Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Smith-Howell

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Sherer

Third Advisor

Dr. James Johnson


This study analyzed the 1999 Botswana political manifestos that were used by the Botswana Democratic Party, the Botswana National Front and the Botswana Congress Party. The purpose o f the study was to analyze how political parties differentiated themselves through the use of symbols, the narration of their policies, and their general narrative. The results from qualitative content analysis study indicate that political parties used different symbols in their manifestos. The concentrations of symbols for the three parties were in the cover page, and for the BDP and BCP inside of the manifestos. While the BDP and BCP had some graphics inside the manifesto, the BNF had all its graphics on its cover page. The BDP was the only party that used symbols in the entire manifestos, at the beginning of every section. According to the three parties, the political history of Botswana began in 1965. The BDP states that the country has gone through tremendous development, whereas the opposition parties state that the country has not developed, as it should have. The BDP sees the future of the country as a bright one if it continues to rule, whereas the opposition parties see the opposite. The BDP acclaims the success of Botswana and attacks the opposition parties in generalized terms, whereas the opposition parties attacks the BDP without attacking each other. The opposition parties also viewed the system as less democratic and both wanted to give the Independent Electoral Commission more powers. Future research should investigate the differences of using manifestos in parliamentary systems versus political advertising, which is mostly used in federal systems.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright, 2003 Thabo Bright Moipolai