When I wrote last week about being tired of NDC complaints, I was referring to their numerous complaints about the forthcoming elections. I get the sense that some of you felt I was talking about their complaints in connection with issues such as corruption, the state of the economy, the sale of state enterprises etc. I just want to make it clear that I was specifically referring to the elections.
Secondly, going through the comments, quite a number of you felt that the import of my article was that the NDC had no right to complain. Far from that. They have every right to complain. And I also have a right to complain about their complaints. Thank God you also have a right to complain about my complaints against their complaints. That's democracy!
As an opposition party, how else can the NDC contribute to governance and keep the administration on its toes if they do not complain? My concern though is that (with particular reference to the upcoming elections) their numerous complaints are becoming a nuisance. This is because there doesn't seem to be any substance in most of their complaints – from the one about the 'bloated' electoral roll in Ashanti to the alleged plot by government to use the security agencies to rig the elections. These complaints only generate heat – the very thing we don't need at this time.
As a direct consequence, when we wake up and I hear about yet another NDC complaint, the tendency is for us to say: “there they go again”.
And this is where the story of the little shepherd boy who took raising false alarms and crying “wolf” as a hobby comes in. You remember the story, right? People got very annoyed with little for crying wolf when there was none and decided that he'd be better be ignored. When the wolf actually showed up, teeth bared, he cried “wolf”. Nobody paid attention to what they felt was yet another false alarm and the wolf devoured his flock.
It's in our interest to have a complaining opposition party. But democracy suffers when the complaints become so frequent and baseless to the extent that people feel the opposition party should be ignored. And an opposition party with a credibility crisis is not a useful party. I am sure the NDC this is not the NDC wishes for itself.
Finally, a lot of you suggested that in 1999/2000 the NPP did what the NDC is doing now. So it's alright. The NPP complained a lot about the electoral processes. Granted. Officials of the Electoral Commission will tell you that their complaints helped to fashion out our current electoral system, which is not perfect but is almost as good as it gets. The NPP complained, for example, about ID cards without photos and the EC responded by affixing pictures to all our voter ID cards. Contrast this with the NDC's complaints. I haven't heard a single complaint from them that will in one way or the other compel the EC to significantly improve on the electoral system in any way. Rather, their complaints tend to needlessly add to the political tension in the country and this is not what I expect of an opposition party.
Furthermore, this “they did it so it's alright for us to do it” argument doesn't wash with me at all. It's utter nonsense! The Kufuor administration likes to point to all the wrongs the NDC did in power to justify their misdeeds. It's not right. I have heard NDC sympathisers make this argument over and over again that “our wrongs from the past should not justify your present transgressions.” So I am surprised that these same NDC sympathisers will turn around and argue that if the NPP complained (and generated needless heat eight years ago) it's alright for them to do the same now.
Somehow, I understand. It is politics as usual, isn't it? Sadly, this is not what our country needs. If the NDC thinks that crying wolf when there is none is what will win them the votes, they should go right ahead. No one can take away their rights to complain. But if they seriously want to put themselves out as the 'Obamafied' party that will bring us change, I think they should go back to one of Obama's core messages: that we cannot play the same old political games and expect to transform our society.
My point, therefore, is quite a simple one. The NDC can complain all they want. I am tired of their complaints. I hope I am the only crazy dude with delusions that the NDC might suffer the same fate as the shepherded boy who entertained himself by crying wolf when there wasn't even a goat nearby.
To those of you who think I've been bought, I have just one question: can you tell the difference between a goat and a wolf?
Credit: Ato Kwamena Dadzie