Ghana is a vibrant country politically and the two stalwarts in the Ghanaian political arena obviously are NPP, the ruling political party and NDC, the biggest opposition party in Ghana now.
These two parties are rivals not just because they lock horns every 4years fighting for supremacy, but also because of their position on the political spectrum and the corresponding ideologies they are supposed to embody. Although not known to many, probably due to illiteracy or lack of interest in political matters, the position on the political spectrum a political party decides to place itself guides its policies and general governance and could largely affect the economic and developmental trajectory of the country.
The NPP touts itself as a Center Right party also sometimes referred to as capitalists. Center right parties across the world, like the Republican party in USA are pro-business. They believe the people can fend for themselves when the business environment is made fertile and that competitiveness brings growth.
On the other hand, NDC, calls itself a center left party also known as the socialists or social Democrats. They believe the government must take care of the people to a very good extent by providing social intervention and pro-poor policies that bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. They believe in taking from the rich to cater for the poor while empowering them to climb up the economic ladder. It is similar to communism only that they believe in and live by the tenets of democracy.
These ideologies have manifested themselves in various ways depending on which party is in power in the 26 years and counting of Ghana’s new democracy. But a closer look at how these parties stick to their ideologies could easily confuse anyone. The NPP, a capitalist party virtually introduced all the social intervention and pro poor policies that we see today. From free Maternal care, to national health insurance, to affordable housing, to free school feeding, to free basic school,to free senior high school among others.
This shows a shift from traditional capitalism. The party is juggling being a capitalist and meeting the social needs of the many impoverished in the country. The macroeconomic outlook is great with Ghana being the world’s fastest growing in terms of GDP even after implementing policies such as Free SHS that was sure to drain the life out of the national coffers.
In effect, the NDC as a social democratic party have been rendered useless, only having to manage pro-poor policies conceived and implemented by a capitalist party whenever they are able to convince Ghanaians to vote for them.
Recently a challenge was thrown to the NDC by their riavals to point out just one social intervention program they introduced. One former minister mentioned a Bus rapid Transport system called Aayalolo. Quite a laughable example in my opinion as the BRT is only operational in Accra. The facts increasingly support the notion that NPP has mastered it’s core business of growing the economy and now doing remarkably well at taking care of the people.
In conclusion, the NDC as a political party plays a salient role in our democracy, but when it comes to governance and meeting the people’s needs, NPP has proven time and time again that Ghanaians do not need to look beyond them.
Should political parties in Ghana stick to the basics of their ideologies or should they be jack of all trades? Join the conversation on Facebook NsemWoha.com or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org