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General News of Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Source: Myradio360.com

It’s dangerous to predict Ghana’s elections out of US elections - Lecturer

Political science lecturer with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kwesi Amakye Boateng has cautioned Ghanaians and politicians against the wrong interpretation of the outcome of the just ended elections in the United States of America.

He said the issues and factors that influence the outcomes of elections in America are entirely different from that of Ghana. He was reacting to the various reactions that has greeted the outcome of the US elections especially by the major political parties in the country. The NPP have said that the victory of Donald Trump is a positive sign that the NPP will also win this year’s elections.

But The NDC has disagreed arguing that there is no basis for any comparison of the US elections and that of Ghana. According to the party unlike Hilary Clinton their candidate John Mahama is seeking a reelection making the two scenarios dissimilar.

Speaking to Moro Awudu of Accra based class FM on the back of the reactions that have greeted the elections, Mr Amakye said it will be disastrous for any political party to assume victory because of what has happened in the United States.

Here is a full transcript of Moro’s interview with Mr. Kwesi Amakye Boateng

Moro: What won the elections for Donald Trump?

Mr Amakye: Donald Trump played on the fears of Americans, like Immigrations and two the thought of Russia’s military buildup and its competition with American military outside. He portrayed Obama as making America weak. The emerging dominance of Russia and the emerging issue of illegal immigrant from Mexico, Arab countries and Africa. He played on these fears of the people to victory

Moro: So let’s come to Clinton, why did she lose?

Amakye: Clinton was seen as not forthright enough someone who had the tendency not to be transparent and the feeling that in office she will have the tendency to abuse office. The issue concerning the private email thing. The issue concerning her failure to disclose her position about own health issue. They put all this together and this dealt a debilitating blow to her campaign. And also she was not seen to be potentially going to be tough on illegal immigration, so this thing didn’t let her win. In fact she didn’t win the votes of women, she couldn’t win enough votes from the Latinos, African Americans, the way Obama did… she underperformed in those lines. Trump won decisively from the perspectives of white America voters. Those are the people he targeted and succeeded in getting them to respond the way they did. For me those are the major factors that determined the US elections

Moro……How about the issue of gender and the fact that she is a woman:

Amakye…Like I said gender played against Clinton. She didn’t come as weak because she was a woman but the fact that her policies didn’t come up as strong and convincing enough to assure Americans. So from that angle gender was not a major issue

Moro: Would you say this elections is a referendum on the eight year rule of the Obama Administration or it was purely a personality contest between Hilary and Trump

Amakye….It has nothing to do with Obama’s track record, In fact even Obama’s wife continues to have dominance. The polls show that throughout the campaign Michelle Obama was even popular amongst Americans so what it means it that if Michelle had stood she could have done better in the elections so for me that’s not an issue

Moro….But Trump kept describing Hillary as corrupt and in fact the Obama administration in general, how do you explain that?

Amakye: Clinton didn’t come clear on some issues so Trump could say she is corrupt person and things like that. Her own campaign team was frustrated with her on her health issue. I read a piece where one of her campaign team members angrily stated that with US politics the candidates declare their health status and wondered why she didn’t do same

Moro….How about the Dynasty Factor? Did it play any role in Hillary’s defeat?

Amakye……No it was not an issue, the Bushes have come and gone, The Kenedys have come and gone. It was never an issue

Moro……What do you think are the lessons for the political parties contesting in our local elections?

Amakye….I have heard people say that since 1992 anytime the republicans win the NPP wins and when the Democrats win the NDC wins. Therefore this win for Trump means that the NPP will win. I want to say that we don’t admit such arguments in intellectual analysis. At best such linkages tend to be anecdotal. We don’t have any empirical relationships established. American voters are definitely diffident from Ghana voters. Politics is essentially domestic. So these things if they have occurred before it is just coincidence. We don’t admit such arguments in intellectual analysis.

Moro……So the eight year political cycle factor is a non-issue in the American elections and so won’t be an issue in this elections?

Not at all. In the case of Hilary so many thing as I said didn’t go well for her. Actually the gentleman who lost to Hilary in the primaries Bernie Sanders would have done better. Hillary was a terrible candidate.

Moro…So this whole elections was simply about the candidates?

Amakye….Oh yes. You see in a presidential elections it is the person of the candidate that is an issue. You are handing over the affairs of a whole nation into the hands of one person so it’s essentially about the individual not necessarily about the party

Moro…..How about the issue of polls and the role they play in elections? Remember all the polls that were published predicted victory for Hilary.

Amakye…..We have a completely different political system here in Ghana from that of the US. Some issues came up in the elections like the work of the FBI investigations. The incident of people who had to change their minds at the last minute these have been captured in some of the exit poll. The number is quite substantial in terms of those who changed their minds following the continued investigation on Hilary Clinton. People changed their minds because of her integrity.

