On 7th December 2004, Ghanaians will go to the polls to elect a new administration to govern the country - a historical moment of immense importance in all aspects of the development of our dear country. My article discusses two major factors which influence elections and how the two major political parties in Ghana - The NPP and the NDC - fare in them: Political traditions Political leadership The factors above combine to form a very powerful influence on how people cast their votes. Voters come to think of the tradition of the party they want to cast their vote for and whether the leadership of the party embodies the enduring characteristics of the tradition. 1. Political Traditions No political party emerges from nowhere. All political parties have a history which tends to constitute its tradition and from which the consciousness of the party is formed. People who believe strongly in the political tradition of the party constantly vote for that party and constitute the political base of the party (not a political tribe as some call it in Ghana). Now let us see the broad political traditions of the two parties I have mentioned above.
The NPP is the descendant of the UGCC, a political movement that was engaged in the struggle for the independence of our country from Britain. Its grandfather is the UP and its father is the PP. A close reading of the dynamics of NPP reveals that it is a movement that is still engaged in fighting for, this time, the "private-individual" (not political) independence of Ghanaians. It is "private-ownership" capitalist consciousness that defines and drives its being as it did the UP and the PP.
The NDC is the descendant of AFRC, a military government. Its father is the PNDC, another military government. A close reading of the dynamics of the NDC reveals that it is a conglomerate of individuals (not a movement) still with militaristic tendencies of 'boom boom' speeches, thuggery, intimidation, trepidation and machoness that constitute its consciousness, defines and drives its being as it did the ARFC and PNDC.
With these broad pictorial traditions one can easily see the political ideologies that propel the leadership of these parties. If you take the ruling Kuffuor administration, you will see clearly that it is fervently embroiled in the policy of "private property-owning democracy" as a means of creating wealth for the socio-economic development of the Ghana. The administration encourages individuals to engage in their small-sector businesses. This is a clear cut line of approach the NPP takes.
But, what about the NDC? As far as I can see, they have nothing to offer. This is not surprising because its traditional military style of 'boom-boom' talks, thuggery, intimidation, trepidations, extreme selfishness and machoness which define its being has no basis for socio-economic development strategies. The NDC is more concerned with attacking personalities and making bland accusations (example, the accident of Mr. Mumuni, their presidential running mate was immediately levelled against NPP machinations without any proof) and, less with progress-oriented policies. It is only recently that it is trying to carve out something that it wants us to believe it stands for - the philosophy of social democracy. But what is social democracy? I first heard this from Dr. Obed Asamoah, the NDC Chairman. He did not explain what is meant by social democracy and has still not explained what it involves - the policies that it entails for the socio-economic development of the nation. The Presidential running mate of the NDC, Mr. Mumuni also talks about the social democratic philosophy without offering any explanation. All that he says is that the NDC is and will be rooting for the poor. But which party in its wisdom will not propagate this in an electioneering campaign trail? The truth of the matter is that when the NDC was in government the poor were still poor whiles Mr. Rawlings' children were sent abroad to study (probably) at the expense of the state. What image does this give to the poor? Is that the way to root for poor? Absolute balderdash!!! 2. Political Leadership What voters look for in the leadership of any political party is the embodiment of the tradition, ideology and philosophy that have sedimented to form the consciousness (being) of the party. The leadership forms the broad brain of the party and articulate the party's philosophy. Accordingly, one can easily decipher where the party is coming from, where it stands and where it is going to lead the country to once in government.
