The Minority Leader of Parliament, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, has raised concerns over what he described as the monetisation of Ghana’s democracy, and called for a national dialogue on the subject.
He observed that since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, the conduct of elections at all levels of our body politic demanded contenders to invest a lot of their financial resources, a situation, he said, defeated the principle of equality in democratic governance.
The Tamale South Legislator believes democracy should not be for the highest bidder, and he is understandably worried about the monetisation of our democracy.
The Chronicle finds the expression of the Member of Parliament (MP) most appropriate, especially coming from someone who, from all indications, might have himself used money to gain and retain political power.
We would like to stress that, indeed, monetisation of democracy defeats the opening words of the 1992 Constitution, which stresses on probity, justice and accountability.
The Chronicle recalls that recently, a representative of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, John Hayward, criticised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the money aspirants spent on posters and banners to market themselves ahead of the party’s National Delegate’s Conference in Koforidua.
In the words of the British politician: “I came through the streets today, and I saw so many posters; posters of the wonderful candidates here in this conference. But I had to reflect. I think I saw more posters than the delegates here at this conference, and I wondered, ‘is this really the best use of our resources?’”
The above expression is what convinces well-meaning Ghanaians, especially followers of politics, that the time has come for us, as a nation, to set out guide lines on how to fund political party activities.
Just last weekend, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) elected some of its national officers amidst reports of vote-buying in the full glare of the public.
The Chronicle is of the opinion that funding of political party activities has not been given the needed attention, which is breeding a set of political leaders whose number one ambition is to recoup their investments in gaining political power.
We are apprehensive that if pragmatic measures are not put in place to check the monetisation of our democracy, we may wake one day to find out that some ‘way ward’ people have bought their way to power and leading the country way ward!
To us, at The Chronicle, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu has said it all, and the earlier our democratic stakeholders took steps to streamline the funding of political party activities, the better for our democracy.
Ghana has taken the lead in so many spheres of national life on the African Continent, and it would be another feather in our cap if we are able to set out effective guidelines on the funding of political party activities.
The Chronicle would like to admonish political party players to channel their resources into improving the lives of Ghanaians, and not on buying the votes of the people.