.

It aims to find out whether the manifestos contain concrete and well-thought-out plans or whether they are merely filled with empty promises and broad declarations that lack groundwork for the future.

PIDE, which is affiliated with the Planning Commission, has been advocating reforms in various dimensions for a long time. These reform proposals are the result of extensive research and evidence-based strategies in line with global best practices.

The Institute has identified 18 critical issues/areas considered fundamental, including local government, parliament, elections, cabinet, police, bureaucracy, budget-making, debt management, PSDP, real estate, agriculture, energy, taxation, tariffs, trade, state Is of. owned enterprises (SOEs), and the Internet. Each area is given a maximum of 100 marks.

PPP scored zero in 17 indicators, PTI in 13 and PML-N in 12. Overall, the analysis indicates that the three major political parties have addressed less than 20% of Pakistan’s major economic and policy issues in their manifestos.

Further investigation of the 20% reveals that only 12% of the country’s major issues have been addressed in the PML-N manifesto, 7% in the PPP manifesto and only 1.5% in the PTI.

‘Lack of basic material’

The findings highlight the lack of substantive content in the manifestos related to important issues facing the nation. He suggests that political parties do not have a clear blueprint for action if they assume power.

The lack of substantive content in manifestos results in a myopic approach to governance, characterized by ad hocism and serving vested interests, which ignores the imperative of long-term national development.

For example, the promise to strengthen local government is marked as zero. However, the proposal for the property tax system as the primary revenue generator for local government is recognized as a solid point, receiving a score of 25.

PIDE arrives at these scores by summarizing your proposals for each subject into four points, giving equal weightage (25%) to each point, adding up to 100% for all four points. The institute then compares these points with proposals proposed by each political party on the same topic. If the manifesto also includes one of the points proposed by PIDE, the score will be 25/100. If all the proposed points align, the manifesto will receive full marks (100/100).

It is important to note that the manifestos have been evaluated on the basis of actual reform interventions rather than mere promises, slogans or broad statements.

Disparity between pre-poll promises and post-poll online discussion

Furthermore, in another research piece, PIDE examines whether there is any coherence between what is stated in the manifesto and the digital narratives of party leaders. As revealed by PIDE, the striking disparity between pre-poll promises and post-poll online discussion indicates a significant disconnect.

The analysis underlines the serious neglect by party leaders on digital platforms of fundamental issues such as economic inequalities, infrastructure, unemployment, education, health care, governance, corruption, security, environment and human rights, which are critical to the country’s progress.

While X, formerly known as Twitter, was recognized as a powerful influencer in shaping the political conversation, its use in addressing Pakistan’s socio-economic challenges has been significantly underutilized. Using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to analyze tweets from party leaders cited from 2018 to 2022, PIDE found no alignment between the vision outlined in the manifesto and discourse.

Extensive analysis brings to light a disturbing trend in the online discourse of opposition leaders: the leadership of the PPP and PML-N primarily focuses on family legacy and political conflicts.

PTI leaders’ discussions mainly focused on India’s illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, overshadowing other important national concerns. This emphasizes the lack of focus and commitment on the part of the country’s top political leadership.

PIDE’s call to link political discourse with manifesto commitments underlines the urgency for leaders to prioritize policy matters critical to Pakistan’s development and prosperity. Manifestos should not remain mere paper promises; They should guide the trajectory of the nation, offer a clear roadmap for the ruling parties and present viable policy options for the opposition.

The institute stresses the need to shift the discussion away from personal grievances, family legacies and political mudslinging towards concrete policy matters. It urges leaders to reframe discussions and leverage social media tools for more focused, relevant and policy-oriented communication to address the persistent challenges facing Pakistan.

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