The polls you are talking about came earlier. The FBI spoke just a day before the elections so the polls couldn’t have factored that in. As for superstitious predictions and the TB Joshua factor don’t even go there because some of us believe that God doesn’t work that way. In an established democracy God allows the people to move on with their own understanding. We are not in a theocratic state anywhere. Those things have direct none and one relationships with God such that they submit to their creator and relate to Him their way. So what has happened shpuld help TB Joshua to open their eyes to real issues and political issues.

Moro…..So what lessons should our politicians learn from this

Amakye…..You see our politicians don’t learn any lessons. The fact that Elections constitutes some kind of accountability it doesn’t put any fear in politicians in Ghana and in Africa. In Ghana both NPP and NDC have been in office before and we all witness impunities in power.

Some policies that society kicks against but they don’t care. And obviously these policies tend to have a self-serving end but that notwithstanding they go ahead to win elections anyway. So there is some strange rationality in our politics that makes it different from that of the US elections.

The real lesson that should be learn is that the approach of the next elections should put our politicians on their toes but that doesn’t happen. That is why I think that there is not so much to learn because the way our people see issues is not the same as that in the US.

Moro…..So how about the issue of polls and that argument that it doesn’t win elections? Any lesson there?

Amakye…..Polls may help to get a picture of what is going on even though they always have some challenges. But I think putting it out generally that they are not important at all will also be a little to the far side. They help political parties and politicians to understand the mood of the people and make some sense of what electorates will want to do.

Moro ….Finally what are your thoughts about last minute scare mongering? There is talk about last minute surprise. In this elections there is some talk among politicians in the quiet about November/December surprise. Does it affect anything?

Amakye….The fear mongering has always been with us but it has not necessarily affected the outcome of the elections. I am saying on the basis of what happened in the year 2000 elections and all the things that happened. The NDC did everything. They deployed the military to go to Joy FM, they went to Afari Gyans house whiles he was doing his work at the EC office and threatened his family and yet Kuffour went ahead to win. In 2008 it was as if Ghana was going to war.

The NPP also did everything to scare Ghanaians but that didn’t change the outcome. This year for instance I have heard Mc Manu of the NPP threaten the whole system that should president Mahama refuse to concede defeat he warned of what will happen similar to the Ivorian case. So the fear mongering is already here. Things will go the way it will go and the fear mongers will not win.

Political science lecturer with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kwesi Amakye Boateng has cautioned Ghanaians and politicians against the wrong interpretation of the outcome of the just ended elections in the United States of America.

He said the issues and factors that influence the outcomes of elections in America are entirely different from that of Ghana. He was reacting to the various reactions that has greeted the outcome of the US elections especially by the major political parties in the country. The NPP have said that the victory of Donald Trump is a positive sign that the NPP will also win this year’s elections.

But The NDC has disagreed arguing that there is no basis for any comparison of the US elections and that of Ghana. According to the party unlike Hilary Clinton their candidate John Mahama is seeking a reelection making the two scenarios dissimilar.

Speaking to Moro Awudu of Accra based class FM on the back of the reactions that have greeted the elections, Mr Amakye said it will be disastrous for any political party to assume victory because of what has happened in the United States.

Here is a full transcript of Moro’s interview with Mr. Kwesi Amakye Boateng

Moro: What won the elections for Donald Trump?

Mr Amakye: Donald Trump played on the fears of Americans, like Immigrations and two the thought of Russia’s military buildup and its competition with American military outside. He portrayed Obama as making America weak. The emerging dominance of Russia and the emerging issue of illegal immigrant from Mexico, Arab countries and Africa. He played on these fears of the people to victory

Moro: So let’s come to Clinton, why did she lose?

Amakye: Clinton was seen as not forthright enough someone who had the tendency not to be transparent and the feeling that in office she will have the tendency to abuse office. The issue concerning the private email thing. The issue concerning her failure to disclose her position about own health issue. They put all this together and this dealt a debilitating blow to her campaign.

And also she was not seen to be potentially going to be tough on illegal immigration, so this thing didn’t let her win. In fact she didn’t win the votes of women, she couldn’t win enough votes from the Latinos, African Americans, the way Obama did… she underperformed in those lines. Trump won decisively from the perspectives of white America voters. Those are the people he targeted and succeeded in getting them to respond the way they did. For me those are the major factors that determined the US elections

Moro……How about the issue of gender and the fact that she is a woman:

Amakye…Like I said gender played against Clinton. She didn’t come as weak because she was a woman but the fact that her policies didn’t come up as strong and convincing enough to assure Americans. So from that angle gender was not a major issue

Moro: Would you say this elections is a referendum on the eight year rule of the Obama Administration or it was purely a personality contest between Hilary and Trump

Amakye….It has nothing to do with Obama’s track record, In fact even Obama’s wife continues to have dominance. The polls show that throughout the campaign Michelle Obama was even popular amongst Americans so what it means it that if Michelle had stood she could have done better in the elections so for me that’s not an issue

Moro….But Trump kept describing Hillary as corrupt and in fact the Obama administration in general, how do you explain that?

