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Opinions of Sunday, 5 August 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

The NDC Must Not Allow Lack Of Funds To Prevent Democratic Choice

Choosing A Presidential Candidate: The NDC Must Not Allow Lack Of Funds To Prevent Democratic Choice

By Kofi Thompson

Whenever I hear politicians alluding to lack of funds, when explaining away their inability to deliver what they should for their people, I shed tears for Mother Ghana.

Why must Ghanaian taxpayers provide a group of well-educated politicians, in power at any point in time in our country's history, with expensive vehicles and free fuel to run them on; subsidised luxury-housing; hire domestic help for them at hapless taxpayers' expense; and provide them with sundry costly perks, too numerous to mention here, if they are unable to think creatively to solve our nation's problems, I ask?

Take the business of funding of political parties for example. Now, if by coincidence, tomorrow, a group of well-connected businesspeople in Ghana decided to approach their friends and business associates in places such as: Congo Brazzaville; Angola; Equatorial Guinea; and Nigeria, for interest-free loans and gifts of money, surely, there is no law in Ghana preventing them from so doing, is there?

Furthermore, we all know that no matter where a businessperson sources funds to run his or her business, what they do with it is no one's business safe his or hers - as long as those funds came through the banking system and all taxes due on them duly paid.

(Incidentally, most of us also know that by definition - in a global economy in which the only certainty is uncertainty - governments (forced by dire over-gearing circumstances to rebalance their finances - by cutting back on spending) can only provide a relatively small number of jobs, at any given time: despite politicians' foolish and unhelpful pretense to the contrary. But I digress!)

Can businesspeople who source funds from friendly sister African nations, not be persuaded to help strengthen our young democracy, by donating funds to all the political parties in Ghana?

And if they did so, would they not be helping to make those parties better able to reach out to the masses of the Ghanaian people, to explain their ideas for improving the business climate in Ghana?

And is it not, dear reader, policy-making that enables the private-sector of our national economy to thrive, which will enable private-sector entities to be in a position to actually create the desperately needed jobs that will lift our people from the endemic poverty that blights so many young lives in our country?

With respect, the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must be a tad more creative in their thinking - for a change.

Why not approach some of the many patriotic local businesspeople who are always willing to do what they can to help keep Ghana stable - by funding all the political parties: as their widows' mite contribution to the maintenance of a free and liberal society in Ghana?

Let the NDC understand clearly that in this particular instance, independent-minded and discerning Ghanaians do not want to hear that defeatist old refrain so beloved of unimaginative and incompetent politicians: "There's no money!".

Progressives will not permit that strategem-of-choice, often deployed by cynical politicians to be used to justify the shelving of a free election to select the NDC's candidate for the December presidential election.

Not when the circumstances that made such an election necessary, are so unique, tragic and unfortunate.

Simply put, dear reader, the NDC must not allow the nonsensical notion that it lacks the necessary funds, to prevent a democratic choice being made, at a national delegates congress to select the party's replacement for President Mills, as its candidate for the December 2012 presidential election. A word to the wise...

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