Celebrating Supreme Court verdict?

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Democracy is said to be a very expensive system of governance.

In the first place, it costs a lot of money to put the structures in place for elections at regular intervals.

Multi-party democracy thrives in an environment of functional political parties that offer choices to the electorate during elections.

Certainly, democratic governance  does not have all the answers to our problems but we are yet to develop a system that offers the people the best opportunity to elect their representatives.

In the specific case of Ghana, the people have been enjoying multi-party democracy over the last 20 years and the expectation is that its dividends should inure to the benefit of all.

But the journey to the so-called ‘Promised Land’ where poverty, disease and squalor will be minimised considerably is very slow and to get there we need to speed up what it takes to achieve the goal of democratic practice.

In the run-up to the 2012 elections, many well-meaning Ghanaians raised issues with the apparent use of ‘money bags’ by some politicians to influence the outcome of the polls.

Furthermore, concerns have been expressed over the unwritten policy of winner-takes-all arising largely out of the excessive power bestowed on the President by the Constitution. By this arrangement, the President appoints virtually everybody to all state-owned institutions and this encourages patronage and rent seeking.

The time has come for the nation to embark on certain electoral reforms to make all Ghanaians be part of the governance process.

We believe that whatever the outcome of the election petition, the process will help deepen the democratic process.

It should be possible for all political party activists to accept that after national polls, every partisan activity should be subsumed under the national goal for all of us to come together, irrespective of our different political persuasions, to support the elected leader.

Presently, there is a debate raging on about whether there should be victory celebrations by any of the parties in the ongoing election petition at the Supreme Court after the verdict is given by the court.

Frankly speaking, this issue would not have become a matter of concern were it not for the fact that the stakes are very high in the contest for power in the country.

The many opportunities in government anytime a political party takes office make the contest for power a do-or-die affair.

The Daily Graphic thinks that if the country has been running an all-inclusive government, our people would not be worrying about which political party assumes the reins of government.

After all, party loyalty and affiliation will not be the issues to be considered during the transition period but those who are qualified to achieve the results needed to propel the country to the Promised Land.

We think that our country, as of now, is too polarised to encourage the parties in the dispute at the Supreme Court to lace their boots for the celebration that is likely to offend losers in this case.

Be that as it may, it will be difficult to suppress spontaneous celebrations. However, it is our hope that the winners will be magnanimous in the revelry, while the losers will accept defeat graciously.

The Daily Graphic calls on the party that will win the court case not to organise formal victory rallies but use the opportunity to rally all Ghanaians for the rebuilding of the economy that is under stress from the wait-and-see attitude of the international community.