Election Editorial

Barely three months away, on November 6, the good citizens of America will be matching to the polls to exercise their franchise in fulfillment of their constitutional obligation to elect “a people-led” government that will spearhead the affairs of government over the next four years par their constitutional demand. This will be the 57 quadrennial Presidential election where presidential electors will officially elect the president and the Vice President on December 17.

The 113 Congress shall be constituted after the election of the senators and the House of Representatives, which events both occur on the November 6.

It is therefore obvious that on Monday, November 5, the first term mandate entrusted into the hands of President Obama and his Democratic party shall come to an abrupt end whilst another opportunity is presented to him through the instrument of the American constitution to run for a second term.

The decision is clear on this.  As a presumptive nominee, having secured the Maryland and District of Colombia primaries, the 2778 delegates votes is conclusive. Thus, his nomination at the Charlotte Democratic National Convention in North Carolina shall be but a pro forma. The said Convention is slated for Tuesday, September 3 to Thursday, September 6; where former president Bill Clinton on the bill board is expected to nominate President Obama as the Presidential aspirant on the ticket of the Democratic Party. Many dignitaries of the party are expected to deliver their speeches including the First Lady Michelle Obama. It is on this ground that the president’s Nomination and acceptance speech shall be delivered.
Already, the Republican National Convention which was held in Tampa, Florida on Monday August 27 through August 30 has thrown a lot of challenge and criticism to the Obama-led administration and has accordingly requested the citizenry to remove his government through the power of the ballot box.

The two giants—the Republican and Democratic Parties—are noted for the seat of government, any time the pendulum swings. But with the emergence of the Green Party representative, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee who has obtained adequate ballot access to win this election by a majority of the Electoral College, great political history shall be recorded should any of these two be given the nod by the presidential electors.
If the global democracy is anything to talk about, cherish, and adopt, then the American democracy presents a good example to emulate. The government of the American democracy is primarily entrusted into the hands of the citizenry, therefore, elections as a major democratic tennet is not relegated to the background neither is it considered as any ordinary event.

Over the years, possibly, post the American Revolution and the Civil War, many Americans have had confidence in their own constitution and the structures of their constitutional democratic rule vis-a- vis the two major political and philosophical ideologies that characterize the American democratic practice against the backdrop of tyranny and any other form of political philosophy that excludes the whopping majority of the populace from the administration of the national government.

November 6 is another day to test the over 200 years relative stability of the American constitution and democratic governance. Every nook and cranny across the major political divide is leaving no stone unturned in their bid to capture political power which rest in the legitimate mandate of the people through the exercise of their universal adult suffrage.
If the government is indeed of the people, for the people and by the people, then the multi dollar question to pose shall be: “What is the demand of the people of their government?’  The two big “elephants”—the Democrats and the Republicans—both agree in principle that the demand of the government (the people) of their government is the survival of the human identity through a dignified lifestyle, and this must be inherent in the policy directions of the government or better still, the political party that seeks political authority.

In broader spectrum, the citizenry demand a better education for themselves and their wards, they demand good social welfare schemes that guarantee their efficient survival; they demand security and protection from a constitutionally mandated government. It is therefore not surprising that those political parties both in the US and probably elsewhere across the globe capitalize on these concerns of the people to gain political power than any other propaganda message could be accepted. Yet some few more other concerns emanate, probably, if not overwhelmingly from the citizenry in general, then of course from the opposition. Thus, “Do the people have good jobs; is their welfare systems secured par job acquisition, health care, education, security and environmental safety?”

If these are tasks to be accomplished overnight, then I am tempted to ask,” Why the change of government? Why are there many more concerns over the same issues over the past years?” These are major questions that in my candid opinion, I think Americans need to ponder over carefully as electorates; even as the days and time approach so swiftly for them to go to the polls.

There have been numerous accusations and counter accusations regarding the policy dimension of the President Obama-led administration; regarding the popular healthcare policy (obamacare), job security as well as accusations of financial misappropriation from the big hook of the Republican party-Mr. Romney and his comrades. If these accusations have any grounds in the opinion of the mass majority, then we ask, what would be it impact on the election results or otherwise, if they are mere propaganda techniques and faulty logic, then how does the seating government juxtaposes these political techniques of political demagogues to their advantage?

Should the over concentration on winning elections be the prime focus of any political party in our current democratic dispensation? From my perspective as an International student, much emphasis needs to be placed on a democratic election as a major “decider” of a constitutionally mandated government but absolute concentration ought to be on resolving the cry and wailing of the mass majority of the people. This attention, to the best of my opinion has not been accorded the people in many democracies across the length and breadth of the globe especially, in African democracies. There are millions of people under democratic governance especially in Africa who are still languishing in abject penury after they have given the mandate to the political enclave to manage, develop, distribute and control the national resources.
The high echelons in governments in many African democracies, have succeeded in enriching their lives and that of their close sympathizers and families than they have done for the “ordinary man on the street” and this is a very sad and serious phenomenon that calls for global attention and intervention particularly from democratically constituted countries in the advanced economies including the US.

It’s remarkable to mention here that on December 7, the electorates in Ghana shall also be going to the polls to elect a new government that will steer the affairs of government for another four-year term and a new crop of Parliamentarians who will judiciously administer the administration of the legislative arm of government. Following the sudden death of HE Prof. John Evans Atta Mills the former seating president of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) – led government, the Vice President, HE John Dramani Mahama was sworn in to accomplish the remaining part of the four- year (one term) mandate of the late former president in question as demanded by the constitution. He has since received a unanimous endorsement from his party (the NDC) to contest on their ticket in the upcoming elections against his opponents from the other side of the major political divide. If he wins, he shall be entitled to another four –  year term after his first term.
What is particularly interesting to learn hear is that, Ghana and America share common interest in various endeavors. The Ghanaian political nucleus is designed around the primary democratic structures of the United States of America. Ghana is therefore, taking inspiration from the American system of governance with no exception to the impending election, and from my view point, it is not a mere coincidence that Ghana shall be going to the polls immediately after the US elections. This phenomenon has influenced and informed the relatively peaceful political climate witnessed by Ghana over the last decade or more compared to other democratic states on the African Continent.

Much as we appreciate dissent, as an essential component of participatory democracy, we do resent politics of insult. Despite the loud applause Ghana’s democracy receives from the international community, the latter has in recent times reared its ugly head in the body politics of Ghana. The game of politics undoubtedly carries its own euphoria and antagonism but we wish to admonish our leaders in these two countries in perspective (Ghana and the US), to particularly, ensure sanity and decorum on their campaign platforms before, during and after the elections. We must stick to issues and be more pragmatic and proactive to cast down the burdens hanging around the neck of humanity.

The electorates are equally encouraged to vote on issues and policy directions rather than on mere propaganda games which have entrenched their tentacles in our body politics to spell their doom. Truly, a government of the people must address the concerns of the people either than that; it ceases to be democratic but something else indescribable.
America expects a sound policy-bound government in the White House; Ghana deserves a sound policy-bound government in the castle.

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