Feature Article of Friday, 2 November 2012

Columnist: Koffison, John

Can A “Funny” Man Become President In Ghana?

Indeed, there is no school where one can major in “Presidential Politics” to become President of a Republic, but there are many schools where one can major in “Politics”. To be an effective politician, one must have a record of accomplishment as a leader/executive, be politically astute and able to relate well to voters and other elected officials, be a motivational team builder and inspire mutual trust and confidence, Be an excellent communicator, good at listening, speaking, and writing, be trustworthy, genuine, and sincere, be a consensus builder who appreciates and encourages differences of opinion but can forge synthesis from divergent views, and have the skills to encourage involvement and inclusiveness.

The battle of political parties, issues, and morals invites debates among the general public, nationwide over which candidate it supports in the next December election. Whether, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), or NPP, debates over the National Health Insurance Scheme, the “Kayayei Initiatives”, or the naïve free SHS politicking policy; there have always been multiple competing for the votes and minds of Ghanaians.

But what if the issues did not matter or affect the outcome of the election? Trends appear to indicate that candidates are elected not only on their positions on the economy, health care, and education, but also and largely on factors such as likability, their physical attributes their psychological and societal elements. One factor that is normally hard to estimate yet appears to be fundamental is how pleasant and physically attractive the candidate is, I do not mean that the candidate must be funny; because being funny means not being focused or serious. Likable in the sense that at the end of the way, the choice has everything to do with whom you could invite over for dinner!

Another interesting example of how big a role physical attractiveness may play in the election of a president is how taller the candidate is. This advantage may largely be based on the fact that appearance is noteworthy. Studies have demonstrated that tall politicians plainly stand out from the crowd; thus an increased height is also associated with strong leadership, dominant and confident character which are qualities that most voters would like to see in a Supreme Commander, a Head of State. In general, people vote for the most powerful looking individual who can protect them and defend the country by all means and at any time even during major crisis. Funny people are considered too vague in their policies and not serious.

A great leader has SMART goals and leads with confidence. A great leader functions in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. A great leader cannot get scared when he/she goes in front of people to state the fact, including when the situation is caused by an act of God. A great leader keeps the main goals in focus. A great leader is committed to excellence. Great leaders remain calm and are tolerant. A great leader listens to the needs of the people. And I believe Ghana currently has such a great leader who is executing the agenda of the people. Funny men should stay away because this is not the time to play game. We need a great leader in Ghana to continue to lead us even in time of crisis.

John KOFFISON New York, NY (USA)