[Opinion] Politics & Personality: The Role of Ghanaian Introspection
The politics of many countries and States has seen much development and revolution in our century. Many civilizations have risen and fallen because of the way their leaders dealt with the politics of their countries. Politics is meant for the people or better still the citizenry because politics is from the Greek words polis meaning city and politēs meaning citizen.
But the question I always ask myself is whether the politics in Ghana is worth pondering? Experts in Political Science and other fields of analysis probe and muse on the political happenings in Ghana day in, day out. Often, there are sparks of biases in their probes and musings and some who tried to be neutral in their talks on the state of politics in Ghana are tagged to be crafting political jabs.
On National Television, there are both mockery and insults when political party members are discussing issues which always lead to negative emotions. Is this the politics we are leaving behind for the future generation? There is the need for the Ghanaian introspection especially when December 7th is beckoning us to go to the polls.
Politics is about the citizenry and exposing them to incivility in political debates can be both upsetting and engaging. What do we see in Ghana today? We are the best juries to return the verdicts. Some people in Ghana today are divided because one person belongs to Party A and the other belongs to Party B.
Even in schools (Junior High and Senior High and not talking about politics in our tertiary institutions), students are divided in their dormitories because of political party affiliations. The political jingles in the market places are of great exceptions today because the market women will want to vote for someone who will fix their market centers for them. In fact, every aspect of both the secular and religious space of Ghana is polarized by a politics that needs much introspection and care.
The politician in Ghana and the citizen must always engage in a politics that helps to build both the individual and the nation. Our politics in Ghana should be that of nation building than nation dividing. We should always uphold and learn the true meaning of the values in the Ghana National anthem: truthfulness, bravery, honesty, law abiding, loving and tolerance. Ghanaians in this time of election must sing bravely:
“God bless our homeland Ghana,
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right.”
The fathers and mothers of the Ghana that emerged from the Gold Coast some sixty three (63) years ago did not divide according to ethnic lines. The gallant patriarchs and matriarchs in the likes of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Philip Gbeho, Theodosia Okoh, etc. did not fight, sing and paint a Ghana that is destined for political violence.
More inspiring, the mosaic formation of Casely-Hayford, Kojo Botsio, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, Nathaniel Azarco Welbeck and Krobo Edusei together with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on the podium when he declared Independence on 6 March 1957 is a clarion call for the unity in the diversity of ethnicity in Ghana. We should as Ghanaians be ready to build ourselves into citizens that are politically safe and sound. History with all its inconsistencies and ambiguities should help us build a better Ghana.
Consequently, there is an experiment and investigation that shows that “some believe that a person’s political opinions are the results of objective experiences, of thought, and of definite decision, they are consciously arrived at after a thorough weighing of the evidence and are modifiable by logical argument and factual proof” (Eysenck, 1964, p.265). Can we say that this is the case in Ghana? That people vote based on objective experiences and definite decisions? This is for the Ghanaian and the electorate to ponder. Since it is an introspection, there is the need to know whether electorates in Ghana vote on party lines or that matters of elections are changed with emotions.
The opposite of the former is that “political opinions are the reflections of personality, determined largely by irrational motives of one kind or another, not amenable to logical argument or factual disproof, and altogether an expression of personality rather than a reaction to external reality” (Eysenck, 1964, p.265).
And this opposite type of the electorates is a motivation that may be recognized more easily in those voting for the opposite camp. Should our personality affect the politics that we do in Ghana? Should people vote for parties because it is in their personality and their ‘political genes’ to vote for that particular political party despite the low performance of that party? This calls to mind what Political Philosophy of the ancient Greeks asked that whether the State should be governed by the Best Man or the Best Law?
Although there are many political affiliations that are labelled against the various ethnics groups in Ghana, we only have one Ghana to build. Among politicians and others who have an axe to grind, we should know that persons are involved in political exercises. Let us throw away all the political tarradiddle and focus on the development of our country Ghana.
Since, according to Aristotle, “man is a political animal, and that human beings are creatures of flesh and blood, rubbing shoulders with each other in cities and communities”, politics should rather bring the politēs (citizen) and the polis (city) together despite the different political affiliations. We should stop political violence so that on December 7 we can go to the polls and vote for our leaders. Violence is not what makes the person rather what makes a person in times of elections is the thumb with impressions from the various manifestos.
Typical of the Ghanaian, the Kokromoti Power should lead us to engage in a political election that brings peace and tranquility to our motherland. We should remember that we have only one Ghana and that the word VOTE means Value Of The Electorates. And if we value ourselves and the country in which we are as electorates, then we will vote with peace not violence.
V – Value
O – Of
T – The
E – Electorates
Source: Michael Selasi Combey
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