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17 June 2017 | Opinion/Feature

Popularising Global Conservative Values, The International Democrats Union (IDU) As A Worthy Partner

Emmanuel Attafuah-Danso, Convener || The African Young Conservative Dialogue

Post cold war evidences points to the fact that, democracy and the conservative culture holds the key to global peace, prosperity and the involvement of civil society very much as the generality of the world populations in defining in their own destinies. It has also been proven too that, the socio-cultural and economic development and the promotion of individual freedoms and liberties hinges on a true pluralistic conservative values.

These conservative values are doubtlessly universal and underpin almost all civilized democratic societies. Fostering good governance, the rule of law, promoting freedom of the individual with right to protection, creating capable, dependable and strong institutions are central pillars to core values of the conservative thinking and values. While there is no single model of democracy applicable to all countries as has been the raging argument, there are nonetheless, principles and values such as peace, freedom and the fundamental rights that are inseparable from democracy.

Dr. J. B. Danquah, one of Ghana’s foremost politician and statesman and an accomplished authority in law and international jurisprudence in setting out the policy statement of the now New Patriotic Party (NPP), succinctly underscored these conservative democratic values and which ethos has stood the test of time. He averred thus: ‘’ (the party’s) policy is to liberate the energies of the people for the growth of a property owning democracy in this land, with right to life, freedom and justice as the principles to which the government and laws of the land should be dedicated in order specifically to enrich life, property and liberty of each and every citizen’

Doubtlessly, this centre-right theme of the forgone statement encompasses the very tenets of conservative democratic rule. Indeed, following the fall of the Berlin Walls, this has been the path on which the world trodden towards strengthening democracy all through central, eastern Europe and Africa. Global exigencies manifesting in non-budging social actors plus real life threatening conditions such as climate change and global warming, the global financial and economic crisis, HIV Aids amongst other myriads of factors called for a concerted front towards addressing some of these challenges.

The world forum on democracy in a paper outline titled(bridging the gap-democracy: between old models and new realities made the following profound observation worth the attention: ‘’ democracy must adopt to the realities of the 21st century which sees the citizens requesting greater participation in public decision making, an aspiration heightened by the emergence of the new information technologies and the social networks’’; it went on thus,’’ at the same time, there are manifold threats to the democracies: extremism of a political, nationalists and religious nature, corruption of elites, terrorism and control of the media prompt political leaders to build regulatory barriers that may encroach on the sphere of individual liberties which are pillars of democracy; checks and balances are therefore necessary to guard against authoritarian excesses and preserve democracy.’’

Perforce, the forgone concern is what the International Democrat Union (IDU) has focused its attention and for which sufficingly deserves it acclaim and commendation; the continuous democratization of the systems across the globe and the strengthening of those institutions have been the concern of the IDU and its regional affiliates. The IDU and its regional affiliates and in our case, the democrats union of Africa(DUA) have done very well in the promotion of the center of right ideals and the effective promotion of democratic rule.

Apparently, an alliance of center-right parties headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the IDU has been growing in its membership and numerical strength comprising at present of about 71 full and associated members from about 63 countries across the world. Prime minister of new Zealand, Hon John Key chairs the IDU which provides a forum in which political parties holding similar beliefs come together to exchange views on matters of policy and organizational interests from which they act corporately, establish contacts as well as presenting a unified voice toward the promotion of center-right policies around the globe.

Admittedly, since its formation in 1983 as the umbrella organization for the European democrats union(EDU), the Carribean Democrat Union(CDU) as well as the Asia Pacific Democrat Union(APDU) at the instigation of the Konrad Adenaeur Foundation(KAS) and former president of the united states of America, Mr. George H. W. Bush at a joint meeting of the EDU and the APDU in London, the united kingdom, the organization has played a very significant role in widening the frontiers of free, pluralistic, non-coercive democratic ambience much to the extent that, today, a good number of its allied parties have won elections and formed the governments in many a country around the globe including Ghana.

Here in Ghana, the IDU has held several DUA conferences, workshops and roundtable discussions as elsewhere on the continent on pertinent local and international matters including germane issues such as 2007/8 global financial and economic meltdown, globalization, trade and aid amongst others. Since joining the membership of the IDU and DUA for that matter, the NPP has benefitted tremendously in the areas of inter-party cooperation among the sister parties in Africa. Particularly, our involvement with the organization’s youth branch, the International Young Democrats Union (IYDU) has been profitable in every respect.

It is important to recognize and appreciate the leading role of Messrs Mac Manu, the NPP’s campaign manager for the 2016 general elections and a major player at the regional DUA very much as the IDU; Hon, Dan Botwe, Minister for National Re-organization and Development, John Buadu, Acting General Secretary of the NPP, amongst others.

In pursuance of its driving philosophy of counteracting repressive and undemocratic practices, the IDU through its union of Latin American parties(UPLA) utterly condemned the reported cases of violence by the Maduro regime in Venezuela and expressing support for the demand for freedom and democracy by the Venezuelan peoples.

It didn’t stop there but the IDU through its foreign affairs as well as well as the executive committee at a meeting in Sri Lanka underscored the need for a professional, depoliticized and democratically controlled security services among the western Balkan states. Especially, the IDU noted with concern, the harassment of the media and civil society and the lack of political space for the political opposition and the increasing polarization of the judiciary as well as the lack of independence for democratic institutions in the Maldives.

It must be noted that, all of these efforts by the IDU are not only in sync with its founding values, but more importantly, they are geared towards expanding the global frontiers of individual freedoms and the strengthening of the institutions of governance in that, any unguarded attempt to undermine the former, poses a great threat to the collective good and interest of our societies and nations.

We therefore join the regional union in congratulating the IDU for the brilliant waves it has made in its few decades of institutionalization.

quot-img-1Accept responsibility and you will move forward

By: Lawrence quot-img-1
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