The description of Ghana as a democracy is flawed. We do not understand the concept of democracy as a people. Dissent and debate in the light of reasoning are conspicuously missing in the mix of factors resulting in the operation of our political system.
The ideal of patronage indeed defines our political machinery.
Pandering to the great beast
A characteristic big man-client relationship governs the operational frame of our democracy.
Indeed, development for development sake is simply underrated and the sad politicisation of development assumes form.
Projects do not see the light of day based on national need. Developmental projects are all politicised and attributed to some political faction.
The normal course of development is made subject to the whims and focus of political entities, creating unequal growth and the disturbing attribution of development to political entities by the plebeian masses.
Politicians become gods in their right and the rights of the people to demand adequate development are conspicuously absent.
Development, a tool for national growth becomes a tool for political aggregation of support. The consequent effect is the identification of political loyalty in the belief that some faction or the other will benefit the people most loyal to that faction.
The people remain locked in a state of undervalued worth. Described so because, the power of the lay citizen is exchanged for a state of apathy and misplaced loyalty to political parties.
Ask the average political supporter on the street to explain one direct benefit of some policy stance of their party and you will be astonished at the seeming lack of thought given to their exuberant support.
Personality and ethnic based politics rule our political interactions and this state of affairs is fuelled by the ambiguity of national goals.
The masses seem oblivious of the weight of their tax revenues.
Indeed taxation in Ghana, albeit indirect, is heavy!
This stream of revenue becomes the root of the right of every Ghanaian to demand equitable development and growth.
In action however, the contest for power is based on the apparent direct benefit of the inclinations of the political powers. Political affinity is given based on the perceived relative benefit to the supporter.
From individual influence on would-be supporters to ethnically incited support, we find a glaring absence of the development of a national reality within the collective of fronts pushed by the political actors.
By this statement, credence must be lent to the idea of the presence of a national agenda for development.
A set scheme for national goals outlining total development with regionally relevant highlights on goals in the area of infrastructure, finance, education, healthcare, trade, industry would be in order.
Of course, the existence of such a scheme would be subject to ratification by referendum. Given the unity and general sentiment of Ghanaians towards growth, we will rise to accept this appealing plan for a clear national vision.
The national institution for civic education will have a huge role to play in this scheme of affairs and will consequently be charged with the responsibility of conveying the national goals to all possible local government sublevels.
Each lower level must have the national goal broken down into all relevant levels and in all local dialects. From broadcasting vans to local meeting areas, relative presentation of the national goals must be carried out.
Local institutions, health care centers, educational units, community sports and recreational centers must all be clearly identified at all levels. This will adequately give the people a realistic expectation of what their elected leaders must do.
The appropriate usage of this institution of civic education will result in the widespread understanding of this notion. The farthest reaches of the nation receiving an elucidation of the development agenda will undoubtedly be a good result of taxpayers money being adequately utilised.
This common view of a national plan will result in the oneness of purpose of the Ghanaian populace. Even better than that, the singleness of a national goal will transcend the petty ethnic divisions we find fuelled by patterns of political affiliation and concentration of support.
Political actors are obliged to uphold a responsibility to every Ghanaian. As it stands, the seeming obligation of the political game is the unchanging cycle of incumbent proclamations of deeds done juxtaposed against the claims of underhandedness and incapability of the incumbent by the opposition.
This cycle of dissent creates the waves of conflict that characterise our political game.
THE RULES OF THE GAME ARE FLAWED. “OH YEAH? WHAT RULES?”
Unhealthy conflict fuelled by claims of corruption and incompetence ensues. In the heat of opposition, we find a certain cold patch of purpose that lies in the sole goal of assumption of power.
Truthfully, we would find beauty in a system of total conscription to unity of growth.
A sure fire effect of the creation of a national goal would be the creation of a doubtless system of accountability.
The people have a goal and the leaders assume the responsibility of national goal attainment. Break that down into the relevant local levels and create a situation of direct accounting to the people by the purported popularly chosen leaders.
Currently, we see a nation characterised by unnecessary conflict over airwaves, in print, in ideals and in communities. These sources of conflict fuel chains of events that create unpleasant recourses. The events create repercussions that seem to alter the normal course of national rationality.
A Constitutional review is in order
The 1992 constitution of the land was created by a seeming constituent assembly. However, the focus of a country that was recovering from political upsets and facing the further push from foreign actors to democratise does not match the reality of today. In August 2016, the outrage of some faction of the public towards the exercise of Article 72 of the constitution being used on the prerogative of the president and council of state towards the release of three individuals imprisoned after Supreme Court action has called to bear strongly, the need for clarity in the interpretation of laws and the vast powers seemingly wielded by the executive.
SEPARATION OF POWERS. THE GHANAIAN FARCE
A seeming contradiction of the concept of judicial independence emerges, especially in light of the nature of their charges; the threats to members of the judiciary.
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT.
A land of wealth and plenty, poverty surrounds us. The vastly widening inequality of income and the increasingly aid dependent political obsessions create a state of worry.
Concerning the non-state employed; the lower echelons of the societal ladder find themselves in activities that create only ephemeral income. It becomes a hand to mouth phenomenon where income surplus for savings and consequent investment for wealth creation remain out of their reach.
It’s quite hard to live in Ghana.
Capacity building seems to be out of the focus of society and instead, we find defunct educational structures.
Policy advocacy is at a disturbing minimal level of execution.
Existing policies are facing a certain doom. One can agree with me that currently, the National Health Insurance Policy is operating at a disturbingly shameful pace.
A national agenda with clear and well communicated goals on public healthcare will force policy makers to meet the requirements and expectations of the people.
The existence of such a plan cannot be understated in importance.
IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL