Elevate political discourse on campaign platforms – Etse Sikanku

Dr Etse Sikanku, the Head of the Center for Policy Discourse Analysis (CDPA), has cautioned politicians against the use of extreme and insulting language as the 2020 electioneering campaign heats up.

“The wrong use of language during the campaign and on media platforms can jeopardise the democratic discourse and it is another opportunity for us to demonstrate its growth and maturity in democracy to elevate the kind of discourse we have in the 2020 elections.

“We need to have a campaign based on issues, we need to have an ideas-based discussion that will help to educate, sensitise and inform the citizenry to make intelligible decisions,” Dr Sikanku noted.

Addressing students and faculty members of the Youngstown State University in the USA, who visited the centre and the Ghana Institute of Journalism to learn more about media in Ghana and Africa, he indicated that “democracy exists to serve the citizenry, we hope the election will be a contestation based on ideas and not on personal attacks, embellishment, exaggerations, and on extreme partisanship.

“The consequences can be fatal and huge for our country if extreme language dominates the discourse.  Language and discourse shape citizen’s thoughts and behaviours, people take cues from political leadership, and that trickles down and affects how they act,” Dr Sikanku added.

Professor Carol Bennett, An Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Youngstown State University expressed joy about the opportunity to visit Ghana and observed that “I get to see a place where it was cultural before Europeans came, there was a government before the Europeans came, to see how she has evolved and the progress that the country is making. -myjoyonline.com

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