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26.07.2003 Feature Article

Politicians Should Call a Spade By Its Name

By Press
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SINCE THE inception fo multi-party governance in Ghana about 50 years ago, an unhealthy culture of opposition parties criticising every single action of government and the ruling party demonising every single move or statement by the opposition has been growing. In fact, it will not be a serious exaggeration to state that government does many things for expediency and the opposition makes public statements to score cheap political points.

If it is to introduce a new tax regime, say Value Added Tax, you find the minority parties opposing it in its entirety only to turn round to laud it and seek increments in the rate when they are voted into power. Likewise, you have our governments pursuing or starting policies to enhance, say, agricultural production only to turn round to condemn it when they tumble out of power and their opponents proceed to continue that very policy.

This is not healthy. It tends to create the impression that politics is all about haughty arguments. No wonder Parliament is considered by many as a mere talk shop from where little help comes the way of the suffering masses who vote politicians to the legislature and the other arms of government. Of course, the description of politicians as propagandists and argumentators sounds too uncharitable in view of their expressed agenda and what a few are actually able to achieve for their people; but their attitudes to national issues generally leave much to be desired.

Chronicle is not driving at a situation of unity in conformity; far from that. We are all for unity in diversity. But what we will stress on is politicians should ensure objectivity in whatever they say.

It should be possible for our politicians in the minority at this state of our political maturity, to laud government policies in principle but to oppose specific items under the policy. Likewise, government would do well to publicly acknowledge wisdom in some of the suggestions from the opposition and incorporate them in their governance to enhance the socio-economic advancement of the nation.

The New Patriotic Party leader, sometime last year, 'confessed' realising upon entering government that Ghana does require more ministers than his party had criticised the National Democratic Congress government of appointing. That was a rare show of sincerity that one expectd would be emulated by leaders across the political divide. Recently, the NDC parliamentary spokesman on legal and constitutional affairs supported the president's nomination of a member of the Supreme Court as Chief Justice and that too was commendable.

More of these non-partisan, objective approaches to national issues are welcome. Once our leaders show the way, the culture will transcend the entire fabric of our society.

We must de-emphasise the politicisation of all issues of national importance, including the murder of women, stadium disaster, and policies to check indiscipline, and enhance accountability among public office holders.

Press
Press, © 2003

The author has 117 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: Press

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