How to choose the right Political Candidate?

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During the election season, political candidates tend to make many promises to the citizens. And year after year, we see that these promises are not fulfilled by the leaders. Hence, a greater percentage of citizens do not believe in voting because they feel no good people are vying for office in this country. 

But this is not accurate because we can choose the right political candidate. We can’t afford to give up. The same way we put in tons of effort to get the most qualified person for a position in our office is the same way we must also endeavour to put in the right political candidates in offices.

  1. Decide you want the right candidate: This is very important. The moment you decide you want the best candidate to win the election, you will do the work to ensure the right candidate wins. You will do everything to ensure you vote in the election, you will not sell your vote for anything at all, you will ask the candidates brilliant questions that affect you and your community at large, you will attend town hall meetings.
  2. Decide what you’re looking for in a candidate: Before choosing a candidate, you need to decide the issues you care about in your community and the qualities you want in a leader. When you know this, you tend to make a more informed choice.
  3. Get a list of all the candidates vying for that office in your community or state: Do not assume only 2 candidates are vying for that office. The others might just not have enough money for a proper campaign. Do your research and dig them out.
  4. Gather materials and information on all the candidates: After getting the list of candidates, research each one. What have they done before? What positions have they held? How did they handle it? What innovative solutions did they bring to the table? At this point, many of the candidates tend to decide how they want to be perceived. Don’t fall for the trap. Dig deep and know what they did before the ran for office.
  5. Evaluate the candidate’s stand on issues: Is the candidate addressing societal issues? Is he/she voicing out plans to solve common problems? Or is the person consumed with party wars and giving bribes? If so, that candidate, is not right for office. If the candidate does have plans, find out if they are achievable and if you resonate with them.
  6. Learn about the candidate’s leadership abilities: This might not be so easy to decide. But you can look at the candidate’s experience and background. How well prepared are they for the job? How have they exemplified leadership qualities before?
  7. Sort it all out: Before you make a decision, ask yourself these questions:
    1. When it comes to the issues, whose views do you agree with?
    2. Which candidate demonstrates the most knowledge on these issues?
    3. Which candidate has the leadership qualities you are looking for? 
  8. Campaign: Now that you have a right candidate, campaign vigorously for the person. The truth is that politics is a game of numbers. When you have many people on your side, your candidate will have a higher chance of winning. 
SHIFT is a non-partisan organisation that builds support for transformative leaders in communities across Nigeria.