Political market imperfections occur where dominant actors conduct their business in a way that violates the basic rules and tenets of the political system. The imperfections become socially significant when the actions of these strong actors have the potential to negatively impact the wellbeing of other stakeholders in our society. This in my opinion is the situation in which Corporate Ghana finds herself.
The NDC rejected the budget which has been described by the ruling party (and a section of Ghanaians) as complete violation of the constitution and the rules of parliament. Riding on that violation by the NDC the ruling NPP has also acted in a manner that a section of Ghanaians find constitutionally problematic. What is worrying about the current political gymnastics is that the matter at stake has to do with BREAD AND BUTTER for the ordinary Ghanaian. The government`s fiscal policy affects all three units of the economic system: the household, businesses and the state.
The questions ordinary Ghanaians ask are; is the present rivalry and battle for parliamentary supremacy healthy for our democracy? How will that translate into incomes, jobs and infrastructure for ordinary citizens?
In commercial markets, competition is permissible only when the outcome benefits all stakeholders in society. Where (electoral) competition becomes destructive/disruptive society will reject it. The new norm in commercial markets is now collaboration. This allows parties to pull resource and build synergy.
Whether Ghana emerges from this current situation stronger and better or weaker and worse off depends on the choices that our representatives make moving forward. Let us evaluate the options available to parties:
- One of the parties goes ahead to uphold and consequently implement its decision
- One of the parties goes to the supreme court (SC) for redress
- The parties listen, engage and build consensus
Option one is only available to the most dominant party in this rivalry. The NPP could go ahead and implement the budget. This in my opinion is politically unwise. In a hung parliament such as this, the ruling party will require the cooperation of the NDC to effectively function. Going it alone without the minority will worsen the already dire rivalry for parliamentary supremacy. In that case government business will suffer and the ordinary Ghanaian will lose trust in our democracy.
Option two is not only unwise but needless. The executive and the legislature must learn to bear their own blasted burden. In my opinion the parties will be putting the reputation, image and integrity of the SC to test once again. Whatever verdict the SC gives will invariably be unpleasant for a section of Ghanaians. Again, the involvement of the SC in politically sensitive matters such as this has the potential to ignite battle for supremacy between and among the three arms of government. Let us be reminded that a battle for supremacy among these three arms of government in the second republic proved very costly for the nation`s democracy at the time.
Option three is good for Corporate Ghana because it has the potential to placate all key stakeholders involved in the current matter. The minority will feel recognized and consequently satisfied. The ordinary citizens will achieve some relief and that will make them not only satisfied but confident in the system. The government will then be able to go ahead with its business knowing that it has the support of the other stakeholders.
Politicians must be reminded that as providers of public services the quality of their performance in government is measured in terms of EMPATHY, COMPETENCE, RESPONSIVENESS and RELIABILITY. Quality performance will impact positively on voter satisfaction and future voting behavior of citizens.
The Bottom line: EVERYONE WHO HAS EARS CAN LISTEN BUT LET ONLY THOSE WHO ARE HUMBLE EAT THE PIE
Source: Anas Sulemana FCIM
Lecturer: Tamale Technical University
(A PhD student of Political Marketing; UGBS)