A Senior Lecturer of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr Seidu Alidu, has described the nature of the 2020 Manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as “promissory” and that of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as “consolidating”.
He explained that “both Manifestoes capture the three elements, which must feature in a Manifesto – historical antecedents of the people, which has led to their present circumstances, how they are solved, realities of the day, challenges to be addressed and also aspirations for solving problems in future, thus giving hope.
“However, the NPP Manifesto, has fewer promises and largely focus on consolidating the party’s gains moreover, it is possible they have been held in check by realities of being in government because perspectives of party making promises while in government is different from making them as in opposition.
“When you are in government you are confronted by realities of how promises can be fulfilled, you are also held accountable by the people, you tend to be more measured in the way you make promises and the NPP might have learnt some lessons from its 2016 experience,” Dr Alidu observed.
Characteristically, he pointed out that parties in opposition made more promises to the citizenry because they needed to offer more and better alternatives to be able to unseat the incumbent so the NDC Manifesto made more promises than it did in 2016 also endeavoured to capture realities of the day and offered promises reflective of their solutions.
Dr Alidu said the NDC this time round touched base with its philosophical roots as a social democratic party and constituted committees that dialogued with the people and touched base with core support and assistance on what their challenges were.
He cautioned against trend of parties making too many and unrealistic promises could result in loss of confidence in democratic governance and voter apathy, which would hurt participatory democracy necessary for holistic national growth and development.
Dr Alidu advised the parties not to underestimate rationality of voters but endeavour to synchronise their manifestoes with National Development Planning Commission’s development planning policies, programmes and strategies for easy implementation and sustainable growth.
He urged stakeholders in academia, civil society groups, the media and the electorate to demand from the parties costing, funding sources and strategies for implementing their manifestoes. -GNA