Promises, promisesCandidates have been promising voters the earth and the sky as usual.
Nepal is currently immersed in preparations for the local elections slated for May 13, keeping the political parties busy with their campaigns to ensure a victorious outcome. And like always, there is no shortage of promises about the work that will be done if elected to power. Amid all the pomp and show, what is missing is the fulfilment of the campaign promises made in previous elections. What choice do voters have in the illustrious list of candidates that promise them the earth and the sky but fail to deliver?
From the growing discord between the people and their representatives, one can deduce that policymakers have been complacent concerning investments in areas where they are most necessary. The current state of the economy gives sufficient reason to question the politicians’ past actions. Despite this, there is lack of persuasive arguments based on facts to justify how prospective representatives intend to fend off the impending economic disaster unfolding right before our eyes.
It may be argued that the issue of a national economic plan stands unrelated to those at the local level. After all, the funds trickling to the local level are run by the same parties that run the central government. So it begs the question: What work is being done at the local level? Over the past several years, misplaced expenditures haven’t gone unnoticed, particularly in rural areas. Instead of investing in the health sector or improving connectivity in remote areas, the local representatives decided that the most valuable and necessary investment would be in the form of a view tower.
And the irony is that it isn’t an isolated local incident. It is money running into the billions—the hard-earned money of taxpayers being wasted frivolously at the cost of more pressing societal needs. Even the capital Kathmandu hasn't been spared from negligence at the local level despite attracting scrutiny from influential quarters; infrastructures lie in ruin—from roads to bridges and garbage to open sewage. The people have been made to endure hardships and difficulties. And despite such dismal performance at each level of governance, the ordinary folks have to tolerate tall claims made by prospective representatives in the hope that things will be different this time.
It surely cannot be that the representatives do not see the difficulties that every person experiences. So how is it possible that priorities are misplaced to such a great degree? While the politicians go frolicking and canvassing for votes, this election assured that no other credible alternative stands a chance against them. Their most minor worries will be the widening gap between what is promised and what is to be delivered. The voters are always left to choose from an abysmal array of choices. As the saying goes, “No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.”