Which is important in election manifestos, macro or micro policies? - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

Which is important in election manifestos, macro or micro policies?

Now is the time for election manifestos ahead of the Nov. 1 election. It is certain that some of the economic and social promises that left a mark on the June 7 election campaigns will come to the fore again in the Nov. 1 elections.

While there is no doubt that parties will center their focus on economy when appearing before the voters, it's not certain whether the economic promises will consist of macro or micro policies.

The question we face at this point is, “Which should be prioritized to influence the voting preferences of voters; macro or micro applications?”

Macro policies involve the country's production, investment, recruitment and export. Micro policies involve the distribution of revenues, the social policies applied, the opportunities and resources provided to the retired, poor and disabled.

In case there isn't an improvement at the macro level, a non-existent improvement cannot be expected to reflect on the micro level. Hence, macro and micro policies actually complement each other.

Just as one cannot be preferred over the other, one cannot replace the other either. In an old saying, micro and macro economy policies are “essential components,” in other words, they complement the whole and cannot be separated.

Micro and Macro choices of parties

In the June 7 elections, parties stood before the people emphasizing different points in their election manifestos. For instance, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had chosen to focus heavily on macro policies and for this very reason was criticized. Macro policies such as the new airport, bridge and energy were projects that added to Turkey's prestige in the international arena. These projects that were given names such as “project of the century,” “giant projects,” are also investments that have a positive impact on the perfection of the country.

However, like previous terms, the AK Party was expected to give prominence to micro applications once again in the June 7 elections, with the expectation of these policies to have an effect on people's lives. Furthermore, the lack of a new discourse at the micro level was a disappointment for the low- and middle-income groups with which a strong bond was established in previous times. So when reading the elections results, the fact that there was no micro aspect to the social and economic promises should not be ignored.

On the other hand, unlike in the past, the Republican People's Party (CHP) included micro policies in its manifesto, even if by an understanding that was far from being genuine. When the CHP returned to the field with the retired and minimum wage earning segment, which it ignored for years, it showed that micro policies are no less essential than macro policies. The power of micro policies changed even the CHP mentality.

However, for micro policies to materialize, macro policies must be implemented with success. The fair distribution of economic gains and the sustainability of these gains require continued economic growth.

Increased investments, a positive perception of the country, decrease in risk premium all depend on macro policies. Hence, when demanding improvements at the micro level, macro applications should not be pushed into the background.


Macro and micro policies are not alternatives for one another

However, it seems that ahead of Nov. 1, we will be hearing more of the economic and social promises targeting the micro level rather than the macro level we heard frequently before June 7. But those who will be using micro policies in their election campaigning also need to explain what they will be doing at the macro level.

As much as we would like a bridge to be built, we would like to cross that bridge in our own cars. While being happy to receive a new airport, it is also important how much we will personally be using this airport. Also, in addition to this, in order to increase the personal welfare, ensuring an increase in welfare throughout the country is an absolute must.

This is why before the election manifestos are yet to be announced, there is benefit in noting that prioritizing the economic and social promises alone will not be enough. Thus, it is clear that making a preference between micro- or macroeconomic policies will not reflect positively on the country or the people. Appearing before the voters with these facts will prevent Nov. 1 from becoming a repeat of June 7.



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