An illustrative approach in defining new politics is to contrast it with old politics. The basic orientation of new politics developed by the Movement for New Politics clearly showed the wide gulf of difference between old and new politics. While old politics is purely electoral, new politics combined both electoral and non-electoral pressure politics in the form of struggle. The former works for a change in leaders while the latter extends it to changing the system. The former promotes the interest of a few elite, while the latter promotes the interest of the majority. Old politics is identified with traditional parties and politicians - thus traditional politics or TRAPO, new politics is identified more with people’s organizations, alliances and non-governmental organizations. New politics is also politics of change.
We also distinguishes between ”old electoral” and ”new electoral politics”. It warns against simplistic contrast (e.g. personalities vs. program or power vs. cause) and argues that new electoral politics combines power and principle, personality and program with the stress on principle and program.
The politics of TRAPO has always been against genuine change. Because it is driven by narrow interests, it is consistently opposed to popular reforms espoused by the poor and marginalized people such as land reform, decent wages and basic social services. The old and trapo politics, promises are bound to be broken unless elected leaders begin to walk the talk by reforming the political system, initiating transparency, accountability and people’s participation in governance, among other basic reforms.
We remain victims of a rotten social and political system continuously perpetuated by the trapos. But there is hope; it is in us, the people - in our unity and collective action.
It’s time to make a change in Bansud!