Feature: What Is Truly At Stake In The 2024 Election? (2)

The December 2024 election started with the usual clichés: accountability, social justice, economic progress, poverty alleviation, and equal opportunity. Of course, these clichés mean nothing to those who seek our votes. They are just punchlines to confuse the people for their votes.

What happens to a country with no adherence to the rule of law and the old labels of socialism and capitalism do not tell us much anymore?The lack of guiding principles makes us psychologically weak and fearful, making us reach out to those leaders who offer no meaning to our current economic situation. Absent any guiding principles, virtue wanes, and it is easy for people to become servants of bad governance.

Let us look at the helplessness, anxiety and frustrations we face because what we have now in Ghana are tax-and-spend parties that are joined together in a deadly dance of death with the IMF, World Bank, and now China.

At this time of economic crisis we find a lot incompetent candidates offering the same recycled solutions to our economic and social problems — free education, free health care, free housing, and jobs —- that have not worked for us so far and are no longer still viable. Of course, none of these is free. This embrace of the ‘free lunch’ deal kills the economy and shrinks the pie. A lot.

Ghanaians face four realities as they wait for the long-anticipated 2024 elections and campaigns.

  1. Ghana’s politics is drifting towards the rule by oligarchs. The gulf between citizens and political elites is increasing and representative institutions are decaying.
  2. We lack courageous visionary leadership backed by common sense and a commitment to getting big things done.Our politicians are out of control, and out of touch with the needs of ordinary Ghanaians.
  3. The Ghanaian economy is getting worse while those who seek power keep peddling government favours to special-interest voting blocs, promising short-term relief to voters at the expense of long-term progress. That is the good news.

The bad news is:

  1. Ghanaians voters are not ready for freedom; they are bad followers who are not ready to make their leaders true public servants.

The December election is about choosing leaders who have the mental capacity to understand that current policies condemn citizens to live in poverty. ‘It is the leadership, stupid!’ (Apologies to Bill Clinton). It is important for voters to reject candidates who promise to make government yet more bigger, more intrusive and create avenues for corruption.

There is evidence that cynical politicians are emerging during this time with false answers to our problems. With high levels of inflation, high taxes, high energy costs, weak property rights, and high level of corruption in the economy, it is a mockery for those in power to say, “Times are great”–and those seeking power to resort to lies and misinformation, not empirically tested policies, to win power.The destructive policies of aspirants are set to wreak further havoc on the already struggling Ghanaian economy.The expansion of entitlements, as is being promised, and more pork-barrel projects will take this country deeper into the sinkhole.

Politics floats from culture. We are developing a political monoculture, which requires approval, allegiance and promotion of obedience to the state and ‘Leader,’ backed by foreign economic aid institutions, which preserves a paternalistic culture that relies too heavily on the technical expertise of outsiders and ignores, at its peril, the tacit knowledge possessed only by local beneficiaries.The dictatorship we know as Constitutional democracy is drowning itself in a winner-takes-all tyranny, and suicidal economics.

This country’s interventionist overlords love to brag about their failures. The war on the economy goes on. The unbridled spending goes on.Who cares about the ballooning national debt? The politics of big government and slander continue to flounder. Maybe it is time for the politics of freedom.

In December, voters should support candidates who offer practical solutions to our economic challenges, rather than empty promises about expanding entitlement programs. When voters shift their mindset and look past the illusions in our politics, there will be a natural and spontaneous change in the political culture.

We are never victims. As citizens and voters, we have chosen to live in a country governed by our self-deception. The rate of youth in internet fraud is going up. Energy prices go up by the day, while our moronic leaders enjoy collecting rents from the extractive economy at the expense of the poor taxpayer.

Hostile political parties have also been acting against our interests, leading to widespread societal decay, along with a lack of faith in the values that we purport to uphold. Corruption, godlessness, dishonesty, and depression are all on the rise, and we must strive to address these issues if we are to make any real progress.

Young Ghanaian politicians are not immune to this yearning, this will to power.  Theyouth are entitled, not restrained by morals. They ridicule age and wisdom. Their main goal for power is to get on the gravy train. Most are not committed and are not trying to achieve some idealistic vision of the public good. Ironically, our politicians are getting younger with every election cycle and with not any desire for change. So what are they doing in the corridors of power so early in their lives?

The reason is simple. At the heart of their quest for leadership positions lies no clear and ambitious vision for the future. Their primary goal is not to serve the people but to gain access to economic institutions for their own benefit. Their only desire is to bask in their own glory, and they are not necessarily wiser, just more conceited.

Their claim that that they hold the key to the future is very dubious, especially when they still hold on to the narrow view that all or even most government spending advances the cause of the poor. Lack of any ideology and echo chambers dull their reasoning.

But you already know this.

Regardless of how next year’s election turns out, the majority of those who win would be those who are just happy to extract resources. They will continue to encourage the satanic mutilation of our economy; they will still work tirelessly to promote inflationary policies, as well as their full-scale looting of Ghana and their ongoing dance with the IMF, the World Bank, and their indoctrination of our children with their collective state welfare poison. The institutions of state will still be corrupt, from the criminal justice system to the internal revenue system to the educational system.

Whose fault is this?

It is because we the people have not learned that we forfeit our freedom when we vote for people who fail to articulate comprehensive agendas encompassing economic, social, and environmental. Sooner or later, we get the politics and politicians we deserve. It has always been so. By this view, it is our fault. And in a self-governing country, how could it be otherwise?  It will take a long time to put this country on the way to recovery without truly free, courageous, truth-telling individuals and courageous voters, which is very ESSENTIAL to a free country.

There is also the question of trust.

It is time for Ghanaians to demand better and hold their leaders accountable for their actions. Ghana urgently requires a new model of trusted leadership, one that embodies a series of qualities extending beyond mere rhetoric. Only then can we hope for a brighter future for our economy and our country.

Our democracy is under threat. It is ‘we the people’. It is Parliament. It is the media. It is small-scale businesspeople. It is organised religion. Above all, it is about our intellectuals. The threat to our democracy comes from those who write off ordinary critics as “controversial.” The threat to democracy comes from those who smear those who demand accountability as “controversial.”

The threat to democracy comes from opposition to freedom and policies that favour those with political power that harm those who are pillaged, taxed, or regulated into increased poverty, while individuals who are not producing and are just politically connected, benefit. That encourages more of the poverty-inducing policies and discourages wealth creation, making the entire society poorer.

The truth may make us uncomfortable, but it will preserve freedom.We have a brief window of time going into 2024, during which right-thinking citizen voters can slow down the non-stop madness by voting for the right ideas. All of us, working together, can still save our country. But first, we must look for good leaders, outwit the bad ones, and detect the corrupt ones before they can cause us serious problems.

By Kwadwo Afari


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