Barack Obama’s victory, a lesson in democracy

Amandla joins the teeming millions to congratulate President Barack Obama for his resounding victory on November 7. With all odds stacked against him Barack Obama prevailed with a 332 electoral win over Candidate Romney’s 209 indicative of the powerful voice of the people.

This year’s elections were characterized by more than political differences. Republican campaigners descended into the gutter employing intimidating strategies. The so-called birthers led by Donald Trump and buoyed up by Romney himself, Obama was subjected to even more racist stunts in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post cartoon depicting a black man being chased by a man on a horse holding a big machine gun. With an economy intractably sluggish, unemployment merely inching up and a future most uncertain for many people in addition to polls that had it all for Governor Romney. The end result defied all the odds and predictions to the anger and shock of the GOP. Not even the millions spent could make any impact on the results. At the end of it all, Obama wept. Was it biblical or proverbial? We shall never know because he has never said anything about it.

In spite of all the bad blood that was spilled, Obama called on his opponent to join him to help rebuild the nation. And Romney gracefully accepted. Africa has something to learn here.

On December 8 Ghanaians will go to the polls to choose a new president. Political campaigns are usually mudslinging events. Of course, lies and innuendoes are all part of the strategies to win elections everywhere, but the degree of calumny turns nauseating. Discoveries of plans to rig elections by the use of military forces and the security forces by some members of the ruling party have been reported. Pre-election intimidation of voters by the ruling party is rampant. The quest for power takes precedence over all forms of fair play.

Among some of the fallouts in election years in Ghana is capital flight for fear of untoward eventualities likely to happen during elections. In the recent vice-presidential debate the incumbent vice-president averred that the economic downturn is partly due to election year expectations. The currency is in a state of flux, all because of impending elections.

Ghana claims some impressive democratic credentials in Africa and so expectations are high for the upcoming elections. The peaceful transition after the death of Late President John Atta Mills made a strong impression on Ghana watchers and so a lot is expected. So far all the leaders of the competing political parties have pledged to maintain peace during the elections.

After almost two decades of democratic elections Ghanaians owe it to themselves to emulate the positive aspects found in the recent elections in the United States. It was not all flowerly language and respectful campaign rhetoric. Several rough edges appeared revealing America’s ugly face, but there was mutual respect among the leaders who after it all ended showed class.

While extending our felicitations once again to President Obama we wish all the players in the upcoming elections in Ghana best of luck. May the best man win.



Posted by on Nov 20 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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