As regards the question of state funding for political parties, we must simply go back to basics – and remember that this country is largely divided into two political groups. Consequently, we must be creative – and use what we have to move forward as a nation that is more or less a two-party constitutional democracy.
There are those in Ghanaian politics, who buy into Nkrumah's vision of creating an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia, and those who like Dr. Busia and Dr. Danquah, believe that we must focus on developing a system that devolves power and funnels resources from the centre to the progeny of the ruling elites of the traditional feudal tribal states of the pre-colonial era (i.e. rule by Chiefs, their relations, their sycophantic acolytes and appointees!).
Since the state has limited resources, we must cut our coat according to the size of our cloth in the matter of state funding for political parties in Ghana. If we accept the fact that Ghanaians are largely divided into Busia-Danquaists and their political opponents, Ghana’s left-of-centre progressives, who call themselves Nkrumaists (which incidentally includes a majority of the members of the National Democratic Congress – [NDC]), why do we not simply resort to state funding for just those two traditional groups in Ghanaian politics?
Would it not be possible to get all the left-of-centre political parties including the NDC to regroup and reverse into a suitably restructured Convention Peoples Party (CPP) and choose a new leadership - ditto all the right-of-centre parties such as Dr. Obed Asamoah’s Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and other such parties to reverse into the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and choose their new joint-leadership too?
A creative way to fund political parties in Ghana would be for the two newly-restructured parties to be allocated offices in District Assembly properties across the country. Ditto allocated an agreed number of vehicles every five years – and given free airtime by the state print and electronic media during election campaign periods, too.
However, we must draw the line somewhere – and decide that going forward, if men with giant egos who use the vehicle of political parties to try and make money, insist on fanning their egos by setting up political parties, well, we must let them use their own private resources to operate their creations: whenever they see fit to embark on such expensive ego trips.
A nation like ours with limited resources cannot possibly satisfy the self-indulgence of such larger-than-life characters who suffer from the dangerous virus known as “political megalomania”. Period.
Incidentally, for the benefit of the younger generation of Ghanaians who do not know much about the original philosophies that underpin the two traditional “political traditions” in our history, below is a very brief description of their worldviews.
The Busia-Danquah group adheres to the philosophy of the English philosopher Edmund Burke. Like their founding fathers, they believe that society ought to be ruled by “pre-ordained” elites. Another distinguishing factor of Busia-Danqaists, is that they place a premium on foreign ideas and collaboration with foreigners. Dr. Danquah as we all know was a super-quisling who was on the payroll of the CIA!
The Danquah-Busiasts are also the stooges for neocolonialism and the lackeys of foreign commercial interests in our country. That is why they are busy asset-stripping Ghana for the benefit of foreign interests. They also believe that an important aspect of the ideal society is one that is a “property-owning democracy”: that is, one in which only people who own property or can prove that they earn a regular wage, qualify to vote in elections.
Another cherished tenet of their party is that the state must concentrate on creating the conditions for individuals to create wealth – and must ideally not interfere in the wealth-creation activities of individuals, at all.
That is why today, their political progeny in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are busy turning Ghana into an African version of early 20 century American capitalism of the “robber baron” era - in which powerful crooks made money at the expense of the well-being of American society.
An example is the unsanitary conditions that prevailed in the Chicago meatpacking industry and the ruthless exploitation of workers in the industry, whom the plant owners literally worked to death. The US federal government finally stepped in as soon as the nation discovered the horrors in the industry - when Upton Sinclair’s novel ”The Jungle” was published. The federal government immediately passed the Food and Drug Act!
That is also why, today, under the NPP, a small group of politically well-connected and powerful Ghanaians have succeeded in ending up owning more wealth than the combined wealth of the vast majority of the population of Ghana – whom they denigrate by labeling “lazy” people: forgetting that the marginalized in Ghana do not have the same opportunities that sundry regime-crony tycoons have because of their political connections.
Yet, what number of fools in this country, dear reader, cannot build posh hotels along the beaches of Ghana, for example, if, like the scions of the family clans of some of our rulers, they too can inveigle the management of state-owned banks to lead consortia of banks to loan them zillions of dollars to build posh hotels, on generous terms?
For the Nkrumaists, the ideal society for Ghanaians is the creation of an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia. They believe that because there are not a lot of privately-held large fortunes in the hands of private individuals in nations such as ours, the state must of necessity take a leading role in wealth creation to improve the quality of life of all Ghanaians, through the agency of state-owned enterprises.
Today, we are seeing the wisdom of Nkrumah as Western capitalist nations pour trillions of dollars into even private financial institutions in part-nationalizations – in order to safeguard their national economies. Nkrumah also wanted universal adult suffrage in Ghana – so that all adults of a sound mind could vote to elect their leaders in free and fair elections: not just property owners and wage earners.
Above all, Nkrumah believed in a mixed-economy. However, whiles encouraging private wealth creation, Nkrumah wanted to use the power of the Ghanaian nation-state to regulate that sector’s activities so as to protect society from crooked businesspeople and ensure that they did not grow rich at the expense of the well-being of society: by producing sub-standard or dangerous products and avoiding paying their taxes. He also wanted their wealth creation agenda to fit into the overall national development plan determined by the Ghanaian nation-state as being in the national interest.
The Busia-Danquah group on the other hand wants individuals to be left alone to make their own business decisions with minimum state regulation. In other words, if they prefer to buy waste from Canada to use in a waste-to-energy plant in Kumasi, for example, because they and their Canadian partners will make vast profits from the business of the importation of Canadian waste (instead of using the mountains of waste generated locally here!), the state must not step in to stop them.
It is such inanities that have led to a situation today, in which a nation that is literally being choked to death as it is slowly engulfed by filth, is allowing this nonsense on bamboo stilts to occur – because in the view of the apostles of “private sector-led development” under no circumstances must the state interfere with the greedy and selfish plans of those seeking to go into the lucrative business of the importation of Canadian waste into Ghana - using a waste-to-energy plant in Kumasi, as a perfect cloak to hide their perfidy! Naturally, the ideal for the Busia-Danquaists is for the state to allow them to go ahead with their plans - as it is their private affair.
That is also why, for example, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, a minster in the present government, was so proud to announce to Ghanaians that the owners of the Kumasi waste-to-energy plant are being allowed to import waste from Canada. Astonishingly, are we in the meantime, not drowning in our own filth? Can anyone doubt that any plan for the Kumasi waste-to-energy plant must have included the use of waste generated locally – and that that must have been an important factor in the environmental protection agency (EPA) granting them permission to build their confounded plant in the first place?
Any surprise then, dear reader, that today we have become a mostly selfish and untruthful people who live in a cruel and brutish “dog-eat-dog” society in which criminals, such as drug barons, are becoming the pillars of society? Are some of these Mafioso not so powerful and influential that a number of them (apart from being the mainstays of numerous charismatic churches up and down our country), are said to even bankroll some of our politicians and political parties (according to the bush telegraph!)?
Hmmm, Ghana – eyeasem oo: enti yeawiaye paa, enia? Asem ebaba debi ankasa! May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana, always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!