Writing a Manifesto
“A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions”
So says Wikipedia. Your manifesto is the most important part of your nomination, it is a list of what you intend to achieve, or the principles by which you stand. When people vote for you, they are voting for what you say you will do. If you are successful in your election, then you will be elected on your manifesto – so if you say you want to paint the Union blue, you cannot then paint the Union red if you are elected.
Try and keep any specific aims and objectives to a concise list, a list of three pledges is both reasonable and realistic.
Your Manifesto should ...
Have three or four specific pledges
be A4 Landscape
Tell the reader a bit about yourself
Only contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Your Manifesto should NOT ...
Be too colourful or complicated
Contain ‘woolly’ or unspecific pledges
Talk about others rather than yourself
Here are some fictional examples.
Vote For Me!
Hi, I am Fred, and I want your vote. Please vote for me in the elections and I promise I will
Fight hard for you
Improve the things that you don’t like
Campaign on the issues that you care about
You can be sure I will do my very best if I am elected, so please vote for me
This makes most of the mistakes mentioned previously, however,
In the first example, there is very little information about the candidate called Fred. We don’t who he is or what he likes. The promises are simply generic statements that have very little meaning, or even worse far too much meaning which means almost everyone can only be disappointed.
Hi, my name is Fred and I am asking you to vote 1 for me in the election for VP Paperclips.
I’m a final year Geography student, and during my team here I have been in charge of the paperclip society, and academic rep for three years and worked as a member staff in Rubix. If you vote for me, I promise I will
Campaign for paperclip credits for all courses
Introduce an advice service for students who want information about paperclips
Work with NUS to obtain a bulk discount on paperclips so we can provide better value paperclips in the Union Shop
Voting is online at vote.ussu.co.uk and you can vote until 6pm on 12th of Monthember
In the second example, we know more about Fred, what experience he has and how he can relate to you (what faculty he is in etc). Use this section to explain about experience you have had, for example committee positions held, work experience, etc.
· Your manifesto pledges are very important.
Relate them to your own time here at University as well as the experiences of people you have met. Your year in office will be judged against the success of fulfilling your manifesto pledges. It is highly recommended that if you are unsure, you discuss your pledges with the relevant member of Union staff or Exec to gauge how possible these will be to achieve.
· You can only pledge what you are allowed to do.
Be aware there may be on-going projects, policies or initiatives that will be put in place by your predecessors and you will not be able to reverse this. There is more information on future plans for the Union later in this guide.
· You can only pledge within the scope of the Union.
It is not in the scope of the Union to campaign or work on issues that are not of direct relevance to Surrey students.