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Opinions of Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Columnist: Atawura, Philip

Na Party Politics we go eat

Of late, Ghana is changing into a country where partisan
politics is even getting into the minds so called intellectuals at the expense
of “reality”. It is common now that people do not give heed to what is salient
to the development of this nation but are rather interested in playing partisan
politics. It is time we all change from that attitude before it retards the
progress of this nation. It is quite pathetic to know that patriotism is dying
just because of political parties. I do well support the activities of partisan
politics and know very well that the chronological definition of politics in
itself shapes the existence of man aside the religious umbrella governing man’s
existence. But mine point is that, where it is not needed, Ghanaians must
desist from playing party politics. Some people even know very well that
certain policies by government would go as far as in helping the nation yet
would hide in the shadows of party colours to rain inappropriate conclusions on
how unmitigated the government’s policies are. This has been happening
especially between the two major political parties. It is for the good of Ghana
that we are all working at. Just last week, the dailies made it known that
Ghana chalked 9.46% as our inflation rate and only God could describe how
opposition leaders were against the importance of this figure. Not only that,
some years back, the NDC too complained bitterly about whether Ghanaians are
going to eat inflation rate. Should everything be politicized by these two
political parties? Are we not of age to know that once elections end, we are
all one people with only one government and for that matter, we are the
government itself? We boast of democracy yet most of us don’t even understand a
single tenet of democracy. I am not underscoring the fact that policies of the
central government should not be interpreted for a better understanding of the
general public. What we have to know is that, not all issues deserve that form
of criticism. What we need is a better way to query the government’s decisions
and policies. Some issues like the STX project deserves a query especially
where people don’t have a breakdown of the deal but definitely not for a
reduction in inflation rate. When NPP was in power, they talked about it, and
now that NDC is in power, they are also talking about it. They are always
fighting about who has reduced the inflation rate and who has not. Anyway, let
them fight over it while I also give my view on the subject matter. After all,
democracy allows me to. On the morn of 12th August, 2010, I had the opportunity
to listen to Dr. Grace Bediako, the renowned government statistician giving
explanation to what inflation rate meant. It was so simple to me that as a
science student, I only used the principle of velocity to get it done. What she
said was that, reduction in inflation rate does not mean reduction in the cost
of items but a reduction in the rate at which the price of the said items
increase. I think this is too clear that everyone must get and people stop
making noise about prices. Just let me add something small to it as it would
have been explained in the context of mechanics in science. Imagine your dad is
travelling from Accra to Kumasi at a constant speed of 80km/hr. Any increase in
speed would mean getting to Kumasi earlier than the constant at which he was
travelling. The higher the speed, the quicker the journey and, it is so with
inflation rate. The higher the rate, the faster the prices of items increase
and the lower the rate, the slower the prices of items increase. I am not an
economics student and stand for any correction on definitions but that is how
best I got the information from Dr. Grace. So in a nut shell, a drop in
inflation rate would mean a drop in the rate that the said items would have
being increasing. In any case, if there is a zero inflation rate within a
specific time, it would mean that there wouldn’t be any increase in the prices
of goods within that period. I have not head of zero inflation or a negative
inflation before but if there is, a negative would mean the reduction in the
prices of goods but none of my economics friends has ever mentioned of anything
like negative inflation rate to me. So why should we play partisan politics
about this when we clearly know that a reduction in inflation rate would mean a
decrease in the rate at which prices of our goods increase. Let us be critical
and positive thinkers before partisan politics take away our dignity.

Philip Atawura

Ghana Institute of Journalism