the implementation of
poverty reduction policies?
Poverty is a universal term and poverty elimination is a universal motto.
Poverty destroys individuals, societies and nations. Poverty is hunger.
Poverty is lack of shelter. It is the state of being sick but unable to see
a doctor (Gordon et al., 2003). It is the condition which doesn’t allow one
to have basic necessities in life. Poverty is the condition of not having a
job and no resources to live with. It brings fear of future. It is the
synonym of powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom (Gordon et
al., 2000). Poverty can retard the overall growth of a society. It can
negatively affect the progress of the nation itself. “Poverty is produced
by circumstances, not individuals,” (Fincher ; Wulff, 1998). Economic
crisis increases the so-called ‘poverty sector’, leading to joblessness and
social unrest. A proper planning and a better utilization of the available
resources of the nation will lessen the poverty level to a great extent
(Narayan ; Parker, 2000). Diverting the existingresourcetothe
disadvantaged people is the need of the hour. Every nation needs a proper
governing authority to plan, accomplish and accelerate its growth. In
developing countries especially, governments and political parties lead the
show and try to bring progress to the society and stability to the economy
by eliminating the curses like poverty. The ruling party and other
political parties try to uplift the general status of the society and go
deep into the problems and grievances of the people to a certain extent.
Even though they do have opinion disputes and conflicts among them, they
contribute a lot for the progress of the society and nation (especially
rural areas where poverty is still a problem) (Pantazis, Gordon ; Levitas,
Political interests and competitions play a major role in eliminating
poverty from the nations. In the third world countriesespecially,
political parties contribute a lot for the development works. Political
parties try to perform well during their ruling tenure and take various
actions for the negatively privileged sections of the society. They try to
look into the agonies of the people of ill developed areas since such areas
have the majority of the population in it. These less developed areas would
be eagerly looking forward for a government which can help them to improve
their total grade. No political party can ever think of getting rule in
their hand without the votes of these majority weaker sections. So these
thickly populated less developed areas are very important as far as
political parties are concerned. They try to give alluring promises in
their election campaign so that they can drain the votes of these areas.
Filling the manifesto with various poverty reductionpolicieswill
definitely help the political parties to get the ballot in their favour.
Poverty reduction will be the proclaimed motto of political parties of less
developed countries. When they come into rule, these parties try to
implement their poverty reduction policies to a certain extent at least.
Political parties are very well aware of the fact that unless they bother
about the poverty-stricken areas, nation will not see any progress in
general and also they will not get the following election in their favour.
Increasing number of political parties has thus favoured the development of
nations in many ways. Progress of the nation is the declared motto of
politics though we should doubt how far it is true in the cases of certain
countries that have a corrupted political atmosphere.
Interest groups play a major role in the flow of democracy, especially in
developing countries. Numerous interest groups exist in countries where
there are more issues and problems. A political interest group can be a
group, who tries to influence the government in order to get their interest
about the society done. These political parties, especially the main
opposition parties can fight to get their demands met by the government. In
certain cases opposition parties perform extremely well and they do
represent the weaker sections. They can point out the flaws and weaknesses
of the ruling party and can help them improve their rule. These competing
political forces are of different nature. They vary in their size,
ideology, policy focus, influential capability, and mode of representation.
For example, some groups may focus on certain issues or geographical areas
and some may be interested in certain special topics. Also there are
certain political groups who work on broader areas of public policy.
Certain interest groups focus on government alone to get their demands done
whereas some groups try to influence non-governmental and other private
organizations and associations to uphold their objectives. The political
party which is in power (the representative government) is supposed to
encourage the interests of other competing groups also. They will consider
the opposition’s opinion regarding major issues and will take decisions
accordingly. The competing groups help to establishabalanceby
introducing arguments and resources to bear on various aspects of public
policy decisions. They will equip themselves with power and influence and
have a support from the public such that they can suppress any majority or
minority group of vested interest who become strong enough to weaken the
rights of others. Political groups compete on the playing field created by
the constitutions (national as well as state) and laws. They develop their
own policies and rules based on the constitution and will represent people
for the progress of the nation. In short, these multiple competing groups
try to create a stable political environment that allows the interests of
the common people to be presented before the government.
