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General News of Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Voters deserve respect - Analyst

A Political analyst has offered his diagnosis of the recurrent "ridiculous promises" in the run up to elections in Ghana, blaming the canker on a lack of respect for voters.

Joe Jackson says political party leaders have a deep-seated mentality that electorates will not interrogate these outrageous promises, hence the reason for the mind-boggling campaign policy proposals few months to elections in Ghana.

He cites the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the guiltiest political parties.

“There is a cold-heart calculation by political parties that the electorates who will analyse things and ask questions are in the minority and form less than five percent of the population, and the average person who is going to make a difference needs things to be dumped [on them] and is not smart enough,” he surmised.

He spoke on news analysis programme, PM Express, Monday on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.

Mr Jackson was commenting on renewed debate about the feasibility of policy proposals by political parties following a recent promise by NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, to build a dam in every village across the country.

Although the policy has been criticised as unrealistic and impossible, the party insists the dams would boost the agriculture sector that has been suffering dwindling productions.

Earlier the NPP had proposed to build a factory in every district in Ghana to improve the manufacturing sector. That policy proposal too was first dismissed by the NDC, but the party later declared it possible after government said it had already tabled it for implementation after this year’s election.

A report released last week by think tank IMANI Centre for Policy and Education has also punched holes in 14 of 20 promises made by the NDC ahead of the December 7 elections, noting that only six of the ruling party’s promises are attainable.

Joe Jackson said the penchant by the parties to dump down unrealistic promises on electorates is to a large extent an indictment on political parties.

“They don’t bother to even explain the thinking behind [the proposed policies]” he laments.

He has admonished the parties to strive to packaged their promises better to make it more sensible.

According to him the recent promise by the NPP presidential aspirant to build a dam in every village in the country is ridiculous at best.

“What do you mean by a dam in every village? Think about it. There is very little respect for the population. I could present this same promise in another way that will make us sit at this table and say 'may be it makes some sense',” he told show host Malik Abass Daabu.

He said it would have made more sense had Nana Akufo-Addo said he intends to “move this country from rain-fed agriculture to irrigated business.”