Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Political Parties and their Manifestos: Inferring Party Policy Positions in Malawi since 1994 Supervised by Espen Dhale, PhD Mustafa Hussein, PhD
Introduction • Looks at issue variation across parties and elections with respect to manifestos (‘94,’99,’04) • The thesis looks at the behaviour of successful parties with respect to their electoral manifestos • It does not look at issue conflict/ideology (though inferred) but issue emphasis (saliency) • The study does not look at voter behaviour with respect to manifestos although it is somewhat inferred.
Objectives • The role of Political Parties in Policy Representation by inferring party policy positions since 1994 Specific Objectives • Differences in issue saliency across parties and elections (1994,1999,2004) using manifestos. • Policy commitment by parties in power (presidency/parliament) • Changes in national policies due to changes of government. (party/leadership in power)
Theory and Review of literature • Mandate Representation • Saliency theory • Parties, Elections, and Public Policy • Policy positions & ideologies in Malawi
Theory of mandate representation • Party Distinctiveness-meaning that at least two parties have policy profiles distinct from one another. • Voter information-voters must recognize the policy profile of each party • Voter motivation-voters ought to cast their ballots on the basis of the party policy profile they prefer to see implemented by a government
Cont’d • Voter majority-a majority of voters are revealed to have the same preferences, given the choices available • Electoral system translation-the election outcome clearly designates the party with majority electoral support to form government that will carry out its policy • Party Policy Commitment-the parties in government carry out policies as announced at the time of election (McDonald et al,2004:5)
Issue Saliency Theory • Term used to identify which problems a party thinks are most important, and therefore pays much attention to. • It is about issue emphasis as opposed to issue conflict • Strengths for one party are likely to be points of weakness for the others, and program’s combination of emphases is likely to be unique to that party
Cont’d • salience theory argues that parties are different as far as selectivity of issue emphases is concerned. • “the classical conception of party competition assumes that all competitors compete on the same set of issues-tailoring their formulation to the calculation of electoral advantage” (Hofferbert and Budge,1994:22)
Elections and Public Policy • The voters’ choice between the competing parties or candidates is one of the few ways that a nation can make a collective choice of the government goals • the influence of the citizen on public policy is not only based on the policy alternatives chosen but also through their role in selecting elites • V.O. Key, “unless mass views have some place in shaping of policy, all the talk about democracy is nonsense”
Parties and Public Policy • Budge and Laver (1993:499) “the idea that the policies of the government are affected by the policies of the parties that comprise them is at the heart of the theory of representative democracy.” • “policy priorities of governments in modern democracies reflect the formal programs presented by competing parties during elections…and that this congruence between promise and performance is at the heart of… democracy.” (Klingemann, Hofferbert and Budge,1994:2)
Policies and Ideologies in Malawi • “it is a sad, open fact that the political parties we have in Malawi are weakly grounded ideologically and are preoccupied with a narrow range of national issues” (Phiri 2000:68-87) • “all the 1994 and 1999 UDF manifestos were consistently liberal in the message they attempted to portray to the electorate… and that the 1999 MCP manifesto was squarely conservative in its provenance and appeal.” (Phiri, 2000: 77)
Cont’d • Svasand and Khembo (2007: 207-235) also argue that parties in Malawi have “limited ideological differences”, but acknowledge that there are definitely “some differences between parties in terms of issues addressed (saliency)…although less in terms of direction of the policy”.
Design and Methodology • This is Qualitative Research • The study has purposively sampled three current main parties in Malawi-DPP, MCP&UDF • 17 Key Informant Interviews using Interview guide- NEC, MPs, and Experts • Coding- Manifestos (5Domains, 40 categories) • Content analysis- Quantitative (salience theory) • Content analysis- Qualitative
Other sources of information • Government policy documents • Parliamentary Hansards • Budget statements and opposition responses- hansards • Afro-barometer (2002 & 2005)
Major Findings • UDF & MCP have small but significant differences in issue salience –BUT no issue conflict • Govt Party make reference to manifestos when making policies- policy commitment • Parties may say the same thing but emphasis differs • Some changes in policy with change of party/leadership in power
Cont’d • DPP is implementing some of the 2004 UDF issues- MGDS is more vital to the DPP-some ministers don’t know DPP policy orientation…Shire-Zambezi Project • Manifestos don’t help someone win- hence little attention paid- parliamentary elections
Cont’d • Opposition parties have managed to push their manifestos to public agenda- subsidy was a motion moved by MCP • Issue saliency variations across elections- parties respond to prevailing events • Indirect party mandate as opposed to direct policy mandate (holding other electoral factors constant)
Policy Commitment & Policy Shift • Poverty alleviation programme- focused on social sector MASAF • MPRS-PPEs • Agricultural policies-focus on the poor smallholder as opposed to estate farming • Free Primary education • Liberalization of the economy
2001/02-2002/03 Development Budget Allocation by Sector (Economic Report 2002)
Development Budget Allocation by Sector (k million)(Mid-Year Economic Review 1989)
Cont’d • Tsoka (2002), and Khaila and Chibwana (2005) afro-barometer also show that UDF performed fairly well in the social sector but very poor in the economic sector
Mutharika (2004-2008) • Put more emphasis on economic affairs as compared to the UDF • Diverted from the UDF values of social spending in order to achieving macroeconomic stability • Implemented the Fertilizer subsidy-the MCP model • The MGDS policy plan
Conclusion • UDF & MCP are different in issue saliency but little in issue conflict • Issue saliency in both parties changes across elections • MCP emphasize the economy while the UDF puts emphasis in Social sector • Parties do not completely abandon their manifestos when in power • MCP&DPP reflect centre-right while UDF portrays centre-left