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17.12.2004 Feature Article

The Dye Is Cast: Why Democracy?

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I was in ebullient mood as I listen on the internet how the elections were going in Ghana. Particularly, it was impressive how some taxi drivers were going from house to house to offer transportation services to sick, disable and older citizens of Ghana to vote. Words can't express how proud I am of the spirit, interest and energy of Ghanaians for democracy. It was invigorating to observe a country in a continent that is often-times associated with despots and war “getting her democracy on”.

What more can one asks, Ghana is indisputably on the path of becoming the beacon of democracy and a role model to which, most countries in the continent of Africa can emulate. Suffice to say the vision and dream of late President Nkrumah is being revisited, given that Ghana was the first in the sub-region to gain independence. Congratulations to Ghanaians and the political parities that participated in the 2004 elections for making peace pivotal.

Given the voting fashion observed, arguably, the Fantes were the smartest voters compared to all others. It is what democracy is about. It can be inferred that the Fantes deserted their own because President Kuffour's government policies are outstandingly in congruence with the Fantes' expectations than a party that they've known for about 20 years depending on how one views the transmutation of what is now NDC.

Many will ague that the population voted primarily on tribal sentiments: the voting behavior was more so about trust, political ideology, and whether the individual believes that a particular party has his or her interest at heart than anything. In the United States, certain states like New York, Maryland, California and others vote Democrat. Likewise, many states vote Republican. The behavior of the voters is metaphoric for the evolution of the two major parties, NPP and NDC. That is to say, some segment of the population believes in the tradition of J.B Danquah (NPP) and the other believes in the tradition of Nkrumah (NDC). As Ghana's democracy matures, some regions will emerge as independent and undecided, and will break away to vote for either party.

Consequently, the party that will emerge as a winner will be the party with streamline development agenda and one that majority of voters from such (independent and undecided) region(s) can identify with. NPP won the 2004 elections mainly due to their policies that reverberate well with majority of the population. The ability of NPP to present an environment where the citizens can begin to dream is priceless.

Much credit should be given to former President Rawlings for embracing democracy in 1992. The NDC needs serious re-organization if the party dreams to win the presidency again. The party needs to be introspective; obviously, there were tension and internal wrangling. Voters in Ghana are becoming sophisticated given the turnout of the 2004 elections, and that should be a reason for all lackadaisical and sycophantic politicians to worry. The power to select competent individuals to lead is why Ghanaians have opted for Democracy. Congratulations to Ghanaians and God bless us all.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Collins Karikari
Collins Karikari, © 2004

The author has 10 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: CollinsKarikari

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