As Ghanaians go to the poll come December 7, Economic Freedom Institute (EFI-Ghana) want to stress the need for a just, free, fair, and peaceful election. This election will be one of the highly contested and competitive elections in Ghana’s fourth republic.
Although there are 12 different political parties contesting the elections there is no doubt that the contest is mainly between the two dominant parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The main opposition party, the NDC has already started raising suspicions about the electoral process amidst the call for a free, fair, and just election.
To reduce the fight and the struggle for political power which brings tension and fear during elections — there must be a swift change of mindset on how the majority view democracy:
Winner takes it all policy
The political tension that characterizes this nation during every election is a cause for concern. This is largely the result of the winner takes all policy of most of the political systems on the continent. The two-party monopoly system allows the winner of every election to place party and regional affiliations above the interest of the nation.
This is dangerous for every democratic system that has ever existed because it will eventually lead to the rise of cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men who will usurp for themselves the reins of government.
According to a recent survey by the University of Ghana Political Science Department – the majority of Ghanaians are beginning to vote based on policy issues other than along party lines. According to the survey, of about 11, 0000 respondents sampled nationwide for the survey, 80% said they will vote based on campaign messages, 35.8% said they will vote based on government policies, 23.8% said they will cast their ballot based on campaign promises they hear, and only 18.1% said they will vote based on their party affiliations.
For free, fair, and peaceful elections, we caution every Ghanaian not to vote solely along party lines but to put the interest of the nation first.
Politics of entitlements
It is high time Ghanaians reject the “I want something for nothing” kind of politics where the candidate that promises the largest expense from the public treasury got elected. Politicians always use this kind of politics to increase taxes and expand the size, scope, and power of government. This stifles the economy, creates dependencies, and increases corruption.
In John F. Kennedy’s historic words, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” The role of the citizen in Ghanaian democracy is to contribute his/her skills, talents, and knowledge to the development of the nation and not allow him/herself to be used by any morally bankrupt politician to engage in acts that will undermine the peace and progress of this nation.
Limited Government, liberty and peace
Economic Freedom Institute is a free market policy think tank that supports and promotes a free, fair, just, and prosperous society where limited government protects the inalienable rights of each individual to life, liberty, and property. The idea that “all men are created equal” and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, is a revolutionary idea that creates a free and prosperous society.
Democracy – the rule of the people, has come to replace the totalitarian and tyrannical rule most prevalent in Africa and there must be institutions to support it. As the majority of Africans have come to accept western-style democracy as the best system of government, it is imperative that we commit to the principles of a peaceful democracy. While the desire for freedom may be innate, the practice of democracy must be learned. Ghanaian democracy is the shining star on the continent and we must therefore protect its ingenuity.
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