By: Ms. Rachael C. Omeife
It is widely believed Ghana is practicing a Multiparty democracy, but it is widely evident she is actually practicing nothing but a two-party system. The reign of two, relegating others to the background.
Since the dawn of the 4th republic, the two parties that have dominated the political scene are the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). About 98% of Ghanaian Voters rally behind these two, irrespective of the level of competency displayed by other presidential candidates in the “relegated” parties.
Contrary to increasing progress in the share of votes acquired by these ‘inferior’ parties, their performance in every election since the dawn of the 4th Republic leaves no significant turnout – a condition where these parties record in their favour only 1 or 2 votes in a constituency with a population of over 20,000.
Looking at the 2012 election results, the NDC and NPP pulled 98.44% of votes cast, whereas the other ‘5’ parties recorded 1.56%. This failure was again repeated in the 2016 Election where the NDC and NPP acquired 98.2% of casted votes and minor parties pulled 1.81%- an insignificant increase.
A case study of the Ablekuma North Constituency in 2016 General Election: Out of over 81,398 votes, 26,658 and 54,740 votes were pulled by the NDC and NPP respectively. The minor parties recorded 487 votes. And with 275 constituencies in Ghana, they acquired 0% of seats in parliament.
It is pointless to demand Ghanaians to decide between effective multiparty system and de-facto two party system. It is evident the latter precedes. The question then is, “Why should a developing nation which seeks constant foreign assistance to run its elections waste money on ‘infidel’ parties?”
Election results in the years 2000 and 2008 resulted in a runoff election, thanks to the presence of ‘weak’ parties, who could only acquire weak percentages to disrupt the entire system, thereby resulting in a budget deficit and increased need for foreign aid.
Rigid devotion to democracy hinders a nation’s development, especially when culture and other physiological orientation differ in every nation. Ghana would do much better when its options are narrowed to two parties for all indication points to the already existence of this.
It is high time Ghana stopped creating an illusive picture of a multiparty system when in reality there exist only two. Narrowing down options would just be a matter of formality and a great ‘saver’ of the nation’s resources and time.
THINKING IS EVERYTHING.