The leadership of the NPP almost always speak about the nitty gritty of private ownership in the development of Ghana, not on personalities. What about the leadership of the NDC? Listen to the founder of the NDC, Mr. Rawlings - "....Positive Change! So far so good for Kuffour and his family" (Ghanaweb 16 October 2004). This is as if we do not know his family's background before assuming power by the barrel of the gun, by murdering human beings. Where are his children now? Not abroad? His wife explains this by saying that the children are harassed that is why they have been sent abroad. Nonsense! Do they think Ghanaians are dumb? His time was also characterized by "positive change". Positive change, yes, so far so good for Rawlings and his family at the time he was in power. As I have indicated above, this talk exemplifies the "boom-boom speeches" tradition of militarism with no essence of socio-economic development strategies. Listen to what the source, Gye Nyame Concord, reported - "He (Mr. Rawlings) also accused the NPP of not having respect for Ghanaians, saying, .....they will soon tribalise the army, jeopardising the security of the nation". Another nonsensical speech of trepidation without any foundation at all. Let all Ghanaians ask him the question here: How does Ghana army become tribalised? He cannot explain that. All that he does is attempt to sow divisive fear in the minds of Ghanaians. The fact of the matter is that whatever he meant by, 'tribalising' the army has no correlation with "jeopardising the security of the nation". He should be told in no uncertain terms that "jeopardising the security of the nation" arises from unprofessional and unconstitutional behaviours of indisciplned, irresponsible and conceited individuals in the armed forces in staging military overthrows of constitutional civilian governments (like he did in 1981). Mr. Rawlings must know that Ghanaians have now moved beyond the barbarism of such behaviours and are now in a civilised trajectory for developing the nation. If he thinks that the majority of Ghanaians are narrow minded like he is then he must be living in a cloud cuckoo land. He must realize that because the majority are not fools, the leadership of his sheep-clothed political party of a military wolf was thrown out of office. He must also look himself in a mirror and come to terms with the fact that THE BARREL OF THE GUN WILL NEVER ASSUME POWER IN GHANA AGAIN!!!!!! The days of militarism are gone forever. What about NDC's presidential candidate, Prof. Mills? Every Ghanaian knows by now that his involvement in the NDC is one of the may strategies deployed by the party to legitimize thier thuggery. Let's hear him as reported on 15/10/04 in Ghanaweb speaking at a public lecture in the Great Hall of KNUST, Kumasi: "I Atta-Mills wants to be your President because I will provide you with a...competent leadership that will bring hope and change and also restore a national unity for a BETTER GHANA". This is another rhetoric with no substance. But even as he was doing his best to give the NDC charade an acceptable face by such proclamations, the thugs within his party were busy practiisng their dirty art on him by undermining every deparate effort he makes to rally things in his favour. This is a shame considering the intellectualism of the professor of law. This is someone who is aspiring to be the President of Ghana but who cannot even rein in the thugs and the "boom bomm" rag bags in his party. But it is not surprising if one looks at the political tradition he has embedded himself in - militaristic boom boom speeches of trepidation, thuggery and personal attacks. Professor Mills, please dissociate yourself from this rag bag of egotistic individual who have no sense of national direction for our beloved nation!!!!!. What must be realised is that the majority of Ghanaians are simply fed up with this rhetoric of no substance. As a result, Ghanaians are encouraged to vote massively on 7 December to wipe the NDC OUT of the political scene in Ghana as it began the process in the 2000 election by keeping the NPP IN POWER. Kuffuor's administration has without doubt put Ghana on the road to civilised development, not the barbaric rhetoric of the NDC with no substance. The NDC is undoubtedly a military wolf in a political sheep's cloth attempting to politically legitimise military and egotistic adventurism of its founder, Mr Jerry John Rawlings. The party has absolutely nothing to offer the country and to even contemplate of electing them into office in December would be a travesty of justice and progress. The NDC talk about "sankofa". But waht shout Ghanaians "sankofa"? - killing our armed forces general and others who are there to protect us from foreign attacks, the thuggery of their commandos (CDR), the flogging in public of our dear mothers and sisters and the siphoning of our hard won currency into their own selfish ends like December Women Movement (DWM). Fortunately Ghanaians know better than this non-sense. Ghanaians, let your knowledge do the talking again through the ballot box on 7 December 2004 as you did in 2000 for the good our country. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.