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RE: Cameron Duodu's 'Why our Electoral System has failed'

Charlotte Est Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, Charlotte Osei

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 Source: Lungu, Prof.

Mr. Duodo chose...to conflate the Ghana case with the UK...What data might actually be at bottom of Mr. Duodo's "facts" with respect to "freedom" of political parties and voters to engage in electoral politics in Ghana, versus the UK?...Question is, if the UK (pop: 64 million)...can have just 2 parties dominating electoral politics, pray tell us Mr. Duodo, why can't Ghana (pop: 28 million) have 4 political parties/entities in the run-up to a regularly scheduled election? .... As of 2016, Freedom House gives Ghana's electoral process a score of 12 out of 12, same as the UK.., the US a 11 out of 12....", (Prof Lungu, 19 October, 2016).

By his own words, Mr. Cameron Duodu could just as easily have titled his essay, "Why Our Political Parties Have Failed Ghana". After all, it is Mr. Duodo himself who proclaims:

"... Political parties and their candidates in Ghana have only themselves to blame, of course if they have been so negligent that they cannot fulfil the provisions of the country’s electoral laws, however complex they may be. They ought to have consulted legal counsel where they were not sure of the meaning of any particular provisions of the electoral legislation...".

But he didn't.

Instead, Mr. Duodo chose not only to conflate the Ghana case with the UK and "countries where real democracy is practised", but also, to muddy his own case against the Ghana Electoral Commission (EC) even more with his comparison of "...a teacher('s)...examination in which over 60 percent of his pupils failed...".

READ:

"...In countries where real democracy is practised, one seldom hears anything whatsoever about “The Electoral Commission”. The “EC” does its job quietly behind the scenes, and wins the confidence of ALL political parties to such an extent that legal challenges to its decisions are noticeable by their absence...".

In the first place, what "real democracy", where, Mr. Duodu?

Question is, if the UK (pop: 64 million) and the US (pop: 320 million) can have just 2 parties dominating electoral politics, pray tell us Mr. Duodo, why can't Ghana (pop: 28 million) have 4 political parties/entities in the run-up to a regularly scheduled election where all entities had freedom and time to ensure documents submitted to the Ghana Electoral Commission were accurate, complete, and truthful?

Assuming the example Mr. Duodo provides of the UK and its “The Electoral Commission" is a valid one, when did "real democracy" transform from a relative construct into an absolute proposition?

Might Mr. Duodu be confused in his own mind about the difference between "electoral democracy" and "national economic performance", (i.e., productivity)?

Look at China, and you will surely know the difference.

Sure, to use just 2 examples, the UK (and the US) have superior economic performance, (and some of us know a lot about the histories at bottom). But, Mr. Duodu ought to convey to us how he concluded that the UK has more "real democracy", compared to Ghana at this present time, or even in the immediate past, if Mr. Duodu has time.

To the point, we expect Mr. Duodu to not just pontificate, but actually show us data precisely at bottom of his "facts" with respect to "freedom" of political parties and voters to engage in electoral politics in Ghana, versus the UK, and his position that the UK is way, way ahead of Ghana.

Our readers will recall that in our vigorous critique and take-down of Dr. Bawumia calls for a "New Voters Register", (read/Google "Dr. Bawumia’s case for new voters’ register in Ghana is bloated with more gas than evidence"), we determined that Dr. Bawumia's "...Entire premise exhibits wanton lack of perspective: Ghana is not Kenya, Senegal, Mauritius, Sweden, or USA, even...".

Same happens to apply here, except that in this case Ghana is more like the UK, and a little unlike the USA.

Same conclusion and position applies to Mr. Cameron Duodu and his latest broadside on Ghana's record with respect to the freedom to choose leaders through electoral politics in 21st century Ghana:

To the point, from our vantage point, given the developmental stage/age of the various countries, the performance of Ghana with respect to electoral politics has actually been superior to the UK and the US, of late.

And that is not just Prof Lungu talking.

Freedom House has been tracking human rights, national politics and electoral participation for over 70 years. They have comparative data on this matter, from the UK, to the US, to Russia, to Cuba, to Nigeria, to Togo, and so forth. As of 2015-2016, Freedom House gives Ghana's electoral process a score of 12 out of 12, same as the UK.

Here is additional data from Freedom House on comparative electoral politics where it matters for our purpose, a score of 12 being the highest they give for top performance:

UK: 12/12

Ghana: 12/12

US: 11/12

Nigeria: 9/12

Côte d'Ivoire: 7/12

Togo: 6/12

Russia 1/12

Cuba: 0/12

Interestingly, for super-high economic and production "machine", the USA, Freedom House assigned 11 out of 12 based on actual record, demonstrating that "real democracy" (i.e. electoral politics) is not only a relative term, but also not analogous to economic productivity or development for that matter.

The example with the US is a rather special case.

The reader should note that the US does not have an "Electoral Commission". Rather, the US has at least 50-plus “Electoral Commissions” called Secretaries of State for the 50 states, plus Territories. Typically, the Secretary of State of each state, elected on party basis, and supported by a partisan Board of Election, are responsible for elections, guided by federal law with respect to Presidential elections, as currently on-going.

The problem in the US is that today, with the blessing of the US Supreme Court under Chief Justice Robert (and Justice Scalia who died recently), no less that 30 Republican Governors of states have over the last 10 years been chipping away at the rights of African-Americans, Latinos, the Poor, etc, to vote. Under the guise of "Voter Fraud", that have been using Voter ID laws devised by the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC), a pro-business, anti-minority, anti-poor Republican-leaning front. The Republican governors claim that their interest is in thwarting electoral fraud. But that is nothing more than voter intimidation, voter bullying - of the poor, minorities, urban dwellers, elderly, etc.

Today, if Mr. Cameron Duodo is aware of any places, districts, towns, villages, regions, etc., where voters in Ghana are subjected to such blatant intimidation by government officials, let's see Mr. Duodu's stand up and identify those places.

To be continued....

NOTES/SOURCES

1. Cameron Duodo. Why our Electoral System has failed, (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Why-our-Electoral-System-has-failed-477840).

2. Prof Lungu: Dr. Bawumia’s case for new voters’ register in Ghana is bloated with more gas than evidence, GhanaHero.com, (http://www.ghanahero.com/Visions/Other_Matters/DR_BAWUMIAS_CASE_final-2.pdf).

3. Freedom House. Political Rights And Civil Liberties: Electoral Process, (https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2016/ghana).

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SUBJ: RE: Cameron Duodu's Why our Electoral System has failed

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Columnist: Lungu, Prof.