The Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic (CDD-Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has called on political parties to embrace strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking is a process that defines the manner in which people think about, assess, view, and create the future for themselves and others. Strategic thinking is an extremely effective and valuable tool.
Prof Prempeh said political parties are regarded as an organisational set up for hard thinking that drives development, and if their manifestoes were gradually becoming important, then there was a need to use it as a vehicle for getting citizens’ inputs.
Prof Prempeh made these remarks in a panel discussion at a forum to mark the International Democracy Day, organised by CDD-Ghana.
International Democracy Day is celebrated around the world on 15th September each year.
It was established through a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy.
The forum, held under the theme: “Making Democracy Work for the People”, was part of the Centre’s contribution to promoting a democratic society that peruses and delivers on inclusive development; and as well intended to trigger conversations about some very important policy issues.
Prof Prempeh recounted that in the past, manifestoes did not use to matter very much as people just threw anything in to win an election, and after which they forget what was in the manifesto, however, and gradually the parties have realized that they were roughly equally matched in their electorates.
The Executive Director said political parties had come to the realization their strongholds only could not make them win, and so they had to appeal to some other marginal constituencies in order to win elections; stating that they have started drawing manifestoes that appealed to people.
“And when they come into office, now you see that gradually they are trying to actually use the manifesto as a governing document “, he said.
Dr Lloyd Adu Amoah, Founding Director of the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Ghana, was of the view that political parties should become less of election machines and become agents of development.
“The parties go to sleep because the election becomes the main focus and when power is won, the attention now shifts to who gets what within the party; the effect is that they lose focus on their expected role in the development process,” he said.
Dr Amoah called for a reconfiguration of the total mindset and philosophy of political parties in Ghana.
Madam Kinna Likimani, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation and Special Programmes at Odekro, said Ghanaians need to spend some time deliberating on Civic Ghana, adding that “we are not going to get the country and democracy that we want unless we engage”.
She said engaging with the civic structure could mean doing some work with civil society organisations and attending assembly meetings to be able to inform the decision-making process.