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Opinions of Sunday, 27 January 2008

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Ghana's Free Market Roots

Incapable of Preventing Election Anarchy
I have never understood why in Ghana we do not have an opposition and rather have a Minority. I have also wondered why every member of the Parliament must identify with one of two either Majority or Minority.
Ghana’s 4th Republican Parliament is responsible for this serious anomaly, which “adopted the name Minority instead of the Opposition to reflect its positive relationship with government and processes of good governance in the country.”
So does it mean that if the Opposition calls itself an Opposition then it ceases to reflect a positive relationship with government and processes of good governance in Ghana?
So we must be given better reasons than has been given so far why Ghana’s Opposition must not adopt the name Opposition with the understanding that electoral politics is low intensity warfare where the ammunitions used are papers, forums, discussion groups, arguments, ballot papers and the vote.
The political root of this practice is the illegal PNDC regime 1981-1992 in which all the leading members of the Liberal NDC of today and the Conservative NPP also of today served. The PNDC gave birth to both the 4th Republican Parliament and the two recent leading opposing political parties NDC and NPP. CPP remains the oldest.
But the real ideological root of the practice is the free market paradigm that the IMF/World Bank anti-democratically imposed on Ghanaians through the PNDC regime. In order to safeguard that free market regime it was necessary to have a political class that saw themselves in terms of majority and minority and not opposition. Think about it, what is there to oppose? The NDC believes in the Liberal Free market. The NPP believe in the Conservative Free Market. The bottom line is that they both believe in the Free Market. What is the difference? The Liberal Free Market produces wealth only for a minority. The Conservative Free Market only produces wealth for a privileged few. To produce wealth at all, both agree that the Free Market is essential for economic growth.
So we can understand Alban Bagbin when he says that “Ghana’s resolve to chart the path of democracy was so deep rooted to make the Kenyan type political debacle hardly possible here.” But we know the free market knows no law beyond its own interests.

Another way it has been put is that with the free market it is all about permanent interests and not permanent friends.
So Bagbin’s confidence is misplaced. It is free market anti-democracy that sponsors physical violence and constitutional lawlessness in its organised interest. After violence, foreign capital can buy priceless assets at rock-bottom prices citing instability and low demand amongst others.
Those who kill when the violence comes are not mercenaries we do not know like the hanged bodies of American mercenary soldiers in Fallujah. When the killing starts the male or female that lives next door to you perpetrates it. He or she is the one who breaks your house, your vehicle, and your arm or sets fire to your safe haven.
And it is because the free market denies us democratic control over the Ghanaian economy through our elected representatives that political economy has become either about personalities, money, ethnicity or religion. So when there is violence it need not necessarily be because of ethnicity, which gives some the confidence to say that it can never happen in Ghana. The last time it happened in Ghana it was over money. Some Military Officers had too much of it while others who knew no law or economics had empty stomachs. Today some Politicians have too much of it. What is the difference?
So it is the free market that has sought to safeguard and hinge the anti-democratic politics of Ghana within the Parliament that has no Opposition. If the No Opposition Politics fails to serve the free market, it will be violently removed. This will be so whether Ghanaians are peace-loving people or not by the same Free Market Forces who staged the violent recent anti-democracy coups in Kenya, Pakistan or Venezuela. And if Opposition to the Free Market is muted in the making of laws, it cannot be prevented in the Streets and on the roads.
In Free Market Economics the purpose of anarchy is to reduce price. Nothing reduces price like fear and violence. And free trade is war.



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