Balancing the ticket is when a political party candidate vying for an election chooses a running mate or partner mostly from the same party, with the aim of bringing more widespread flair and appeal to their campaign in order to win majority votes in the elections to form a government.
In the political dynamics of the united states of America, which is regarded as the beacon of modern-day democracy and a citadel of freedom of speech and the rule of law and governance. This is most significantly used to benchmark the selection criteria of a Vice Presidential candidate in the body politic of the U.S.A and other modern democracies around the world.
A well-balanced ticket is a strong bargaining chip in the face of a tough and stringent political encounter/competition, so to speak in our particular political phraseology, there are several ways and means by which the ticket of a particular political party that wishes to run for an impending election may be balanced.
In Ghana for example, someone who is from a different region than the candidate may be chosen as a running mate to provide geographic balance to the ticket. If the candidate is associated with a specific faction of the party, a running mate from a competing faction may be chosen so as to unify the party. Similarly, running mates may be chosen to provide regional, ideological/religious, age, or demographic balance. However, it has always proved virtually impossible in the context of the Ghanaian body politic to get someone who combines within his or her ancestry, personality, skill, wisdom and experience thus far all the values most probably cherished by Ghanaian voters, but key is regional and religious.
Sometimes, parties console themselves by attempting to make up a running mate with a composite image of a forward looking grassroots person, rural-urban in character, youthfulness, experienced leadership, high education, wise leadership that evokes hometown, ethnic, and party loyalties among other factors that are so much significant to bear on the party ticket. In the case of the John and Jane ticket not much of these attributes can be seen, quite surprisingly, the religious balanced has been conspicuously missing in the list of these criteria of attributes, that comes the big question, will the anchor hold for the John and Jane ticket? Obviously No!
Ghana is a circular religious country and for any political party to get their political narrative (so-called) sold and bought by all well-meaning Ghanaians across the political divide, a sort of religious diversity is always needed to do the trick and to cut the political ice in the face of a keen competition, the John and Jane ticket lacks same and for me, it’s already a huge albatross hanging the neck of the NDC going forward to the general elections on the 7th of December.
Here again, I would give you an American example, in 1960, Mr. Lyndon Johnson was chosen by Mr. John Kennedy not only because he was a southerner but for other reasons as well (something we called a synergy of traits), for instance, Mr. Johnson was perceived then to be more conservative than Mr. Kennedy at the time which basically balanced the ideological ticket but in the Ghanaian situation where there should be need to balance the religious ticket, unfortunately, this window is missing; for, candidate Mahama is a northern Christian and Running mate Naana Opoku Agyeman is a southern Christian a Waterloo pair. At this point, the NDC in Ghana only stands to lose all over 45 percent of the Muslim votes come December 7th, 2020.
It is worth noting, that in as much as this article is not intended to foster religious bigotry and sentiments, it is important and highly significant to make the call to all Muslims across Ghana, to as a matter of necessity to reject the John and Jane (so-called) ticket, because, it is poorly balanced and appears to be alien to the political history of our dear nation.
God Bless our homeland Ghana!
By; Luqman Abubakari
NPP Communication Director, Leipzig-Germany
Email: [email protected]