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Manifestos: A Pitch for Power

MANIFESTOS: A PITCH FOR POWER

Of all the things we look forward to in an election year, manifestos from political parties count as one of the major things electorates look forward to. Manifesto which is derived from the Latin word manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous, mostly come in voluminous pages outlining the aims and policies of political parties and stating several reasons why power should be given to them. While a sitting government puts major emphasis on its achievements so far and how it is important for them to remain in power and continue their good works and more, opposition parties point out the deficiencies in the ruling government and how they can solve that.  It is a battle of promises!

These manifestos seek to outdo each other. The promises are carefully crafted to appeal to the head and heart of its target, that is a section of or all the electorates. The content of the manifesto is primarily the answers to the problems or challenges faced by Ghanaians.

With a majority of Ghanaians not in a position to read the bulk of pages that make up the manifesto, political parties highlight some major areas as selling points to pitch for votes. Funny enough, most of these selling points revolve around the same areas or sectors. The economy, job creation, energy crisis and the area of education constitute the areas political parties have hammered on in the verbal presentations of their manifestos at rallies and media interviews.

One major selling point that is common to almost all the manifestos this year is the area of job creation. With the seeming increase in unemployment, that is no surprise. While the NDC are “… committed to roll out special projects and programmes to propel the creation of more sustainable jobs in both the formal and informal sectors”, the NPP are ready to “… put in place the policy framework that will help businesses expand and create jobs, as well as promote the growth of entrepreneurship opportunities for young Ghanaians in particular”. The PPP whose flagbearer is nicknamed “Edwumawura” says “Jobs for millions of Ghanaians are our goal.” For the CPP it’s all about “Job creation, with the launching of the Ghana Emergency Employment Programme (GEEP) aimed primarily at the youth.” This is to appeal to the youth and unemployed citizens of this country to vote them into power, to enable them address one of the major complaints in the country currently.

 

For students and parents, each political party has some promises in the area of education. Most of these promises seem to scream, “Vote for me so I can relieve you of the financial struggle that education comes with”. The NPP has reiterated their free SHS policy while the NDC wants to complete the construction of the 200 day community SHS and also “Expand the progressively free SHS programme to cover boarding students with emphasis on needy students”. The PPP seeks to “Ensure Free and Compulsory education in public schools from Kindergarten to Senior High School (including ICT training)”.

All political parties are promising to build a good economy for citizens of this country and solve the energy crisis faced by the country recently.

Having high selling points in the manifestos to woo electorates is not a bad idea but as a Deputy Director of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Jonathan Azasoo, stated, political party manifestos they should be in line with the National Development Plan. To him, the slow pace of development in the country can be attributed to “to the use of political party manifestos, which did not respond to the National Development agenda”.

 

 

 

 

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