Tag Archives: Africa

The African version of Democracy and its flaws: Ghana in lenses

Most countries in the world are democratic. The leaders are elected by the masses for specific term, and Africa is no exception. India is the biggest democratic country in the world. Yet it is still a developing country after many years of independence, while China is a developed country with same time period of independence. This crux of it is that, some setbacks created by democracy rule.

Democratic rule though has become the order of the day, it is also responsible for wide spread of corruption.Our democracy is such that, there is no single power that can control misdemeanour of leaders. The lower rank officer can defy his superior in-spite of being unfair at his job.Some leaders & officials try to steal the resources of the country and deceive the common people; the electorates.

It is important to state that, the extent of corruption is limited in democratic countries which have one supreme power. This is because the power to execute the bills or laws are present under that supreme person, and  so those persons or institutions who intend to bribe will do it to the supreme power and his subordinates. Other officials are more often than not in control and possibilities of misbehavior are limited.

But in democratic countries where there is no supreme power, the bribe and thievery is perpetrated by all the leaders. It suffices to say that, in one sense all leaders are ready to steal the resources of the country or state as they intend to be very rich. The more corrupt the public officials, the more the illegalities and hence the country becomes more poorer. This often translates into prices hikes and excessive taxation policies to maintain government budgets which mostly follow the misusing cycle.

The African version of democracy; especially Ghana is most often burdened with the following set-backs:

  • There is a possibility for wide spread and evergreen corruption.
  • There is no protection for the lay man, as leaders misuse or misbehave any how in the public space.
  • Leaders most often play divide and rule games. They divide the citizenry based on religion, languages, ethnicity etc. in order to gain votes to the corridors of power even though they are not qualified enough to manage the public purse.
  • They encourage dubious business practices to get support for election campaigns. Most politicians support rich and influential people in society for their business aspirations in turn for monetary benefits like party funding etc.
  • The prime motive of the politician is to get into power to make money and other benefits to the detriment of the ordinary people and the country. They mostly use protest and strikes as a means for publicity. Previously these strikes and protest lead to democratic governance. French Revolution, American Revolution etc. led to the establishment of democracies. But currently behind every strike and protest there is a political hand. The political parties can even halt parliament and other strategic state institutions from functioning smoothly.
  • In democratic countries, the media is seen as a strong tool, such that, it can influence the voting behavior and arouse passion for a cause. In many countries, some media channels work for some political parties. These media houses often broadcast news items that become problematic to the security of the Country. Their main goal is to portray one leader as bad and other as good in the eyes and minds of the citizenry.

In conclusion, democracy is widely considered to be the best political system imaginable. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that democracy has become a secular religion. The largest political faith on earth. To criticize the democratic ideal is to risk being regarded an enemy of civilized society. That notwithstanding, the African version of democracy is only good at making its citizens poorer and poorer, hence the need to give it a critical look.

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