In Calhoun and John McGowan (1997), the author asks, “Is politics really
nothing more than power relations, competing interests and claims for
recognition, conflicting assertions of ‘simple’ truths?.” But the political
groups of certain countries have proved that they do offer their best for
the development works of their nations. Political parties come out with
various policies and plans that would eradicate poverty, according to their
claims. They try to convince people that they are able to meet their
demands and would repair their impoverished civic and private life. Even
though it is true that ideology has waned and identity and interest based
politics have come to the scene, political parties still try to improve the
poverty-stricken state of the disadvantaged strata of the society. New new
political parties appear into the political scene daily and they also come
up with new promises so that people make their choice on their favour.
These political parties are very well aware about the fact that unless they
implement their poverty reduction policies, they will no longer get favour
in the following election. In less developedcountriesespecially,
political parties have started attending the worries of poverty-stricken
areas. In another words, in certain poor nations, political groups compete
among themselves in providing best policies for people so that they gain
the favour of the poor majority who look forward for a better government
that can eradicate poverty from the society (Lustig, 2000). In other words,
the competition between the political parties have become a boon for people
who expect nothing but a better government that can implement developmental
policies for the improvement of the unprivileged people.
Poverty reduction is the most required development activity of third world
countries, and the opportunity is beckoning the political parties to
formulate their strategy in such a way that they have some edge over their
competitor parties (McNair, 2003). Less developed nations that are under
economic stagnation will only look for a government that can improve the
state of people and society. Proper functioning of democracy will impose
some responsibilities and obligations upon the ruling party as well.
Poverty reduction thus became the first and foremost objective of political
parties and their commitment has improved the state of people to a certain
extent. Poverty reduction policies will be given chief priority in the
budgets also. Political parties during the election campaignsoffer
guarantee of food sufficiency and substantial buffer stock that can greatly
please the people of poverty-stricken areas. Ruling party will be always
cautious that they satisfy the needs of backward groups who have scarcity
problems, lest they may loose the support of people. Opposition to the
ruling parties always try to devalue the policies and budgets of the ruling
party and will try to convince people that poverty reduction strategy of
the ruling party is a failure (Wildavsky, 1986). They will try to get the
support of the group who were not much privileged and will lead the show
against the ruling party. As a result, there will be dissatisfaction and
frustration among the people against the ruling party. In this situation,
the opposition party will take undue advantage of their rights to oppose
the party in power and will start provoking the different sections of the
society against the government. They will synthesize new policies that may
cover more poverty reduction ideologies and will include them in their
manifesto so that the majority will make their choice in their favour. This
game will improve the poverty affected state of vulnerable sections of the
society since they get help from political parties. We can see certain
representatives of the states take great care of the province. They may
always have strong opposition from different parties and therefore have to
perform well during their tenure to reserve a seat in the following
election. In some countries the ruling party will never get a second
consecutive chance to come to power since there is strong opposition who
offer better development policies. The attitude of the political parties of
a nation will be reflected in the rate of poverty and the amount of its
economic growth. In developing countries there will be grave unemployment
problem which can be a reason for the poverty and negative growth of the
economy. In such countries, political parties will plan to create more
advancements) so that they can impress people. This competing mood of
opportunities which will ultimately wipe out poverty and frustration from
the land (Keating & Hertzman, 2000). Similarly diverting the resources of
the nation to the needy people in the appropriate time will reduce the
poverty rate of the people. In nations where there is a decentralized
administration, respective subordinategovernmentshavetoacquire
resources from the central government to use in their provinces (e.g.
India, where there are central and state governments). Political parties
play a significant role in these cases where states that are governed by
better group will be completely free from poverty and economic stagnation.
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