Monday, November 3, 2008

YOUR DANCE IS NOT YOUR VOTE!

The date has always been fixed; electorates have been registered, positions on the ballot paper have been sorted, the debates have started and there’s one more showdown ahead. After the last showdown, all one has to do on 7th December is to thumbprint his preferred column on that paper which has been showing up consistently every four years for the past sixteen years. Well, some faces have become regulars on this paper; they never seem to go away, that’s the power of determination, right?

 

It’s time for deep reflection and sound judgement for decision making, the other day somebody was dazzled into disillusionment to make a choice, he saw them-folks try to do what I call, the-elephant-copying-the kangaroo-boogie. I don’t think I should also roll my hands in fast small circles in favour of the change trumpeters, for vegetarians do not taste cockerels and neither do I also like using the umbrella. In the unlikely event that you spot see me do the victory sign, don’t go telling your no-good gossip-filled trusted disciples am “too sure and two direct.” You better excuse my ignorance!

 

The point is that this whole process of showing support and solidarity for political parties should not be reduced to the level of dancing and gestures. In my opinion it’s becoming just too much, I’m getting bored with this manner of campaign. All I see on television is fake smiles of politicians trying to impress and persuade whoever that they are angelic beings. This alone should not be anyone’s standard of a competent leader or a party deserving our powerful thumb in the booth.

 

On the campaign trails and at the rally grounds, it’s becoming evident that we are not demanding much from those who want take political power. We are not subjecting them to enough succession of questions and constructive criticisms. They are running the show all alone while we look and gesture along with them. There’s so much to be demanded from the people who are interested in taking control of the national kitty. At the last presidential debate, the aspirants showed a bit of a good grasp of what the problems are, unfortunately the solutions that were proffered, excuse me to say, were incoherent. On countless occasions, they kept telling us what pertains in America and Europe.

 

Meanwhile we all do know that western economies are plummeting and home-brewed solutions are being dispensed to forestall any further downward trend. We need Ghanaian solutions to match Ghanaian problems. They are not thinking within the box. Cuba has been under U.S blockade for about 50yrs yet they’ve been able to build a resilient economy to withstand the aggression.

 

Interestingly, they are able to export about 200 medical doctors to Ghana to prop up our health sector, without which health delivery in Ghana would have collapsed. Pragmatic and purpose-driven ideas should inspire us before we decide whom to cast our votes for. As for populist mannerisms we must shun them at once because they offer no hope to salvage us from our troubles and foibles.

 

I cringe when I see the elites and party bigwigs in this country filling up spaces available at forums organised to expose presidential aspirants to all and sundry. One gets the impression that these selected few, who are only a small fraction of the total population, have more votes than the rest of us. The would-be president is going to be accountable to everyone therefore it’s important to have a fair turnout of groups from diverse persuasions. This is discriminatory just as last week’s presidential debate, where four aspirants were denied the opportunity to participate. Never again should this happen. The argument that those four aspirants do not have representation in parliament does not wash at all; it’s backward, divisive and gives an unfair advantage to those who participated as well as deny the swing voters an array of alternatives. This cannot be democracy.

 

The electoral process should have meaning to the electorates. It ought to be premised on sound judgement; it shouldn’t be on ethnic lines, religious affiliations, class or race etc. The student’s vote should mean to him/her access to affordable education and accommodation, and an expansion of facilities. To the man who’s about going on pension, his gratuity should be ready before he retires, why retire the man if his take-home is not standing by complete. To the public servant, his or her vote represents affordable housing, low transportation costs etc. The farmer cannot be ignored; his vote should send out a loud message, that subsidy plays an important role when it comes to food security, that farm inputs and machinery must be reasonably priced.

 

There are a lot of factors that should interest us to vote. We must also not go to sleep after electing our leader. We need to demand what’s due us, that it-will-be–well kind of mentality which debars us from making legitimate claims must be conquered. I always say that your lack of interest will come back to haunt you when fuel prices are increased. Have an interest today, nothing short of that is negotiable.

1 comment:

Ezekiel Adokwei Johnson said...

Manifesto's just trip me.
What are they for? Promises, proposals, policies, or what?
I see them as being some music we can easily dance to because it has a good rhythm and beat but we have no clue what a word in them mean. Voting our rights so we need to throw our thumbs in the right direction. It is not about manifestos or those big political mesh of jargons but really who is able to deliver the goods. It's about who can put money in our pockets and that of our family so everyone does not come fetching from our little pockets.
Don't just dance to the tune, listen to the lyrics.