>I’ve decided not to vote for the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) in this December’s general elections.
Why? On principle.
It’s not that the other parties are somehow better than the NPP, or that the NPP is especially worse. Truth be told, I’m still searching for the exact difference between the parties beyond rhetoric and ideology. Right now the election seems like a choice between who will misuse public funds a little less than the next guy:
- Professor Atta-Mills – a decent man who will smile kindly at you and listen to your woes as his cronies-of-Rawlings-riddled cabinet chop the money nyafo-nyafo.
- Nana Akuffo-Addo – the well-spoken (i.e. verbose) lawyer who will confuse you with big words while his cabinet makes away with the oil money.
- Dr. PK. Nduom – the new and relatively unknown quantity who will do away with the money in new, unknown ways and yet remain true to the core values of Nkrumahism while doing so.
A lot of promises are being thrown about, left, right and centre. The things is, I am not in the slightest bit interested in what the parties promise to do but in how they intend to do those things. Any monkey in a suit can mount a podium and spit out promises. (Not to call our beloved President a monkey but…) after getting into power, even Kufuor famously announced that he had perhaps underestimated how much of a mess the country was in, making it tricky to implement some promises of his own.
Even taking into account progress made in the last few years (and there is a still lots of room for improvement), I have not been overwhelmed by the NPP’s work ethic or by some towering vision for the country’s development. Everything still feels haphazard and driven by time and chance.
It is not because of any of this that I will not vote for NPP come December though. No: I have decided to vote against the NPP for the sake of democracy.
Ghana’s new democracy is a young one and must continue to be nurtured to a point where there are genuine policy differences between the parties (and, as such, genuine choice for the electorate) and less of the petty squabbling and popularity contests on display at present.
In spite of all the NPP’s arguments, I see absolutely nothing to suggest that the NPP’s political rivals will destroy the country in four years. On the contrary, their absence from power has left the NPP’s rivals hungry and more streamlined. Even the NDC had begun showing the makings of a more mature party ready to actually do something towards the end of their reign, albeit twenty or so years too late. This is a different time than Nkrumah’s revolutionary heyday and Nduom is nowhere near as inspiring or visionary as his predecessor. On the other hand, perhaps his CPP will not show as many Mugabe-esque flairs as Nkrumah’s did close to the end of its run.
Regardless, a third term for the NPP would make the party over-confident and complacent, encouraging stagnancy, corruption and incompetence. More than any other reason, this is why I will not be voting NPP… especially in these oil-rich times.
If the NPP wanted my vote, I should have seen them fighting – not negatively, but positively – for a vision that was revolutionary, effective, cohesive and worth fighting for. I didn’t, and so voting someone else in is the best thing I – as a citizen – can do for them: keep them on their toes.
Now my only problem is which rival to choose…