Opinions Tue, 3 Aug 2010

Property Owning Democracy; A Better Ghana Agenda ...

“Property Owning Democracy; A Better Ghana Agenda”: Which is the Superior Philosophy? Which Sounds Better

Property Owning Democracy (POD) is, by far, the superior philosophy. However, A Better Ghana Agenda (AGBA) sounds better.

The words, “better, “Ghana” and “Agenda” are such common words in our nation’s vocabulary that, it is more likely for the "uneducated" to have come across them, use them, or heard them used. (I even have a friend nick-named “Agenda”)

These words instantly project a vision easily grasped by the masses and the direction-less mind. “Ghana” as it is, could be made “Better” and that is our “Agenda”, simple,sweet and short. It sums up all the areas in which Ghana is currently deprived and depraved; economically, politically, socially, etc. The words easily stick to the mind.

But ladies and gentlemen, these words have no meaning when they are uttered by the P-NDC. In its usage, they are only alchemical symbols purposefully concocted to sedate Ghanaians. And we have 20 years of history to back this assertion up.

At first, it was “Accountability and his friends” and later repackaged as “Vision 2020”. Before we knew it, it was the “New NDC” which morphed into AGBA. ( Please forgive me;I have lost track of timelines, sequences and messages after years of P-NDC’s metamorphosis) But what have they got to show for after 20 years and counting? Yet Ghanaians, euphorically, continue to hail them. Isn't that sedation?

“Life, Liberty and Property” was the original coinage by the U.S founding fathers. But even they, as wealthy-plantation wealthy- as they were, realized the “sinister” connotation associated with “property” in mass politics. Thus we now have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

The NPP’s manifesto which, in reality, is a superior philosophy has been saddled with an Albatross; with “property”, “owning” and “Democracy”.

In the first place, these words were, until recently, very uncommon in our polity. In Ghana, basic Democratic tenets are still fighting for a place in our consciousness after years of Dictatorship. Consequently, “POD” gets lost in translation in a very politically savvy-less society.

Yet we know that the eight year record of the NPP is, politically, socially and economically, light years ahead of the twenty years of the P-NDC.

Further more, most people believe that one of the reasons why the Party lost the 08 elections was its failure to properly convey its enviable achievements to the electorate. As much as concrete achievements are the most visible tell tale signs of progress, the message and the medium, through which they are presented, are equally important. For this reason, many Ghanaians still hold the impression that the achievements of NPP’s administration are less than stellar.

To erase this impression, to effectively pound in its message and to avoid future “calamities”, the party may have to recast its philosophy in a different light and phrase. Instead of “POD”, the Party could coin a phrase in vernacular expressing the same philosophy as enshrined in its manifesto. We should bear in mind that in the classroom, POD would win. But to the masses, AGBA sounds like the Ninth Symphony. And the masses are the target not the professors.

Thus, the Party has less than two years to re-christen its message if it “recognizes” that “POD” is ineffective. (I believe so). It could take advantage of August 7 to roll out the new….to coincide with the election of the flag bearer.

For as at now, the Party’s message continues to be drowned by “a better sounding philosophy”; a charlatan’s noise.

* The above article is loosely inspired by a recently published research paper.

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto

Columnist: Afrifa, Akwasi