Based on the role that a Member of Parliament will play in government, here is a checklist which will enable you to choose the right Member of Parliament for your constituency.
Step 1: Decide what you are looking for in a candidate.
Apart from representing the concerns of their constituencies in parliament, MPs are meant to legislate on the key issues facing the nation, question and hold the government of the day to account and monitor the use of the public purse.
We think that candidates must be assessed based on:
1. The positions they take on national issues.
2. Understanding the concerns of their constituency
3. Qualities of leadership and integrity
4. Experience they bring to office
5. Track record of Public Service
All factors are equally important.
Step 2: Find the candidates for your constituency.
First find out which candidates are standing for election in your constituency. For Gujarat State, you may click on http://myneta.info/gujarat. You will find the details of all candidates with the reliable comparison of their affidavits. Newspapers are another source of information.
Step 3: Sources of information about the candidates.
Put together information about the candidates from various sources which may include:- campaign literature, including campaign Web sites; voter information websites like www.adrindia.org; press reports in newspapers, television and radio; advertisements and candidates interviews/speeches.
Step 4: Evaluate candidates’ stands on national issues as well as constituency concerns:
Passing and modifying legislation is central to the role of a MP. Look at their responses to the Key National issues found in the Candidate Interview/questionnaire in the information you have gathered. Are their responses clear and backed with an action plan or evasive and general?
If the candidate has been in parliament before look at the information provided on their attendance, the number of questions they asked, the debates they participated in, whether they made the special effort to initiate a private member bill on an issue they cared about and the committees they were a part of . This information is also available on the Lok Sabhas website http://loksabha.nic.in
|Step 5: Learn about the candidates’ Leadership abilities and Experience of Office; Integrity and Track record of Public Service.
Leadership & Experience of Office – Leadership is about long term vision for the country and moving towards that goal with good administrative skills. Did the candidate strike you as someone with clarity of thought, ability to execute with the consistent support of the people ?
Integrity and Spirit of Public Service -- While Integrity is difficult to assess from the declared information in the candidate Biodata which includes the candidates criminal record; assets and liabilities may be useful in reaching a conclusion on whether you trust a candidate. Also useful is the reputation for integrity a candidate has developed and his/her willingness to be made accountable . Spirit of public service may be demonstrated through the voluntary/social activity undertaken by a candidate and the campaigns and agitations they have chosen to be a part of.
Step 6: Learn how other people view the candidate.
Now that you have accumulated information on candidates from various sources, you will want to learn what other, more informed, people think about the candidates. Their opinions can help to clarify your own views, but do not discount your own informed judgments. You may be the most careful observer of all!
- Seek the opinions of others in your community who keep track of political campaigns, find out which candidate they support and why.
- Opinion polls taken to evaluate public support for the different candidates reveal who is leading at a certain point in the race.
Step 7: Sorting it all out.
Review the information and compare all the candidates. Ask yourself these final questions.
Is the choice clear? If so, pick your candidate.
- Which candidate demonstrated the most knowledge on the issues?
- Which candidates' view on the issues do you agree with the most?
- Who ran the fairest campaign and seems to demonstrate integrity?
- Which candidate has the leadership qualities you are looking for? (Consider administrative skill, vision and ability to implement).