There are two main political parties in Ghana one describes itself as leftist (for the poorer masses) and the other as centre right, (for the business classes). But, you would be hard-pressed to correctly tell which party is which listening to them and observing their policy implementations.
The NDC accused the NPP’s philosophy of a property owning democracy as elitist because only a few people can aspire to owning their own homes. The NDC sold themselves effectively as the party that cared for the ordinary Ghanaians. The party that was not arrogant. The party that was committed to “prosperity for all.”
But what have we seen since January 2009? A mad rush to put up properties by the NDC political elite who, until 2009, made owning homes appear like a crime, just like the PNDC made entrepreneurship look like a criminal offence. After all, what can be more glorifying and uplifting to human dignity than creating your own wealth and privately owning property?
But, since 2009, in spite of the President’s directive that his Ministers should declare their assets, majority of them suspended responding to that call and set about rapidly acquiring something to declare. Nobody should deny any political appointee his or her right to own property but let us not ignore their annoying hypocrisy. President Mills viewed it as corruption if a CEPS official managed to own a home after just 3 years in the service. But, he sees it as okay if a political appointee of his acquires property after just two years in office.
The NDC described itself as pro-poor and in fact has promoted poverty, pro-poor indeed. More Ghanaians have fallen below the poverty line since 2009. Social intervention programmes have all suffered cuts under these so-called social democrats.
Even their own internal political arrangements give no constitutional space for the grassroots of the party to be part of the decision-making process.
The NPP, the party that has suffered abuse over the years as elitist is rather the party that has shown greater, principled commitment and courage to the cause of the masses. In July, it will take less than 3,000 NDC members to choose their 2012 presidential candidate. In August last year it took 107,000 people to choose the 2012 presidential candidate for the NPP.
The NPP’s concept of property owning democracy must be understood as the best formula for the Ghanaian masses. As Nana Akufo-Addo puts it, it means democraticising access to private ownership. Thus, rather than limiting private ownership to an elite few, the philosophy of the NPP seeks to give every Ghanaian, regardless of your background, the opportunity to own a part of the nation’s wealth exclusively.
But, to do so, Nana Addo tells us,we should ensure that we have here in Ghana a society that offers opportunities. Hence, he wants to build a new society of opportunities. How does he intend to do so? By making sure that the greatest gift that society can give to its children is education, education, education.
Nana Addo, indeed, describes the mind as the greatest property that any individual can possess. But, like a piece of land, value must be placed on it.
The value of a parcel of land is determined by its location.
The mind of every child, Nana Addo insists, is a potential intellectual property. But to put value on it, it must first be allowed to grow. It must gain access to education and the quality of that education would determine the value of that intellect. It must be encouraged to be creative, to grow and to compete with the best in the world.
Nana Addo was spot on when he said that Africans should change the weapons they have been using without much success in the enduring war against poverty. You can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
It is those on the left, the class of the envious lot, who always focus on the provincial argument that the cake must be shared. But, what about, as Nana Addo puts it, focusing on expanding the grain fields, so we can grow more, mill more and bake more? That should be our focus as a nation. Create more to share with more.
The programmes of the NPP and the programmes of the NDC have shown clearly which of the two parties is elitist in deed and populist in words. As the NDC continues to struggle in their uncommitted attempts even in pretending to close the gap between what they say and what they do, let the NPP amplify the superiority of its brand.
The NPP does not require rebranding. What it needs to do is to sell its brand, effectively. This is because the best for the people’s interest is the ideology of the NPP. An ideology that is committed to enhancing the dignity of the individual. If it is elitist then we should be grateful to the NPP’s push to make every Ghanaian elitist.
Source: The New Statesman/Ghana
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