IEA Debate: Democracy won the day
Date published: November 1, 2012
Last Tuesday, Ghana’s democracy received a fresh dose of energy, when candidates vying for the position of the first gentleman of the land were subjected to a public debate in the northern town of Tamale.
Historic! We call it so, because for the first time in the history of presidential debates in Ghana, a sitting President, John Dramani Mahama, also participated in the encounter.
The debate saw the candidates articulate their visions for the country and answer questions on various sectors of the economy, ranging from job creation, agriculture, education, healthcare, and energy to taxation among many other important national issues.
With this debate, the Ghanaian voters were offered a rare opportunity to assess their candidates on their mastery of subjects and issues affecting the country, and their alternative solutions to the problems facing the citizenry.
The National Democratic Congress’ flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Dr. Abu Sakara Foster, the People’s National Convention’s Hassan Ayariga, and the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were at their best on the night.
What stood out that night was that the debate was neither for the feeble minded nor for those with pedestrian ideas on governance. Deep thoughts, effective communication of ideas, and good arguing skills were the winning formula for the debate.
It is without doubt that some candidates were able to warm their way into the hearts of many Ghanaians on the night, with the way and manner they articulated their views and expressed mastery of the subjects discussed, with their practical approaches to solving societal problems.
For a debate of this caliber, each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses came to the fore, and it was obvious some candidates did not belong to the group.
When the Presidential Debate came to an end on Tuesday night, the verdict has been out there among the general populace. The debate continues in homes, offices, drinking spots, ‘trotros’ and on the streets, with the various participating political parties laying claim that their candidate won the night.
The Chronicle, like the organisers of the debate, would not attempt to grade the performance of the candidates on the night, but leave the verdict to Ghanaians, who kept vigil to watch and listen to the debate.
The beauty and most important aspect of that single event is that Ghana’s growing democracy has further been strengthened, making Ghana the winner on the night.
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