Amakye: Clinton didn’t come clear on some issues so Trump could say she is corrupt person and things like that. Her own campaign team was frustrated with her on her health issue. I read a piece where one of her campaign team members angrily stated that with US politics the candidates declare their health status and wondered why she didn’t do same

Moro….How about the Dynasty Factor? Did it play any role in Hillary’s defeat?

Amakye……No it was not an issue, the Bushes have come and gone, The Kenedys have come and gone. It was never an issue

Moro……What do you think are the lessons for the political parties contesting in our local elections?

Amakye….I have heard people say that since 1992 anytime the republicans win the NPP wins and when the Democrats win the NDC wins. Therefore this win for Trump means that the NPP will win. I want to say that we don’t admit such arguments in intellectual analysis. At best such linkages tend to be anecdotal. We don’t have any empirical relationships established. American voters are definitely diffident from Ghana voters. Politics is essentially domestic. So these things if they have occurred before it is just coincidence. We don’t admit such arguments in intellectual analysis.

Moro……So the eight year political cycle factor is a non-issue in the American elections and so won’t be an issue in this elections?

Not at all. In the case of Hilary so many thing as I said didn’t go well for her. Actually the gentleman who lost to Hilary in the primaries Bernie Sanders would have done better. Hillary was a terrible candidate.

Moro…So this whole elections was simply about the candidates?

Amakye….Oh yes. You see in a presidential elections it is the person of the candidate that is an issue. You are handing over the affairs of a whole nation into the hands of one person so it’s essentially about the individual not necessarily about the party

Moro…..How about the issue of polls and the role they play in elections? Remember all the polls that were published predicted victory for Hilary.

Amakye…..We have a completely different political system here in Ghana from that of the US. Some issues came up in the elections like the work of the FBI investigations. The incident of people who had to change their minds at the last minute these have been captured in some of the exit poll. The number is quite substantial in terms of those who changed their minds following the continued investigation on Hilary Clinton. People changed their minds because of her integrity. The polls you are talking about came earlier. The FBI spoke just a day before the elections so the polls couldn’t have factored that in. As for superstitious predictions and the TB Joshua factor don’t even go there because some of us believe that God doesn’t work that way. In an established democracy God allows the people to move on with their own understanding. We are not in a theocratic state anywhere. Those things have direct none and one relationships with God such that they submit to their creator and relate to Him their way. So what has happened shpuld help TB Joshua to open their eyes to real issues and political issues.

Moro…..So what lessons should our politicians learn from this

Amakye…..You see our politicians don’t learn any lessons. The fact that Elections constitutes some kind of accountability it doesn’t put any fear in politicians in Ghana and in Africa. In Ghana both NPP and NDC have been in office before and we all witness impunities in power. Some policies that society kicks against but they don’t care. And obviously these policies tend to have a self-serving end but that notwithstanding they go ahead to win elections anyway. So there is some strange rationality in our politics that makes it different from that of the US elections. The real lesson that should be learn is that the approach of the next elections should put our politicians on their toes but that doesn’t happen. That is why I think that there is not so much to learn because the way our people see issues is not the same as that in the US.

Moro…..So how about the issue of polls and that argument that it doesn’t win elections? Any lesson there?

Amakye…..Polls may help to get a picture of what is going on even though they always have some challenges. But I think putting it out generally that they are not important at all will also be a little to the far side. They help political parties and politicians to understand the mood of the people and make some sense of what electorates will want to do.

Moro ….Finally what are your thoughts about last minute scare mongering? There is talk about last minute surprise. In this elections there is some talk among politicians in the quiet about November/December surprise. Does it affect anything?

Amakye….The fear mongering has always been with us but it has not necessarily affected the outcome of the elections. I am saying on the basis of what happened in the year 2000 elections and all the things that happened. The NDC did everything. They deployed the military to go to Joy FM, they went to Afari Gyans house whiles he was doing his work at the EC office and threatened his family and yet Kuffour went ahead to win. In 2008 it was as if Ghana was going to war.

The NPP also did everything to scare Ghanaians but that didn’t change the outcome. This year for instance I have heard Mc Manu of the NPP threaten the whole system that should president Mahama refuse to concede defeat he warned of what will happen similar to the Ivorian case. So the fear mongering is already here. Things will go the way it will go and the fear mongers will not win.