The plethora of peace campaigns on election 2020 is a recipe for fear and panic

Atiwa East MP Campaign There is the need to promote peace before during, and after the 2020 elections

Wed, 2 Dec 2020 Source: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

Peace is an essential building block for development and for this reason, makes it imperative for people to preach it to enhance our social cohesion and promote peaceful coexistence amongst every facet of our nation especially before during, and after the 2020 elections and every subsequent election for that matter.

Therefore adverts on peaceful elections are definitely a step in the right direction which must be praised by all and sundry.

It therefore may sound weird for one to take a position such as mine on a reduction in the plethora of peace adverts on our televisions when December 7 is approaching every four years but the crux of my argument is not far fetched based on a number of reasons some of which would be underscored by the points in the ensuing paragraphs below.

It is my firm position that too many peace campaigns further deepen tensions, create fear and panic as if the nation is preparing for war. It is a fundamental axiom that too much of everything is bad and this is very correct because salt is good but too much of it renders food tasteless and inedible.

We, therefore, do not need too many peace campaigns which further exacerbate tensions.

I also believe too many adverts on peace cast an image of a democracy that is refusing to grow. Yes, it was a panicky moment in the year 2000 because a change of government through the power of the thumb had not occurred throughout history in this country especially when His Excellency the Former President Jerry John Rawlings had perpetuated power for close to 20 years, a government that had metamorphosed from military junta to a democratically elected one made it reasonable for our media landscape to be flooded with plenty peace campaigns.

The experiences are drawn from previous elections and the fact that the nation had almost been on the brink of conflict from such elections especially the 2012 elections but managed to resort to the peaceful resolution must allay all fears. However, a fair system that reflects a level playing field that allows contestants to win or lose convincingly without any shred of doubt is a non-negotiable requirement in this regard.

Tolerance is "the willingness of people to allow others to think, speak and act in ways in which they disapprove... it promotes debate and intellectual progress by ensuring that all beliefs are tested in a free market of ideas" (Heywood 2007 p46). This means voting for the NPP or the NDC or any other party is like going to the market where ideas are sold. No one determines for you what to buy.

I refer every Ghanaian to Prof. Heywood's stance on tolerance because it is one of the important cardinals of democracy. Having a relatively peaceful change of government alone is woefully inadequate as democracy goes beyond that!

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye
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