Forty three years after our nation became a republic, reports of the demise of the CPP, the party that won us our independence and led us into a republic, are greatly exaggerated. Yes, the CPP maybe gravely wounded but are the wounds terminal or can the party be revived? There are those who conveniently chose to believe that the Supreme Party is incapable of being nurtured back to health, what with the state of our hospitals in Ghana. This school of thought is probably blinded by the opportunism of some of its so called leaders and the positioning rifts within the camp. They wish that the party was dead and that something else takes its place.
I am one of those people who think that, though the party seems to be dying, the knells and tolls are premature. As an eternal optimist, I believe that the policies of the CPP in the sixties would have shifted from one of state corporatism to private enterprise development. I still believe that despite all that has been said about state enterprises, there was a time in the history of our nation when we needed state enterprises.
I am one of those who still believe that the accelerated educational policy that was adopted by the party, and that was responsible for providing good education to the present crop of politicians, could not have been implemented by any other party.
And I still believe that the health policies of the Supreme Party, despite our poverty, saved most of us from certain death because we would have been condemned to the divination of traditional healers, when modern scientific advances were what the country needed.
So why is the party still struggling? It is struggling because until we have that debate about the best paths that Ghana, an underdeveloped country, must take towards development, the country will never come into its own. All that the present leaders of the party are doing is postponing that debate. The thought that money and personality are the only factors that are required to win the hearts of the electorate in the country must be debunked now. Nkrumah achieved that with new ideas.
What the CPP needs to win are the minds of the people, what we need to do is to remind all that 35 long years after the CPP was overthrown by military adventurers, we still have a Ghana Airways and a Ghana Commercial Bank that the present NPP government is thinking of selling to raise money for its campaign at 2004.
But we also need to remind the electorate, that a poor man who does not have capital cannot adopt a capitalist way of operating a country. Capitalism is about people working for the capitalist, it may be the best way of running a business, a commercial entity, but is definitely not the way to run a poor country.
So what must the CPP do? The CPP must widen the debate about the paths of development for the country.
The CPP must bring to the fore the debate on our utilities, about our health system, about the governments commitment to education of all the people, wherever they live in the country. The CPP must challenge the present government on what it intends to do for the masses and how it intends to empower the people, especially our youth. The was a time when the present ruling party preferred to refer to poor people as individuals now they have also adopted the lingo of independence. They even clearly boast that they have adopted the internationalist perspective of the CPP.
The CPP must also challenge the failed policies of the NDC. How they bungled the educational and health systems and how they sold the country short by disposing of some of the country's priced assets for little more than peanuts.
The CPP must show to all that what the NPP is doing is nothing new, they are merely following the failed policies of a discredited party and prove to the electorate that all that is happening now on the Ghanaian scene is more of the same borrowing to the hilt as if it is only by using money from abroad that the country will rise up again.
I am certain that the electorate is gradually becoming aware of this, that the NPP cried and shouted so much in opposition about how they had the people and all we find now is that they were bankrupt of ideas and their vision was somehow blinkered and distorted by their desire to use the courts and all they have at their hands to discredit their political opponents.
It is now evident that buried under the mass of statistics about the performance of the present government and how they are turning around the economy, they still cannot get things right for the common people who still form the mass of people in this country.
And whilst the CPP is asking all these questions of the two main parties, the NDC and the NPP, it must also challenge the domesticated policies of the mavericks, the inactive ranting of the suspended party, and the twisted vision of the reformists.
The CPP has a lot going for it. Those involved in the socialist forum must not leave their discussions in theories and concepts. They must also tell us how these concepts can be contextualised into development plans for a developing nation like Ghana.
The time may not be right for the CPP, but since it was the only party that could lead us into independence and into a republic; it is the only group with the clarity of vision that can take us back on the path of development that will lead to growth.
The time for taking the message to the people is now! Forward ever, backwards never! Ade Sawyerr is a management consultant. He focuses on enterprise, community development, and employment strategies for ethnic minority people in the UK. He passes occasional comment on developmental issues in Africa and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.
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