Saturday, December 2, 2006

Welcome to the Basotho Democratic National Party

On behalf of the leadership and all the members of the Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP) 'Mokha oa Basotho oa Puso ea Sechaba ka Sechaba' I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. We have put this together as a temporary measure while our website is under construction. In the coming days and weeks we will be posting our Constitution, the 2007 Election Manifesto and other documents relating to the progress, development and growth of our Party.

As much as these documents will allow us to explain ourselves and our policies positions our most important and fundemental characteristic is our commitment to the upliftment of the masses of Lesotho's people. The greatest proportion of our people are poor. Despite this and the numerous hardships that they daily endure they remain the backbone of our great nation and the custodians of its true potential. Under a govenment of the BDNP these same people who have so long been neglected will become the main and central focus of our economic, educational and social upliftment. Our democracy will truly become a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We hope that as you read about us and what we stand for you will not only be moved to join us but to more importantly stand up and be counted under whatever party's flag, as a person who is committed to the betterment of Lesotho and all the Basotho people.


In The Future said...

So please tell me, how does the BNDP differ from BNP.?

Joang Molapo BDNP Deputy Leader said...

This is not a fair quaestion but I will try and answer what i think is the fair question.

What is the difference between the BDNP and the other political parties?

1. BNP

Unlike the BNP the BDNP is committed to democracy and democratic practices in all spheres of Lesotho public life. This encompasses not just voting and democratic change within the party but adherence to the rule of law, accountability, respect for human rights including the right to life and respect and tolerance for alternate views and opinions. Furthermore the BDNP is a progressive party while the BNP has become ultra consevative. The BNP cannot with the ideas currently circulating within it address the problems facing Lesotho.

2. LCD

The BDNP is about unifying Lesotho under the banner of national development rather than under the banner of a single party. To us it is more important to firstly get your commitment to developing our nation rather than focusing on getting your commitment to the party. The BDNP is serious about rooting out corruption and cronyism from the governemnt sector while the LCD is all about promoting it when it suits them and then acting on it when it targets their enemies. For us corruption is corruption whoever does it.

On a policy level the LCD has not invested enough in the development of people and has overemphasised the role the government can play in development while underplaying the role that other sectors of society play. The BDNP is committed to a more inclusive system of policy development and implementation. Also we are far more tolerant of critisism. This ability to listen and then respond positively will make Basotho far more understanding that this is their government.

The LCD is about lying to the people. The LCD has been calling its pensions grant system part of poverty alleviation. In its current form it is nothing but buying votes. We understand that in order for this to become poverty alleviation it must achieve two goals firstly it must reach enough of the population for its impact to be widely felt. This can be done by reducing the benefit qualification age to a point where 10% of the population is reached. Secondly the level of the grant must be such that the benefit leads to the injection of cash and helps to create some minor economic activity at the poorest levels of our economy. This entire process can be PAID and achieved by 1. reducing defence spending, 2. bringing under control recurring government expenditure (streamline the civil service) 3. restricting government salary increases to levels equal to inflation.

Basically we will govern for the benefit and advancement of the masses of Lesotho's people and not just for their support bought with false promises.

3. ABC

We are a national party while they are still very much an urban party with an urban bias in policy development and focus. Our main constituency is the poor while they are already pandering to Lesotho's very small middle class. Like us they see the need for change in Lesotho and like us they see that radical means are needs. They key difference is that we believe that the poor must be the first beneficiaries of any positive change in Lesotho. Like other parties they still think that the poor can wait. Still we like them and our talks with them have been positive to date but on a policy level there are still divides to bridge.

4. BCP,LPC,BAC,PFD, NPP, NIP and others

I hope that this does not sound arrogant but it is a fact, we are relavant and they are not. We have ideas and they have slogans.

We have created our party by carving the insides out of the BNP the largest opposition party in the country. They were created by splinter groups from the LCD and BCP. We have the infrastructure of a national party and this will be seen at the polls in 2007. If we were to get 50% of the BNP's 2002 numbers we would far outweigh these parties in support but we knew even before the court case that we had the majority of BNP support and we have left with it. The most crucial trend that will emerge from the 2007 election will be the death of the BNP and the emergence of the BDNP as the largest cenre-right party and the ability of ABC to draw votes from the LCD.

Lastly the biggest difference between us and all the other parties is that we have developed a philisophical understanding of who we are. We are not about the personality of the Leader or animosity towards a person or group of people. We are about progress and social and economic development, we are about addressing the needs of the masses of Lesotho's people. Also we are tired of the politics of confrontation. Yes, we want vigorous national debate but we want to see a more tolerant and respectful culture come into our national political life. Not everybody who disagrees with you is a traitor and this is something we would like to see come into our national way of thinking.

Thope said...

Ntate continue to impress me. I like your response to the question posed although you stated from the onset that you think that it is not fair. Despite your misgivings you have clarified a few points for me about what you stand for and why you left the BNP.

So you are a party which is right of centre? how did you decide on this position and most importantly why? in toehr words you are conservative but not that conservative? to me your position and your intention to alleviate poverty seem does a party which aligns itself with conservative policies alleviate poverty? by conservative policies i mean policies associated traditionally with neo-liberalism or mercantilism...policies which have time and again shown a bias towards big corporations/big capital and reduced/streamlined public spending. All that i'm trying to say is this: to me centre-right spells Washingtonn Consensus which in turn means continued privatization of state assets, allowing foreign capital dominion over our natural resources, streamlining the civil service as opposed to making it more effective in the face of such high rates of unemployment, dowgrading labour rights to make our investment climate more conducive to FDI and so on.

Look at what is happening in South America today (to name a few Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, even Chile) the people in these countries have decided overwhelmingly to elect leftist/socialist governments...why? because parties which were right of centre (or those who conveniently claimed to be centrist) adopted policies imposed by the World Bank/IMF also known as Structural Adjustment Policies (which are increasingly discredited)which are absolutely anti-the poor. Tight budget deficits, reduced social spending and rapid privatisation mean one thing and one thing only...the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Surely you can't be advocating for such policies?

I agree with you on one score...reduce defense spending but please don't streamline the civil service in the absence of real economic growth and job creation otherwise you'll be swelling the ranks of the unemployed. Also i would suggest looking at alternative policy approaches...i for one am not a rabid communist/socialist but i cannot for the life of me understand why we continue to have policies imposed on us by the World Bank/IMF when we can come up with innovative solutions to our own problems. For instance, instead of opening ourselves up entirely to foreign capital why not raise capital for mineral exploration for instance from countries such as Venezuela and Libya, use that capital to shore up local investment consortia and mine our own natural resources for our own good...foreign investors typically exploit local economies and resources, take their income elsewhere, bleed us dry because of all the incentives they enjoy which are then passed on to the taxpayer, spoil the environment, exploit the workforce (i could go on and on)

The evidence is all around us...the poor who you say are your major target group have never benefitted from centre-right policies.

Thope said...

I stand to be corrected of course.

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