Francis Fukuyama, a Japanese born American political scientist, political economist and writer, noted that political development is quite complex and it involves 3 separate components. These are State Building, Rule of law and Democracy. The third component, Democracy, looks at the exercise of popular sovereignty through multi-party elections. It is at this stage that governments account to the people.
In months time, Ghanaians will join long queues to exercise their constitutional right to universal adult suffrage. Ghana as a nation state adopted a constitution that provides for multi party elections to be held every four years to elect leaders to steer the affairs of the nation. The Ghanaian will be given the opportunity to choose between endorsing the 'status quo' or to disrupt the 'status quo'.That is, to choose between the New Patriotic Party or the National Democratic Congress. Hence the Candidates of the two major political parties, both presidential and parliamentary would be subjected to another competitive electoral process.
Whether or not the electoral process would be determined by superior policies and programs from the two major political parties, I can not tell for now. However, I can predict that the two major political parties would unleash political party foot soldiers on our 'streets' to engage in vile propaganda. With the myriad of socio-economic challenges we are faced with, one would have thought that superior policies and programs should be the determinant of elections 2020.
Undoubtedly, so many other factors would come to play in the determination of the upcoming elections. Therefore, it would be short-sighted ignorance to limit the discourse to policies and programs alone. Consequently, we are likely to witness tribal and ethnic politics play out subtly by politicians. Aristotle insists that man is either a political animal (the natural state) or an outcast like a “bird which flies alone” (4thC BC).
In social contract theory, the social contract or a political contract is an agreement between the people of the state and the government of the state. Citizens agree to surrender absolute freedom and obey laws in exchange for the greater security and prosperity that come from living within an organized society. However, if the government fails to protect the governed, they are free to choose another form of government. Notwithstanding, the state of the Ghanaian in my view, whose electoral decision is based on policies and programs is one that can be said to be in a state of muddle.
This in my view, is a consequence of the government's record on corruption and other socio-economic factors. Corruption was a major campaign message in the 2016 elections which saw Ghanaians reject NDC for NPP, which is an indication that the Ghanaian abhors corruption. So, therefore, it's in the interest of every elected government to take steps to deal with corruption or risk being voted out.
Whether or not Ghanaians would endorse the 'status quo' which wants more time to do more or to disrupt the 'status quo' for the one who wants a 'RETURN' in a year of return is unknown. One can only conjecture at this point of this piece.
To put more light on this piece, I have decided to put the two major political parties in focus, of course, without prejudice to the other political parties.
The NPP in focus - Policies and Programs.
The NPP party prior to the 2016 elections made a number of promises to the good people of this country as captured in the party's manifesto. Some of the promises were; the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy, One Village One Dam, One Factory in every Constituency, the restoration of Nurses and Teacher Training Colleges allowances and many more. It is only fair to admit, that some of these promises have been fulfilled but certainly not without some challenges. Equally, some of the promises are yet to see the light of day. It's based on this fact, that the party is asking for more time to do more, hence the popular mantra, #4more4Nana. This according to the NPP would afford the party more time to implement all their beautiful and ambitious policies and programs for Ghanaians.
A study conducted by Imani Africa revealed that only 48.78 percent of NPP's promises to Ghanaians have been delivered. The President of IMANI AFRICA, Franklin Cudjo stated " collecting data from the 2016 NPP manifesto, all main and supplementary budgets by the government to date, annual progress reports, auditor general's report, reports of statutory bodies such as the public interest and accountability committee, Parliamentary Hansards and agencies MDAs, News papers and news portals, the results show that, the government has achieved an overall performance on executing its manifesto commitment of 48.78 percent " (Source, Imani Africa).
However, President Nana Akufo Addo disagreed with Imani's assessment of the government. According to him, per the government’s data, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will score itself around 72%.
“We’ve fundamental disagreement. Our figures and assessment is the accurate one – 72%,” Akufo-Addo told the media. “I think we deserve much higher.”
Based on the analysis and data above, will you endorse the status quo by voting for the New Patriotic Party in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections?
The NDC in focus - Policies and Programs
The NDC is yet to launch its manifesto for the 2020 elections. However, considering recent pronouncements by the Presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, one can deduce, that the National Democratic Congress wants to roll out superior policies and programs for Ghanaians with the hope to return to the Jubilee House.
The NDC is campaigning on the record of the Mill's/Mahama administration which saw a massive developmental projects, notably amongst them are: The Ridge Hospital Expansion, The New Terminal 3 project at the Kotoka International Airport, The Circle Interchange Project, The New Kajetia Market and a host of other projects across the country.
The NDC party is poised for victory in 2020, and has already outlined some of the policies it would be implementing if given the nod. Many political watchers say, the NDC is of the believe, that the tide is on their way, considering the number of alleged corruption scandals that have plagued the current government coupled with general insecurity and hardship in the country.
It begs the question .. will you vote for the NDC and Candidate John Dramani Mahama for a comeback?
Clearly, Ghanaians would have to choose between the two major political parties, NDC and NPP, to steer the affairs of this country for the next four years. The stakes are very high and political parties are scrambling for media space to sell their policies and programs to Ghanaians.
Which political party gets your vote in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana?
The writer can be reached through his personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org